Article Archive

  1. Jaimezuverza-itsnicethat-main

    If you ever want to read a truly inspiring interview with one of the coolest designers out there, look no further than this one with Jaime Zuverza we ran on the site back in 2013. In it Jaime said: “Lately I have been inspired by the strange things the body and mind create. I think those things must be welcomed in a friendly manner. The body produces blood, tears, boogers, vomit, caca, gas, wax, urine, spit, odours, etc. The mind produces dreams, hallucinations, delusions, paranoid associations, psychic vibes, phobias, visions. All of these things are usually kept hidden but they play a big part in people’s daily lives.”

  2. Tine-bek-barok-itsnicethat-list-10susan_on_bed

    Glasgow-based, Denmark-born photographer Tine Bek has taken the idea of the Baroque and spun it out to explore some pretty big concepts: nature, domesticity and the representation of the female body to name but a few. His series Barok is formed of numerous individual images which when isolated don’t seem to have to much to do with Baroque and all its drama and grandiosity; but together they form a strange narrative and take on a whole new feel. “Baroque is the main inspiration, not just as a period within architecture or art, but more so as an expression of a certain philosophy,” explains Tine. “The overall themes [are]… the balance between illusion and reality, light and dark and time and space.

  3. Stosh-itsnicethat-list-2

    Stosh is the leading case in my new argument (actually my only case, but that’s neither here nor there) that all studios formed of two or more people should be named by combining those two names together. Freelance graphic designers Stephanie Cuérel and Josh Schaub (Stosh!) have been collaborating since 2010 and judging by their website – a trichotomy of bold design made by one, the other or both of them, with the odd GIF thrown in for good measure – it was a good decision.

  4. Hattie-stewart-itsnicethat-list-2

    Hattie Stewart is back – not that the self-proclaimed doodle-bomber ever goes away for long – and this time it’s with reams of new work for her very own exhibition at the House of Illustration, entitled Adversary. In the first of what looks to be a whole series of commissions by the London-based gallery, she has created a collection of new (and enormous) pieces in her signature doodle style, decorating images from pop culture with accessories, stripes, googly eyes and emojis and generally elevating them beyond magazine fodder and into something entirely unique and infinitely bolder. 

  5. New-dps-itsnicethat-list

    It probably won’t be of much interest to you, but I wrote my dissertation on the intersection between digital platforms and physical publishing and the interesting ways people are finding to merge the two. For me it was fascinating, for some of you it’s probably exceptionally tedious. But for those of you with a similarly perverse interest in these curiously anachronistic forms of publishing there’s an interesting online archive that brings them all together. P-DPA (the Post-Digital Publishing Archive) is an impressive resource created by Silvio Lorusso dedicated to documenting projects at the forefront of modern publishing. It’s far from comprehensive, but the user-generated archive offers up some exciting examples of progressive publishing. I could go on, but I’ve probably already bored some of you to tears.

  6. Offset-waysandmeans-itsnicethat-list

    Anyone who has ever been to a design conference will be familiar with the tote bag rummage, a just-arrived ritual that all too often ends in underwhelmed flyer reading. So it was with refreshing excitement that we happened upon Ways And Means in the bags at this year’s Offset festival in Dublin. The bespoke magazine – designed by Offset head honcho Bren Byrne – breathed new life into the design conference give-away with a variety of in-depth profiles of the speakers which provided genuinely interesting insight and context ahead of their talks.

  7. Atlasstudio-elephant22-itsnicethat-list

    In his beautifully-written editor’s letter for the new issue of Elephant magazine, Marc Valli laments the lack of soul in the New York art scene. The city remains, he contends, “ the richest art centre in the world,” but it no longer offers the same heady possibilities of the city’s creative apogee in the 1960s and 70s.

  8. Spin-itsnicethatlistfull_screen_simon_pengelly_2

    When graphic designers take on furniture designers, their broadening solutions can sometimes feel formulaic – all wholesome browns and chatter about “craft.” That’s why it’s so refreshing to see Spin’s work for British furniture designer Simon Pengelly. “The idea for Simon’s identity came from a visit to his workshop and noticing the lovely graphic stripes on the edge of the plywood used on one of his chairs,” says Spin. “The various iterations of the marque reflect different thicknesses.” Despite the fact, as Spin puts, it, Simon’s design approach “brings together a blend of organic minimalism and a distinctive feel for natural materials,” the identity focusses on the minimalism and shuns the organic, taking on a bold, direct and a very brave aesthetic.

