Article Archive

  1. Weekender_list

    It’s Bank Holiday weekend and one of our favourite things to do is bake up a buttery storm and shove cakes into our loved ones’ pie-holes. To bake the perfect Weekender, the recipe is simple; three cups of amazing work, two cups of creative sweetener and one cup of Friday excitement, finished off with a dusting of whimsy from the world wide web. Bake for one hour at gas mark fun-time and you’ve got yourself a wholesome, well-risen Weekender cake. So indulge and cut yourselves a sexy slice because the Weekender is BIG on taste but LIGHT in calories!

  2. List

    And so the crème de la crème was announced, with five of D&AD’s highest honour – the Black Pencil – awarded this year. From radio advertising to branding it’s a diverse selection that’s sure to get people talking. It’s great to see some of our favourite projects from the last year recognised, and some we weren’t familiar with (the brilliant radio station for dogs, for instance) being celebrated. Without further ado, here they are!

  3. Lego-greenpeace-its-nice-that-top-

    D&AD has awarded White Pencils in a category of their own since 2013, and these recognise design and advertising projects that “demonstrate that marketing and marketing communications can be a force for good,” in the words of D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay. Four projects have been awarded the philanthropic pencils this year, two for brand and two for not-for-profit advertising and marketing communications. Here are the projects recognised this year…

  4. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in five made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  5. Mouthfeel_it's_nice_that_list

    When you hear the words “queer culinary magazine” you might be inclined to envisage a kind of Good Housekeeping for gay men, some kind of conservative bible of new male domesticity. What you might not be expecting is an alternative publication where food and gay culture sit together against a post-punk backdrop, but that’s exactly what Mouthfeel is. A reaction against the all-pervading rustic minimalism championed by the likes of Kinfolk that has all but homogenised food media, Mouthfeel gives food writing a gay voice, combining chef profiles, recipes, essays and good looking men.

  6. The-plant-art-15-its-nice-that-list-

    Staying two seasons ahead (calendar-wise, at least) of the autumn art fair scrum, Art 15 takes place this week over in west London, heralded by some unmissably bright new branding by The Plant. The annual fair – now in its third outing – used to take place in February, and its new look aims to reflect its sunnier spot on the calendar. “As it’s spring and it’s a fairly new fair, we felt [the new identity] needed to look quite bold,” says Matt Utber, founder of The Plant, who also designed the fair’s initial identity. “We chose colours that were very bright and vibrant because of that light change – it reflects new life, flowers bursting into existence, it’s that kind of feel.”

  7. List_michael_james_obrien_girlfriend_itsnicethat

    For the past 30 years, Michael James O’Brien has photographed drag queens from around the world. His latest exhibition Girlfriend, on show at Liverpool’s international photography festival now, displays wonderfully glamorous images that encapsulate the freedom, majesty and spirit of drag culture.

  8. Mattbooker-electiondrawings-itsnicethat-list

    It’s only been a couple of weeks but already the UK election seems a lifetime ago. If you’re into that kind of thing, there’s an undeniable drama about it all as the tension ratchets up across the campaign and breaks on election night itself as the results filter through from around the country. Topolski Studio commissioned eight young artists to capture the goings-on through the medium of drawing and the results will be published in its upcoming Election Chronicle.

  9. List_tomas_alonso_lines_waves_itsnicethat

    One glance at Instagram or any interiors blog circa 2015 and it feels like marble, or at least cheap mimicries, are decorating homes everywhere. But there’s none of the ubiquitous “funky” accessory holders or dinnerware in Tomás Alonso’s marble-based project, Lines & Waves. Exploring pattern and stackability, Tomas’ interlocking tables are a thing of true beauty. Machine-milled grooves have been cut into the top and bottom of marble blocks creating objects that look like crinkled salami and giant McCoy’s crisps.

  10. List-its-nice-thativar-wigan_princess_2012

    Images of gangs and strippers are nothing new, and their creation is fraught with the risk of appearing insensitive and patronising at best, exploitative at worst. So for them to pique our interest, they have to be very special. The works of Scotland-born photographer Ivar Wigan are. Ivar’s recent work has seen him documenting the street culture of Miami, Atlanta and New Orleans, and their often seedy, rarely glamorous underpinnings. And while the images undoubtedly have a voyeuristic slant, central to them is a sense of admiration and empathy, rather than pity or profiteering.

  11. Thomaswilliams-bolo-itsnicethat-list

    Australian designer Thomas Williams’ work has appeared on the site several times over the years, in the shape of his editorial work for MADE, Nourished Journal and The Process Journal. He has recently decamped to Los Angeles and set up his own studio, Thomas Williams & Co., which comes complete with a newly updated site on which you can peruse his publication work alongside all manner of considered and communicative identity projects.

