Article Archive

  1. Nicer_tuesdays_books_list_image

    Nicer Tuesdays is back, and this month we’re joined by four creatives who are each exploring the world of books in wonderful and unique ways.

  2. Dameon_wardhang_itsnicethat_list

    With ambiguous titles such as Chemistry, Estate and The Figures, illustrator Dämeon Wardhang leaves his lively work to speak for itself. The London-based artist creates orderly clusters of colour that look like a modern take on ancient drawings.

  3. The-mercadantes-color-its-nice-that-list

    Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones, something which directorial duo (and married couple) The Mercadantes grasp perfectly. They describe themselves as making films that “celebrate life,” and their new film, Color, is no exception. The sweet little short takes us on a journey through the rainbow guided by a series of pieces of film and photography of objects linked by nothing but their hue, from an egg, to Yoda, to a toilet’s engaged sign and a big yellow taxi. The editing is sublime and a Mozart soundtrack is a great fit, all coming together to drive home the idea that beauty and colour can be found in even the most seemingly banal objects.

  4. David-vintiner-gem-fletcher--itsnicethat-list

    Traditions are funny things, aren’t they? What seems on first impression to be just man wearing a spacesuit made out of moss (why not?) is in actual fact a highly revered aspect of the Corpus Christi procession in Bejar, Spain. And if it weren’t for art director Gem Fletcher and photographer David Vintiner, who laboriously investigated and documented the process, I’d be none the wiser.

  5. List-galvin-brothers-jameson-its-nice-that--product--console-bench

    Last time we met the Galvin Brothers, we were driving around the Yorkshire countryside where they apparently knew everybody, and the pair was just gearing up to create a range of designs for “whiskey drinkers.” The project was a part of The Jameson Works, a community for makers which sees the whiskey brand work with creatives on different projects, each one focusing on the process of how they make what they make. In this case, it was a range of furniture for a bar that would best suit drinking whiskey.

  6. Wong-ping-prada-raw-int-list

    Prada is no stranger to ingenious collaborations, and the more eccentric, the better. With a longstanding reputation for pushing the envelope with its campaigns, counting contemporary artist Francesco Vezzoli, filmmaker Wes Anderson and architect Rem Koolhaas among its many collaborators, Prada’s directional relationship with the arts has consistently made the fashion house a trailblazer. Miuccia Prada – the inimitable woman behind the label – even has a Carsten Höller slide winding down from her office, and her well-known patronage was only further crystallised earlier this year with Fondazione Prada’s new arts venue in Milan.

  7. Ewen-spencer-itsnicethat-list

    I’ve got nothing but admiration for household name photographers who, even at the peak of their careers, use zines to get their freshest work out into the world. Cue Ewen Spencer’s newest edition of Guapamente, a staple-bound photobook which peers guilelessly into a new subculture with each issue, and which is now on issue number four. This time around it’s Jam & Cheese he’s getting out into the world, a collection of photos of the skaters who take over East London’s Stratford Centre overnight at the weekends, wearing skates built out of ice skates, and ready to forget everything except skating.

  8. Nina_kazanova_token_itsnicethat_list

    Nina Kazanova captures the virtual world perfectly in the identity she’s created for Token, a virtual reality festival of the arts that focuses on new technologies and how they manifest themselves in our environment. While I’ve had trouble working out whether this Moscow-based festival even exists in the real world, it’s a great project that references the kind of futuristic imagery seen in the 80s and 90s with a fluorescently tropical palette of pinks, purples and greens.

  9. Fraser-muggerige-barbican-happening-its-nice-that-list

    The worlds of conceptual art and functional graphic design cross perhaps less often than they should. But creating a piece of design that has to perform in a commercial sense and the expression of complex, looser artistic ideas can come together beautifully, as exemplified in the little corner devoted to graphic design at the Barbican’s current show by Doug Aitken, Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening.

  10. Dnandco-st-james-itsnicethat-list

    How exactly do you go about rebranding an area, especially one bookended by Mayfair and Soho in central London, which has been largely forgotten about by Londoners? When The Crown Estate turned to dn&co. for assistance in giving St James’s a bit of a makeover, the agency decided to consider every element of the region’s luxury status, from its street presence, through windows, hoardings and building wraps, to a new quarterly newspaper and website. Safe to say, it was no small task.

  11. Jarvis-cocker-its-nice-that-tlist

    Pulp frontman, solo artist and deep-voiced saviour of Sunday afternoon radio Jarvis Cocker has turned his hand to art, in the form of his Paris exhibition 20 Golden greats. The works on show are “gold records” – fictitious awards that explore the mythology of the artefacts of the same name so often cited in rock biographies. In truth, the accolades have no value whatsoever, according to the gallery showing Jarvis’s work, “not only because they usually aren’t at all made with gold, but moreover because they are generally crafted in a manner at best vaguely artistic, and at worst, perfectly kitsch."