  9. Graphicdesign_-opinion-itsnicethat-list

    A couple of months ago there was a lot of interest in this survey in which clients described the four worst types of creative agencies as they saw it. Now we have a chance to hear from the practitioners themselves, by way of Graphicdesign&’s in-depth industry study. Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright have partnered with social scientist Nikandre Kopcke to create a questionnaire which explores “practice, perceptions and prejudices alongside the usual questions about age, education, work and pay.”

  10. Anagrama-itsnicethat-list

    Mexican design studio Anagrama has turned its focus to one of its own this time around, creating a solid brand identity and new interior for a “cantina” called Botanero Moritas. Anagrama had the restaurant’s rich brand history – stretching all the way back to 1939 – to wrangle with, and chose to channel as much of its tradition and history into the new identity as possible while still striking a chord with contemporary branding. It went with a simple, bold logo on dark grainy backgrounds for much of the printed collateral including business cards, postcards and packaging, employing a rainbow foil to jazz it up where necessary, while the variety of typefaces used on menus and signage hints at the diversity of old and new references.

  11. Coverwarren-du-preez-_-nick-thornton-jones-creative-review-annual-itsnicethat.list

    The cover of this year’s Creative Review annual has been unveiled, and it’s a depiction of a supermodel unlike any other – transforming Daria Werbowy into an eerie, ethereal, coral-like form. The cover was shot by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, who created the image with the help of floral sculptures by flower artist Rebecca Louise Law, prop-makers FBFX and VFX studio Analog. As with previous years’ covers, the picture forms a somewhat abstract “A.” Former designers, who also created an “A”-based image for the cover, include Morag Myerscough and Minivegas.

  12. Jonjones-itsnicethat-list

    You know what we really love apart from great illustration? Seeing how that great illustration was made. Jonathan Jones is a South African illustrator who flits between countries making his beautiful work, but what sets him apart from most of the rest of his freelance counterparts is the way he documents that work online. It’s lovely of course to see the final product of his endeavours, but to see layers of red, yellow and blue build up into a singular image allows a kind of eureka moment where you instantly understand the practitioner’s skill and wish you’d spent more time learning about colour separations at university.

  13. Artandgraft-thewalk-itsnicethat-list

    I sometimes feel like animators have things pretty tough. There they are, working slavishly away until the wee hours of the morning making still imagery appear to move naturally and by the end of the day what do they have to show for it? About five seconds worth of footage. Gruelling stuff!

  14. Wife_web_backdrme-itsnicethat.list

    It’s always such a joy when great music and great graphics combine, as we explored recently in our Art + Music series. So when we found out that Manchester agency DR.ME was behind the sleeves for one of our all-time favourite record labels, Tri Angle, it was a happy day indeed. “Happy,” however, is perhaps not so apt for describing the sleeves themselves – or indeed the music of Tri Angle’s roster – characterised by a dark, brooding, experimental sound. Some dub it witch house, others drag, but by any name, it’s downright weird and often rather brilliant. But enough gushing about these strange, cracked-out sounds, let’s talk about the sleeves.

  15. Charlotte-heal-here-itsnicethat-list

    We are now just eight weeks from Here 2015 on Friday 12 June and we’re continuing our look at our brilliant speakers with Charlotte Heal. When it comes to discussing young design talent, Charlotte’s name invariably crops up as someone whose work is going from strength to strength. The graphic designer and art director has a wealth of impressive experience on her CV, from glossy magazines LOVE and Lula, to studios like Spring Creative and Suburbia, and publishers such as the V&A and Random House.

  16. Steven-harrington-itsnicethat-listr

    If pastel colours, psychedelia, totemic piles of strange, Lennon-esque faces and a Salvador Dalì approach to yin-yang symbols are your thing, it’s likely you’ll love the work of illustrator Steven Harrington. The California-based illustrator has spent his career making dreamy, magic, sunshine-infused work; and he’s recently updated his site with a bunch of new work. The piece that really made us grin like a blissed-out, long-haired hippy is the poster for Noise Pop, a refreshingly playful approach to promoting the likes of the equally playful Dan Deacon. Elsewhere, Steven’s been keeping himself busy designing some great patterns and images for New York clothes brand Staple, which are all melting yin-yangs and cactuses bent into Loch Ness Monster-type forms, naturally.