  12. Chwast_nose_08-1020x1600its-nice-that-list

    I don’t use the word “iconic” lightly, but in the case of designer Seymour Chwast, it fits. Co-founder of Push Pin studios, Seymour shaped what graphic design and being a graphic designer meant in the 20th Century, creating images that not only looked incredible, but distilled a message that could be anything from a light-hearted comment on design itself to an anti-smoking poster. His much-imitated graphic and illustration style still holds up brilliantly today, as proved by a fantastic new online resource, the Seymour Chwast archive.

  13. Ruth_van_beek_rehearsal_it's_nice_that_list

    London is the most Instagrammed city in the world, but this week photography has hit the capital like never before. Over the next four days some 70 galleries have taken up residence under Somerset House’s neoclassical roof, bringing together a mix of vintage and contemporary prints for the largest photography fair ever held in London.

  14. List-naonori_yago_laforet_itsnicethat_1

    I’m all for a bargain but when I hear about people queuing up at 4:30am for the big Next sale every year I can’t help but sigh. Surely sleeping is more preferable to numb lips chapping in the wind as you stand next to other haggard shoppers? Even bigger than Next’s sale is Japanese department store Laforet HARAJUKU’s annual “Grand Bazar,” which has taken sale shopping to a new level.

  15. List-george-douglas-holy-mountain-its-nice-that

    George Douglas seems like a pretty cool guy – he’s chosen to immortalise David Lynch’s notoriously tricky Inland Empire and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s weird as hell surrealist classic The Holy Mountain in poster form, after all. But it’s not just his penchant for the peculiar side of celluloid we’re interested in – it’s his deft approach to collage, a medium often done shoddily but all the more impressive when done well. George is based in Edinburgh, and alongside his film posters he also creates well-composed works formed of abstract shapes and often murky colours, which could work just as well across the pages of a creatively minded commissioning editor’s publication as on more esoteric applications.

  16. Kate_prior_itsnicethat_list

    Kate Prior’s bright, tongue-in-cheek and colourful illustrations have secured her commissions for The New Yorker , ASOS, Adidas and Pitchfork among others. Kate is currently working as an in-house illustrator for Urban Outfitters in Europe and the USA, but she still remembers drawing in more humble surroundings at her parents house, “as a way to keep me quiet.”

  17. Michaelcraig-martin-onbeinganartist-istnicethat-list

    In some circumstances, calling a book On Being An Artist would seem pretentious and pompous, but if anyone knows about being an artist, it’s Michael Craig-Martin. Over his extraordinary career he has studied with Chuck Close and Richard Serra, met the likes of Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, John Cage and Charles Saatchi, had work shown at Tate Modern, the Pompidou Centre and MoMA, and taught some of the YBAs’ leading lights including Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas.

  18. Territorystudio-marvelavengers-itsnicethat-list2

    At last month’s digital-themed Nicer Tuesdays we heard from David Sheldon Hicks and Peter Eszenyi of London-based Territory Studio, which specialises in creating UI interfaces for Hollywood blockbusters. This year they have worked on two massive movies in the shape of Alex Garland’s Ex Machina and the much-anticipated new Marvel offering Avengers: Age of Ultron.

  19. Grahamlinehan-here-itsnicethat-list

    Few figures have had more of an impact on contemporary British television than Graham Linehan. As the creator of Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd, he helped redefine the sitcom landscape and won five BAFTAS in the process.

  20. Unnamed-1

    Certain things signal that we’ve broken the back of the week – the intensification of social plans, the sing-song siren call of the weekend and the arrival of our Studio Audience podcast. This week we’re taking on all the big issues (in a specific art and design context) – including Grayson Perry’s Dream House project, Airbnb floating a 70-tonne house down the Thames (plus backlash!) and this year’s Designs of the Year category winners.

  21. Grads2015-category

    STUDENTS! Peel your foreheads from your desks, put down your Sharpies, and press pause on the printers – it’s time to enter your work for the chance to be one of It’s Nice That’s Graduates of 2015.

  22. Marcel-ingloriousfruits-itsnicethat-list

    After the Design Museum names its six category winners for the 2015 Designs of the Year, Rob Alderson argues that the victor in the graphics section is a very worthy winner. You can add your thoughts using the comment thread below.

  23. Ah_ha_ciclovia_de_aveiro_it's_nice_that_list

    “Studio AH-HA started as an experiment. We never took ourselves too seriously, and we think that is why things have been working out,” say Carolina Cantante and Catarina Carreiras. For the last three years the Portuguese designers have been making lovely things out of their studio just a stone’s throw from the Lisbon City Museum and the university where they studied and met. Between them, Carolina and Catarina cut their teeth working with some of their heroes; Catarina at Fabrica with designer Sam Baron, who they still collaborate with, and Carolina at the renowned OMA led by “starchitect” Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam.

