Article Archive

  1. Tim-brown-int-list

    As a one-time news journalist (albeit at a very low level) I have a real affinity for reportage illustrators. George Butler is one of the best around and this new film by Tim Brown which follows him on a three-week trip to Afghanistan provides a great insight into his finely-honed talents. On his first trip to the war-torn country George was embedded with British troops, but he hungered to draw the locals whose lives had been so irrevocably changed over recent years. “I was always aware that over the walls there were millions of people getting on with their lives,” he says.

  2. Ines-cox-int-list

    Scrolling through what feels like an endless array of projects, it’s difficult to believe that Ines Cox only founded her studio last year. Since parting ways with former partner Lauren Grusenmeyer, co-founder of five-year endeavour Cox & Grusenmeyer, Ines has branched out on her own to establish an eponymous practice based in Antwerp. While she still includes much of her old work with Lauren in her portfolio, her new work demonstrates an exciting and playful approach to typography and innovative poster design.

  3. Dot-dash-flatpack-int-list

    Film festivals and great graphic design go together like Powell and Pressburger; as proven by the identity for Iceland’s Stockfish Film Festival, and Dot Dash’s designs for Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham.

  4. Liamsaintpierre-dominicwilcox-int-list

    We have often spoken about the difficulties of films profiling creative figures and the disappointment when they fall back on familiar and formulaic tropes. This film from Liam Saint Pierre though shows how it should be done. It helps of course that his subject – the artist and designer Dominic Wilcox – is so interesting and directs his razor-sharp creative mind into all manner of silly inventions. “Let’s do the ridiculous and by doing the ridiculous something else might come of it,” says Dominic at one point in a line that could be his mantra.

  5. Elcaf-int-list

    The East London Comics and Arts Festival (ELCAF) has just announced its 2015 dates, and after the storming success of last year this year it’s doubling up! Not only is the one day extravaganza growing to fill a full weekend across 20 and 21 June, but it’s also going to be filling two different venues with its trademark workshops and talks, and a new series of masterclasses held in collaboration with the House of Illustration.

  6. Silent-studios-int-list

    If you were lucky enough to have been at British designer Anya Hindmarch’s SS14 show at London Fashion Week, you’ll have been in for a big surprise. As the models walked coolly up and down the catwalk in Anya’s signature designs the lights slowly began to fall, and a fun electronic musical accompaniment made way for an ethereal swathe of sound. Slowly, a series of giant planetary orbs moved into place above the audience and the bags suspended from the ceiling rose to meet them, while two aerialists swung gracefully from one star to another in a luxurious and otherworldly display of astronomy meeting fashion.

  7. Kingadz-autenticity-list

    In the branding and advertising world, authenticity seems to have become the Holy Grail. Seemingly melded to whatever people need it to convey, it’s become a buzzword whose significance has mushroomed while its meaning has all but vanished. With this in mind King Adz, aka Adam N. Stone – whose new book Unbrandable is out this summer – considers what authenticity really means in a contemporary creative context. You can add your thoughts using the comment thread below…

  8. Spuren_cover_00-int-list

    Brighten the Corners (the name comes from the Pavement album!) is a design studio split in two – it’s made up of Frank Philippin and Billy Kiosoglou and based in both London and Odenwald, Germany – so it makes sense that it has two bookshelves to show for it, too. The studio’s portfolio of work includes some very impressive stuff for the likes of Anish Kapoor, Frieze, the British Council and the Department of Education, and with fingers in such diverse pies we were keen to see the books Billy and Frank were drawing on for inspiration. So here they are!

  9. Farah-al-qasimi-int-list

    Photographer Farah Al Qasimi lives and works between Dubai and New York; her series The World Is Sinking depicts the areas of Dubai that prosperity forgets, all decayed McDonalds signs and bright murals surrounded by detritus. They’re great, I’m not sure if Farah uses high-saturation film or if Dubai is just consistently this sweet shade of saccharin – either way, I’m into it. She captures sand sculptures, bins and empty foyers with real aplomb. Farah graduated from Yale in 2012, and has since exhibited at Fotofest Abu Dhabi, New Yorks School of Visual Arts and the Meridian Art Center in Washington DC.

  10. List

    Our fourth annual Here symposium takes place in the summer and in the run-up to the event we’ll be looking at some of the stellar speakers who’ve graced the stage in previous years. Here is all about insight and inspiration, through accessible and enlightening talks from an international array of artists and designers, from big names to cutting-edge practitioners. Over the next few weeks the It’s Nice That team will be flagging up some of their favourite talks from the past three years, and next up is Karl Toomey who chose Giles Duley’s 2012 talk…

  11. Fka-twigs-int-list2

    FKA twigs has become the poster girl for everything that’s contemporary and cool. Her music is cutting edge, her style is unmatched and her videos always cause a stir. This new one is no different; directed by the artist herself in collaboration with Boots, Glass & Patron features a pregnant Twigs giving birth to a sea of colour in characteristically creepy settings. Cue a seriously heavy bassline, voguing in the woods and a cast of characters part human part cyborg who round things off nicely. If I’m honest the first minute or so almost lost my attention, but the rewards of the second half left me slack-jawed and wide-eyed. Now hold that pose for me…

  12. Int-hiring-banner-list

    Have you ever logged onto It’s Nice That of a morning, flicked through a copy of Printed Pages magazine or sat (chuckling, probably) through one of our events and thought, ‘I wouldn’t mind being a part of that’? Well now’s your chance as we’re looking for a Senior Art Director to come and join our team here in London.