  17. Laurabradley-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    There are few corners of the internet which remain sacred nowadays, but anothermag.com, the online counterpart to Dazed ’s sister publication AnOther Magazine, feels something like a tiny jewel-bedecked cave in the midst of a vast wasteland. Hosting a curated collection of insights into the lives of legendary artists and craftspeople, alongside photographic series, handwritten letters and aspects of the fashion world which might otherwise go unnoticed, the site is a rare gem, and at its helm is editor Laura Bradley.

  18. Nicertuesdays-karl-int-hero

    It has taken a little time but we’re finally ready to unveil the videos from our brilliant humour-themed Nicer Tuesdays held earlier this year. In an attempt to banish any lingering January blues we asked artist Wilfrid Wood, illustrator Matilda Tristram, the inimitable Mr Bingo and our very own INT Works art director Karl Toomey to explore how being funny inspires and affects the way they work.

  19. Stevewinter-lalion-itsnicethat-list

    Patience can be a virtue in photography, as Steve Winter knows. It took the American wildlife photographer 15 months to get the shot he craved; a mountain lion that lives in a Los Angeles park walking in front of the Hollywood sign. When he did finally manage it, he admits he was a little disappointed by the lighting, but that’s how perfectionists are and perfectionism can be tricky when working with subjects as unpredictable as big cats.

  20. Graphilately-itsnicethat-list

    For some years now stamp collecting has been relegated from the status of a widespread and admirable pastime to a somewhat nerdy pursuit, and this is a perception that Blair Thomson, creative director of design studio Believe In, is keen to shake off. Having had a passion for stamps instilled in him at a young age, Blair is the designer behind Graphilately, an Instagram account dedicated to his own beautifully curated, and very well photographed collection, which celebrates stamps as a form of graphic art in their own right.

  21. List

    If you’re a person who loves It’s Nice That, is super-passionate about the art and design world, knows how to write about it wants to be part of a busy, buzzing and beautiful (ahem) team, then this could be the role for you.

  22. Dinakelberman-imgoogle-itsnicethat-list

    This is an oldie but a goodie that’s been floating round the hive mind of the internet for some time. Dina Kelberman is an artist from Baltimore with a wide-ranging practice that encompasses all manner of online, IRL, video and installation experiments. The most accessible of her projects is I’m Google and consists of a vast archive of images culled from many hours of search engine experimentation. Dina arranges her scavenged imagery in an ever-evolving grid system in which each new image bears some slight reference to the last. In this way a visual game of Chinese Whispers is played out as squash courts evolve into egg yolks, which somehow transform into silly putty by way of orbs of smouldering metal. Very cool!

  23. Anna-kulachek-itsnicethat-list-2

    The very best graphic identities, as designer Anna Kulachek would attest, take on a life of their own. The Moscow-based creative has been working on identities for the Prague School of Design since 2012, and they’ve since grown into an evolving body which grows and reforms with each new brief. “In the beginning it was built on the illustrations of the city,” Anna explains, “because one of the points in the brief was to show what’s happening in Prague. So I decided to draw the school in simple shapes.”

  24. Schooloflife-love-itsnicethat-list

    The School of Life’s raison d’etre is to develop emotional intelligence in its audience, meaning they’re experienced in being confrontational with philosophical thought. But their latest short film is even more challenging than we’ve come to expect. In it we’re told repeatedly that love is an illusion and we’re all painfully and unavoidably alone. Then just as the weight of this message sinks in we’re asked to forget about the whole thing and get on with our lives as we were. Emotional rollercoaster!

  25. Chris-van-niekerk-itsnicethat-listfine_furniture_1

    Chris van Niekerk’s designs are direct, accomplished and considered, but what makes them extra intriguing are the process stories behind each. Take his special edition vinyl sleeves for Cheap Thrills. They look good enough – all dingy, limited palettes and dynamic type – but he explains that the imagery was created by sampling the sound waves from side A of each vinyl, and visualising them, which is pretty cool. The project that really caught our eye, not least because of how well shot it is, is Chris’ branding for bespoke furniture maker Jake Coleman, which takes a fresh look that’s true to its product, using a puzzle piece inspired by dovetails as the centre of the identity. To show the versatility of this kid, we’ve also included the designs for an Aperture publication, marking 60 years of the photography foundation, which looks very slick indeed.