  24. List-alexey-kondakov-photoshop-its-nice-that

    Imagine if sweet little cherubs had to travel on the bus, rather than by their wings or by magic and faith and all those other more abstract things. Ukrainian art director Alexey Kondakov not only imagined what these celestial figures would look like on the bus, but realised his imaginings through Photoshop to share with all of us. For his series The Daily Life Of Gods, he’s taken figures from classical art and popped them in car parks, on public transport, and in decrepit back yards. They somehow look like they belong there, their forlorn expressions and sad demeanours matching the tatty seats of the bus or the pissy stone floors of the subway. It’s very silly, but very fun, even if Alexey would have us believe it’s got a more serious undertone. “I thought, ‘What if I invite these [gods] into our reality and imagine they are on streets of modern Kiev?’", he says. "… My project is about life.”

  25. Emily_stein_ponyclub_2its-nice-that-list

    Emily Stein is one of those photographers who manages to distill joy and affection into a single image, taking a snapshot of time and energy that bursts out of the frame. In her newest series, Pony Club, the feverish intensity of these kids’ love of rosettes, silks and above all, sweet hairy little ponies is palpable, with just the same amount of effervescence and fun as her previous projects looking at teenagers in a moshpit or kids blowing bubblegum.

  26. Andygilmore-itsnicethat-list

    It’s no real surprise to learn that image-maker Andy Gilmore is also a musician because his geometric compositions feel orchestrated. The New York-based creative brings colour, shape and pattern together in tightly formatted visual symphonies which swell to become more than the sum of their parts, dazzling the eye and tricking the brain simultaneously. It’s been three years since we last featured Andy’s work on the site but he’s as in demand as ever, with clients like Ogilvy NY, Wired and The New York Times queuing up for a bit of his brilliance.

  27. Be_elastic_snap_list

    Bigger is always better they say, but when you live in a flat or anywhere that’s not a barn this is impossible, as far as furniture’s concerned. Days spent walking around furniture shops, friends’ houses and skips armed with a tape measure and a recurring sense of disappointment can become disheartening even for the most optimistic shopper. You’re left with a choice; either learn carpentry or buy a table that will give you bruised shins every time you squeeze past. But fear not, for product design company Be-elastic has created SNAP to end all your table-top woes.

  28. Parterre_de_rois_list

    Biannual magazine Paterre de Rois seamlessly weaves contemporary culture with relevant masterpieces from the past. The latest instalment, titled Rebellion, is a hot mix of punchy, full-bleed images, engaging copy and an assortment of paper textures. Editors Molly Molloy (fashion designer for Marni womenswear) and Gianni Tozzi (creative director for FutureBrand Milan) are passionate about print, and here Molly selects five books that proudly sit on their bookshelf. Informing their work past and present, these publications have provided guidance, inspiration and visual delight in one form or another for the pair.

  29. Brian-wilson-california-inspires-me-its-nice-that-list-

    We didn’t really need an animation to tell us how much California has inspired The Beach Boys. But nonetheless, when a sweet, pencil-drawn Brian Wilson is telling us exactly why through a beautifully crafted animation by James Blagden, we’re certainly not complaining. Aside from obvious cues like songs called California Girls and the less well-received California Saga: California; the band is synonymous with surfing and the US West Coast, though as many a pub bore has been swift to point out, only one member of the band, Dennis, actually surfed. However, throughout the animation’s two-and-a-half minutes we do learn a lot. “I was listening to Rubber Soul one night and I was so blown away I went straight to my piano to start writing Pet Sounds. I was like outta my mind. And it took us an hour – only about an hour to write God Only Knows.”

  30. Aleksandra_kingo_la_monda_its_nice_that_list

    By now fashion photography has fully embraced awkward imagery. The tasteful and the kitsch sit side-by-side in such a way that strange juxtapositions, unnatural body language and odd props can all add up to make a successful image. Lithuanian photographer Aleksandra Kingo takes on some of these ideas in her eye-catching, surreal pictures.

  31. List

    Ben Tallon’s new book explores the difficult transition to going freelance which many in the creative world make, and by which many more are tempted. To mark the publication of Champagne and Wax Crayons Ben has written a piece about how he found taking that giant leap. You can add your thoughts below…

  32. Antonio_ladrillo_lines_it's_nice_that_list

    Back with a colourful series of minimal, origami-like creations, Antonio Ladrillo’s Colors, Lines and Dots continues the same optimism and sense of play that has made the Barcelona-based illustrator is an It’s Nice That favourite. You may remember our enthusiasm for his exhibition of 40 small paintings on repurposed wood, Crash or his book Being a ghost is cool! The three new softcover books are designed with the same cuts, folds and palette but use different patterns, taking on multiple 2D and 3D combinations like folding cards. Part papercraft, part publication, like all of Antonio’s sunny portfolio, Colors, Lines and Dots is simple yet striking.