  13. 4creative-grandnational-int-list

    When a promo advert for one of the world’s most famous horse races drops into my inbox I have certain preconceptions about what’s it’s going to look like – mainly close-ups of thundering hooves and gurning punters. It’s fair to say this Grand National spot from Channel 4’s 4Creative agency and Nexus directors Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes confounded all of my expectations.

  14. Isis-int-main

    I met Derek when I was at a a talk by rock and roll photographer Jill Furmanovsky in London’s Rockarchive space. Back in 1985, Derek Barker set up a zine specifically designed and printed for Bob Dylan fans called ISIS. The publication, which comes out every two months and is sent to subscribers worldwide, is a collection of news stories, photos and open-sourced articles all about the ever-touring, legendary man himself. Fanzines and fan-related music content has changed a lot since the 1980s, and so we decided to ask Derek some questions about why he makes the magazine, and how his audience and the general concept of a fanzine has changed over the years. Here he is.

  15. Snask-printing-friends-int-list

    “Oh for Christ’s sake how many more independent food magazines could there possibly be?” someone is probably asking right now as they look at this article – and to be fair to them, they’d have a point. But fret not, we aren’t here to herald the arrival of another culinary periodical geared towards the aesthetically-minded foodie. This is in fact Issue 8 of the litho-lover’s fanbook, Printing Friends and the food theme is just a one-off.

  16. List

    British photographer Carl Bigmore is living out a childhood obsession with the USA. The Londoner has just rounded off a project called Between Two Mysteries that’s seen him trawling the Pacific Northwest documenting the daily lives of its inhabitants; using personal pop culture references to contextualise the people he meets. “Since settlers followed the perilous Oregon Trail in search of prosperity in the 1800s,” he says, “the American imagination has left its imprint on the landscape. Oregon is forever haunted by the Overlook Hotel in Kubrick’s The Shining and its chilling analysis of the nation’s conflicted soul.”

  17. Two-int-list

    Italian studio Think Work Observe designed a pricelist for furniture design company Tacchini and it’s made an already delectable furniture collection even more appealing. Its use of close to fifty shades of grey and austere, considered layout of sofas and chairs gives the publication a lifespan and potential audience you wouldn’t otherwise expect for a brand’s pricelist. Every technical detail in Tacchini’s collection is covered and all on lovely Fedrigoni papers.

  18. Jacksmith-npg-int-list

    For the first time ever a show at the National Portrait Gallery in London contains no human faces. Jack Smith: Abstract Portraits which opened late last week is the first exhibition in the gallery’s 159-year history that includes no figurative portraits as Smith’s work is made up of abstract shapes and colours. Of course there’s nothing new about the idea of a portrait being something other than a traditional head and shoulders painting, but it is noteworthy that one of London’s leading galleries should take such a decisive step.

  19. Galvin-bros--int-list

    Driving through the Yorkshire countryside in a big, silver, Galvin Brothers van, it’s clear as the country air that this is a company that’s resolutely tied to its roots in the small town of Beverley, near Hull. Co-founder Matthew Galvin, who’s behind the wheel, seems to know everyone: he waves at a man walking his dog, who it turns out has worked with the brothers on a few bits and bobs, he points out his mum’s old house on a gorgeous chocolate box street, and we spend an hour or so in the beautiful Galvin Brothers shop, manned by the lovely lady herself. Perhaps it’s a northern thing, this sense of everyone mucking in, community and friendliness; perhaps it’s because Matt’s just a really nice bloke. Either way, it’s surely these qualities that have helped see the company take its place as one of the most sought after and respected UK furniture brands in only two years.

  20. Beakus-philippa-perry-int-list

    It’s been an impressive fortnight at Beakus HQ with great animations coming thick and fast from their team of directors. Last week we lapped up their exploration of the origins of the Magna Carta for the British Museum, in which Gergely Wootsch’s drawings were expertly combined with Terry Jones’ distinctive voice.

  21. Gilesduley-legacyofwar-int-list

    A few months ago I had a beer with Giles Duley and conversation turned to what he was up to work-wise. He was relaxed, breezy even, when he told me he was hoping to launch a multi-faceted, multi-platform exploration of the ongoing effects of conflicts after they’ve supposedly ended. It sounded insanely ambitious; it also made whatever my professional plans were at the time seem pathetically puny. But on Friday, Giles’ project Legacy of War became a reality as it reached its £20,000 Kickstarter goal.

  22. Weekender-list

    To celebrate the astrological enigma and apocalyptically exciting event that was today’s eclipse – which we all saw, and wasn’t an anti-climax at all – here’s The Weekender! A round-up of the art and design news that has eclipsed everything else this week, at least in our eyes. Happy Weekend!