  12. Mr-bingo-stills-itsnicethat-list

    If you’ve been paying close attention you’ll remember that magical evening a few months back when illustrator Mr Bingo performed a rap about the wonders of stock imagery at our monthly Nicer Tuesdays event. If you don’t, I can happily announce that he’s back with a new one, and this time it comes with tighter rhymes, swaggy moves and extraordinarily high production values.

  13. Basquiat_warhol_guggenheim_int_list

    From subway graffitist to art world darling, Jean-Michel Basquiat was perhaps the quintessential New York artist. Before he came to embody that particularly urbane trinity of poetry, jazz and painting, the Brooklyn prodigy was spray painting cryptic messages on Lower Manhattan buildings under the moniker SAMO and selling sweatshirts and postcards emblazoned with his work. Basquiat was one of several graffiti artists to transition to the gallery, but the only one with such a meteoric ascent and with such staying power. By his early twenties he counted Andy Warhol as a friend and collaborator, and his impassioned brand of countercultural painting had completely taken New York by storm.

  14. Limparfaite-itsnicethat-list-2

    I know what you’re thinking – “oh, jolly good – another indie mag repurposing erotica” – but happily, Paris-based magazine L’imparfaite does much more than most sexy mags. Founded in 2009 by graduates from the prestigious Sciences Po Paris institute of political studies, the publication was conceived as a kind of revolution. “The journal drew much attention by offering critical inquiry into gender and sexuality and by literally undressing the future elite of French politics,” the editors explain. “Since then, the journal has extended its reach beyond the academy and welcomed contributions by writers and photographers from around the world.”

  15. Nicolas-menard-gif-its-nice-that-list

    We’ve been showering Nicolas Ménard with love ever since he was our student of the month way back in 2012, and we’re about to turn that tap on all over again. The graphic artist and animator has just graduated from the RCA, and his site boasts a supremely accomplished selection of recent work including some mesmerising monochrome GIFs. These were taken from a the Tourist’s Illuminate music video directed by young Nic and produced at Nexus. It’s a hugely impressive project on its own – as a dedicated Tumblr attests– but the fact it can be so neatly broken into GIFs that look complete in their own right is testament to Nicolas’ skill.

  16. Agile-films-action-man-its-nice-that-list

    Sometimes the most disturbing, troubling but important things are best delivered with dark humour and a large dose of the unexpected. Such is the case in this powerful animation from Veterans for Peace, which sends up an advert for Action Man figures to drive home their campaign to end child recruitment into the British Armed Forces and raise the age people can join from 16 to 18.

  17. Tres_tipos_graficos_itsnicethat_list

    Spanish studio Tres Tipos Gráficos has created these simple posters for plays that ran last season at Teatro de La Abadía, a theatre and performing arts facility in Madrid. The studio has represented each production with a photograph that encapsulates the general feeling and atmosphere of the play as opposed to a specific scene or character to encourage the audience to create their own interpretations.

  18. Weekender-list

    Scorchio!” is the word of the week for the Weekender. It’s been a joy to have the sun beaming down on us so perpetually, and to avoid wishing that heat away the Weekender is adopting a sensible summer regimen to get through it. This includes a daily dose of ice cream of your choice, the right to say “God it’s hot!” up to eight times a day and a uniform of loose-fitting bits of material that we can get away with calling “clothes.” If you want the same prescription as the Weekender read on ahead and come see us after – we’ll be melting in the park dreaming of paddling pools.

  19. Raymond_cauchetier_itsnicethat_list

    During the 60s Raymond Cauchetier was a film set photographer on some of the most important films of the French New Wave. From À Bout de Souffle to Jules et Jim, Raymond was among the stars and directors that made this period of time so remarkable including Jean Seberg, Anna Karina, Francois Truffant and Jean Luc Godard. His photos were originally intended for continuity and sometimes publicity, but Raymond saw himself as more of a photojournalist and captured images that showed all of the set: shooting on handheld cameras, the unplanned scenes and the initial conversations between the actors and directors.

  20. Things_int_june_2015_list

    I’m not quite sure how it’s already July, but another month has rolled by which means it’s time for a studio round-up of all things bright and beautiful. This month we’ve had everything from a spoof map of the stars set in “the most boring part of Hollywood,” a great little book of illustrations and rhyming one-liners about a stalker, and a couple of attention-grabbing alternatives to business cards and work-update emails. Here’s June!

  21. List-sculpture-in-the-city-its-nice-that-tomoaki-suzuki-'zezi'-courtesy-corvi-mora_-london

    As this week’s public art-themed Nicer Tuesdays reminded us, it’s all too easy to take the masterpieces in full view around the city for granted. And while there’s a plethora of work to see all year round in many cities across the UK, from next week the City of London is placing work by the likes of Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei and Adam Chodzko around the Square Mile to add a little culture to the landscape of our wolves of Threadneedle Street. This is the fifth year of the programme, Sculpture in the City, and will see a total of 14 works go on show. They will remain in situ until May next year.