  26. Itsnice-that-hero-punchdrunk-and-julian-abrams-publish-new-book-of-photography-of-the-drowned-man4-photo-by-julian-abrams

    As Hollywood stars and wounded lovers flew around me, I found myself strolling around a sandy expanse, playing on a rickety old piano, sipping from a hidden whisky bottle and finally being pushed against a wall as someone whispered “you’re wonderful” into my ear. It’s safe to say a night at a Punchdrunk production is as disorientating as it is thrilling. The theatre company’s The Drowned Man, which ran for a year from 2013, was utterly exhilarating, breathtakingly complex and stunningly beautiful. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but lordy it was impressive. However, the visceral, immersive nature of the whole thing makes it damn hard to convey in two dimensions; though this new photo book of images shot by Julian Abrams comes pretty close. From a steamy tryst to a poignant pair of red shoes, the drama, the emotion and the sense that you can never truly piece together the full story of the production are communicated brilliantly. If it could whisper affirmations into our ears, it’d be just about spot on.

  27. Smilesuggest-itsnicethat-main

    “Make sure your face is well lit, without a light source behind you, for the best results,” reads the instructions on Smile Suggest, the web app everyone’s talking about. “Even with the best face tracking, Smile Suggest still struggles with beards. Beardist.” Smile Suggest is the latest project from Martin McAllister who we featured on the site last year for his project with Oli Kellett that rounded up all the locations in the UK with paradise in the title.

  28. Sacmagique-itsnicethat-main

    Sac Magique’s back with a brand new (magic) bag! The Finnish artist has updated his site – which I check almost as regularly as the news – with a bunch of new drawings in a new, sketchier style. As always his work has gotten funnier and more daring and I daresay he’s cracked up the weird levels a few notches. That’s why I love him, much like fellow Helsinki-based illustrator Rami Niemi, he approaches briefs from big brands with a carefree childish wit, unafraid to use cuss words, toilet humour and sarcasm in ample spoonfuls. He’s been making work for bands such as Fat White Family recently, and has been making personal work that rings of the cynical one-line cartoons found in pages of The New Yorker –the one entitled Drunk Online Shopping, and the London scene in particular. Sac, I love you. Let’s elope.

  29. Teaserlist

    Week one of pre-orders is over, but you’ve still got time to get your hands on a copy of the latest Printed Pages before it’s available anywhere else – and if you’re really speedy you’ll be able to get one of the last few Alan Fletcher screen prints too. So if you’ve been holding out for the right moment to get your order in, seize it, that moment is now! If you’ve been waiting to find out more about the features in this issue then read on and we’ll show you some of the gems in SS15.

  30. Weekender-list

    If you thought that marginally overweight bloke in swimming trunks snoozing on the beach was at the top of the Weekender for entirely arbitrary reasons this week then you thought WRONG, my friend! In fact he is the star of one of the two covers shot by Tadao Cern for the new issue of Printed Pages, which is now available for pre-order, with the first 500 orders also receiving an exclusive print from designer Alan Fletcher’s archive. That is correct. What are you waiting for? Onwards, to the Weekender!

  31. Emptyfilmposters-itsnicethat-list

    Sure this isn’t the kind of thing we usually post, but the sun’s all blazing and glorious outside our windows today, so we thought we’d be kind and give you something to stare at for the next few hours until it’s time to make your way to the closest beer garden available. You know what these images are don’t you? They’re iconic film posters with all traces of branding and characters removed – the bench without Forrest, a sunset with Simba removed and a deep blue sub-aquatic fade that’s one shark short of of a multi-million dollar blockbuster franchise. These posters are the result of hours of hard photoshopping by French art director Madani Bendjellal, and for making our afternoon pass that little bit faster we owe him our thanks. Thanks!

  32. Faber-modern-classics-itsnicethat-.list

    A couple of months ago, we spoke to a number of book designers about whether they felt you had to read a book to design its cover. Whichever camp you sit in, it’s clear that with something as powerful and evocative as a piece of literature, summing up complex and emotive ideas in a single cover is no mean feat, so we were keen to hear more about how the process worked when designing for Faber’s new series of modern classics. The series launches this week with ten books including Look Back in Anger by John Osborne, Ariel by Sylvia Plath, TS Eliot’s Selected Poems and Self-Help by Lorrie Moore. A further six titles are to be released in June.