  23. Kg-int-main

    Having moved to New York in the early 1980s to pursue her visual art career, Kim Gordon fell into playing music off the back of downtown Manhattan’s no wave scene and its collapse. Her first musical performance was in an exhibition of the artist Dan Graham, who had asked her to perform as part of an all-girl band, which she said afterwards had been like a “high-altitude ride.” Soon after, Sonic Youth was formed and now we have Girl in a Band; the memoir of the band, Kim’s artwork, relationships, growing up and the cities that framed it all. We spoke to Kim earlier this week about umbrella terms, suburbia and not being boring.

  24. Angiewang-int-main

    Angie Wang is FANTASTIC, she’s hands-down my absolute favourite new illustrator. Her work is an explosive, jelly bean-coloured tangle of cool girls, comic books, hair, nature and clouds: dreamy waves of cuteness and attitude floating along on the backs of ghosts. Some of her drawings may appear silly and adorable, but underneath the fuzziness is a melancholy wisdom of the world around her. She has an ability to capture what only the best kinds of comics do: aspects of life that are loving, scary, otherworldly and magnificent.

  25. Craigoldham-int-main

    Last week a book arrived in our office via the hands of It’s Nice That director Alex Bec. He told us all it was created by Craig Oldham, who he had just seen give a brilliant talk about the creation of the publication. It’s called In Loving Memory of Work, and it is a spectacularly well-designed, excitingly and refreshingly well-informed book documenting the UK miners’ strike between 1984 and 1985. For something so long, violent and shocking that happened in recent history, I’ve sometimes felt that the miners’ strike hasn’t really been talked about as much as it should have been. But I can see why: it’s hard to get to grips with something that horrible happening to so many people and so nearby.

  26. Gaggero-ra-annual-report-int-list

    Proving that annual reports don’t have to be painfully dull, here’s a great example of a fab design studio working with a fab client to get all those tricky numbers and things down in a visually engaging, clear and rather beautiful way. Said client is the Royal Academy, and said studio is Gaggero Works, which created the designs around the concept that “the RA is a place where art happens; a place where art is made, exhibited and debated.” The report is split into two books, Accounts and Report, bound together using a bright yellow belly band which adds a much needed line of playfulness under the rather heavy-going subject matter.

  27. Zeloot-int-list-2

    Look at the giant bulbous characters! The boy clamping his hand between his own giant gnashers! The tiny hairy willy floating in mid-air with a bunch of other body parts! This collection could be the work of one woman only and that woman is Eline Van Dam, aka Zeloot, a Dutch illustrator with a taste for the funny, the weird and the generally brilliant. She’s been hard at work of late with a stack of commissions for the likes of Vrij Nederland and The New York Times among others, all of whom are thoroughly enamoured with her unique style. As are we.

  28. Jayme-spinks-int-list

    Frustratingly we’ve just put together a feature on Montreal for the Spring 2015 issue of Printed Pages and if we’d known of Jayme’s existence before yesterday we’d definitely have asked her to show us around. Hers is a diverse range of clients and projects that encompass everything from playful (award-winning) sexual health resources for queer women, to slick, sensual record sleeves for Canadian singer/songwriter Dinah Thorpe. In between there are artist books, posters and exhibition catalogues, all of which demonstrate Jayme’s tailored approach to design; never relying on stylistic tropes or trends of the moment.

  29. Barzilai-int-list

    If you’re currently experiencing some love-related dramas allow me to gently suggest you don’t take them to Pauline Barzilaï for sorting. The French illustrator’s new project Les Peines de l’Amour, a sweet illustrated series on rose pink paper, takes a great sledgehammer to tender affairs of the heart, and smashes them all to pieces with a brutally funny satirical edge.

  30. Annaginsburg-int-list

    I can imagine that pitching for music videos can be a really interesting process: “Well, we’re going to dress her up in an outfit made of dog treats and hot dog sausages, and have her run around in an underground carpark with two massive Alsatians.”

  31. Acarpenters-dancing-3-int_copy

    Adam Carpenter is quite rightly Instagram-famous for his daily 15-second dance videos, which have now been turned into three minutes and 23 seconds of dancing for Low Cut Connie’s new music video Shake It Little Tina. The video sees Adam jiggle his way through old people’s homes, hospital appointments, interactions with law enforcers and pool-side antics. As much as we all like to perpetuate the impression of high-brow humour, there are few things more entertaining than pretending to fart fireworks whilst dressed up like Uncle Sam at a sports day.

  32. Studio-audience-lemon_list

    Fantastic podcast this week in which we discuss some art and design news including the new Alexander McQueen show at the V&A, a Tinder bot sensation sweeping over SXSW Festival, and how you can delve into the creative culture of a city when you are only there for a short while. Thanks to everyone who got in touch this week and for your kind words and a BIG thank you to designer David Pearson who submitted our opening question. Any other feedback much appreciated, just tweet in or leave comments in the box below. See ya next week!