  22. Chris-simpsons-artist-creative-jobs-its-nice-that-list

    Working in the creative industries can surely be odd enough at times, but to add an extra dollop of the ludicrous and surreal is Chris (Simpsons Artist), who’s helpfully depicted how ten creative roles really pan out. Often worryingly accurate (see production runner making tea, illustrator who has “left it to the last minute”) and always hilariously strange, the series was commissioned by creative industries network Hiive and gives a nice gentle rib tickle to graphic designers, who may or may not spend all day using a Wacom to scroll about over images of sausages.

  23. Gurafiku-itsnicet

    Clicking on to Japanese graphic design website Gurafiku is something like stepping feet first into a black hole of graphic design. Started by Chicago-based designer and researcher Ryan Hageman in 2009 as a way to learn more about the history of graphic design in Japan, it has since grown into a archive which spans over 200 years of work, from the 1800s all the way up to the present day.

  24. Nudinits-its-nice-that-list-

    In one of the more surreal email missives I have received, Sarah Simi informed me of her equally surreal labour of love: an entirely hand-knitted stop motion animation set in a charming little town called Woolly Bush. All of its quaint inhabitants are totally starkers, save the odd pearly king hat, vicar’s collar or socks and sandals combo. Named Nudinits and animated by Ed Hartwell, the detail is extraordinary: from tiny bubbles on beer and a little cat poop to some woolled-up bible passages, nothing has been missed.

  25. Helena_hauss_itsnicethat_list

    While elegant fountain pens and carefully crafted pencils are a joy to write and doodle with, there’s something familiar and comforting about casting lines of biro onto a clean sheet of paper. With the infinite motion of the ball point beneath your fingertips, there’s a level of control that other tools just can’t give you. Someone who shares my biro love is Paris-based illustrator Helena Hauss, who creates fantastically intricate biro drawings.

  26. List-nationwide_howitshouldbe1

    D&AD has announced the winners of the New Blood Awards, which celebrate young creatives. The winners were selected from designers that responded to real briefs set by Airbnb, BBC, WWF, Facebook, Nationwide, npower, Pantone, i-D, Monotype, John Lewis, TalkTalk, VICE, WeTransfer and WPP. The awards are open to anyone in full or part-time education, recent graduates who finished their course within the past two years and anyone 23 or under.

  27. Sophie-list

    Fashion communication and styling student and It’s Nice That Graduate Sophie Mayanne has an incredibly strong portfolio of images that play with the notions of self-expression. To Sophie, London seemed the obvious choice when deciding which university to go to. “I was living in a small countryside village and had this big idea that London was the place I needed to be,” she says. “So I scoured university courses for something that could be my indefinite route there.” During her time there, she saw it as a period of growing up: “Time at university matures you,” she says. “You learn, you’re tested, but still smiling at the end.”

  28. Ellen-list

    Ellen Syrjala’s work manages to capture the beauty in the everyday, and that’s part of the reason why photography student is one of our It’s Nice That Graduates this year. Studying at London College of Communication, it’s been a personal mission of hers to see beyond the commercialism of photography. “I chose to go to art school because a photographer once told me at the age of 17 that ‘you cannot succeed as an artist,’” she says. “It’s bollocks. I wanted to prove her wrong, and that there was more to photography than pillow adverts.”

  29. Anna-list

    With careful composition and a beautiful colour palette, it’s hard to resist illustration student and It’s Nice That Graduate Anna Skeels’ wonderful work. Finding her stride while studying at Camberwell College of Arts, Anna, like many of us, felt the stresses and pressures of university but has come out smiling: “I’ve met some of my favourite people there and am finally happy with the work I’m producing, so it’s definitely been worth it,” Anna explains.

  30. Joel-list

    Over years of putting together innovative degree shows and churning out ideas-based projects instead of aesthetically pleasing ones, Kingston’s graphic design students have established a firm place for themselves in the industry as thinking way outside the box. Joel Antoine-Wilkinson is the next in line proving this tradition to be true. The graphic designer is fresh from a degree at Kingston, where he worked on projects including a campaign intended to help young people connect with the NHS, using distorted mirrors in public bathrooms, and an exploration of man-made limits which took him inside the barriers at the British Museum and the National Gallery.[link]

  31. Dillon-list

    Graphic design graduate Dillon Biltcliffe Newell is one of a new generation of designers who are experimenting with traditional media in innovative and newfangled ways. Taking long-established means of communication from typography to print publications and blending them to create an authentic visual language, we were drawn to his experimental approach. With projects ranging from an investigation into forms of communication used by students at Brighton University, to a book of poems written by his beekeeper mother and preserved in wax, Dillon’s practice deals less in finding solutions to problems, and more with the new application of existing aesthetics. He’s forging a new discipline which blends illustration and design with more abstract concepts, and it’s compelling stuff.

  32. Lewis-list

    Lewis-John Henderson makes paintings that feel like a cross between Pop Art, and that episode of The Magic Schoolbus where they travel inside one of their fellow pupils’ bodies in order to see his red blood cells up close. His large-scale brightly coloured works, which veer from abstract line-based works to curvaceous blocks and recurring shapes, merge influences from contemporary art with something altogether new – and we couldn’t help by be swayed by them.