Article Archive

  1. Made-by-sawdust-itsnicethat-list-2

    When Nike Jordan approaches you with NBA champion Kobe Bryant’s name and existing brand identity, and asks you to create a fully functioning bespoke typeface to accompany it, the pressure is on you to deliver something good. Fortunately, Sawdust, AKA Jonathan Quainton and Rob Gonzalez, is more or less au fait with work of this calibre, having worked on typography and identity projects for clients like The New York Times and Coca-Cola. 

  2. Pirelli-itsnicethat-list-2

    I’d love nothing more than to be a fly on the wall in the meeting at Milanese tire company Pirelli in 1964, when somebody like the work experience guy first suggested making a raunchy calendar. “Except, we’ll only use supermodels,” I imagine he’d have muttered nervously, to the big dogs smoking cigars in their leather chairs. “We’ll get all the best photographers to shoot it, and we’ll only give it to VIPs and really important clients.”

  3. The-fat-white-familyvisions-babak-ganjei-its-nice-that-list

    Seems you can’t move for a festival these days: it’s “racially-insensitive headwear” this, “Hunter wellies” that, “glamping” the other. But it’s not all fields and whimsical, dopey skirts. Festivals are now out of the countryside and into the cities, and they’ve got heaving line-ups to boot – something illustrator Babak Ganjei knows only too well, having been tasked to draw every single act playing this year’s Visions festival. The one-day east London-based event takes place early next month, and as showcased in Babak’s sweet doodlings, will see the likes of Fat White Family (you know, the naked, mashed-up ones), Camera Obscura (you know, the twee ones with the hovercraft) and Swedish crooner Jens Lekman taking to Hackney.

  4. Jay-giampetro-itsnicethat-list

    Street photography has changed irrevocably from the days when photographers used to take to the streets clutching a small Leica camera, blacked out with gaffer tape, to steal shots of their unsuspecting subjects from the hip. These days iPhones have made everybody a photographer, which makes the ability to nail that shot – the one that captures the essence of a place and its inhabitants, all the more precious.

  5. Yolanda-dominguez-itsnicethat-list

    Artist Yolanda Dominguez is not one to shy away from using her practice to expose the social inequalities which underpin contemporary society. In previous projects – 2013’s Fashion Victims and 2014’s Gallery for example, we’ve seen her respond to Bangladesh’s factory disaster, in which more than 1,000 textile workers were killed when their workshop collapsed, and question our invasion of online privacy in the digital age, respectively. She often uses “culture jamming” techniques, utilising a given medium to subvert its own discourse, and in doing so evokes visceral responses and stirs up critical conversation around these much debated topics.

  6. Ed-cheverton-toys-exhbition-gif-itsnicethat-

    Ed Cheverton (or Chedward Beaverdam, as his website would have you call him) is an illustrator whose knack for chopping up reams of brightly coloured paper and arranging them into slices of joy has him set on a road to success. He’s a master of anthropomorphism, whether on paper, where an offcut is transformed into a tiny cheeky head with the aid of two eyes and a mouth, or in 3D form, making funny little toys out of wood, plastic, cotton reels and the like. He was also one of our Graduates of 2013, which makes us one of his number one fans, and legitimises all of our gushing. Right?

  7. Working-for-free-itsnicethat-list-2

    Working for free remains one of the most hotly debated topics when it comes to creative work. Should you ever do it? If so, when? What should you expect in exchange? And if you shouldn’t, why not?

  8. Timeline_promo_2geographical-north-its-nice-that-list

    We regularly harp on about the union of great music and great design, but when projects like Geographic North come into our vision so regularly, who can blame us. The label is about graphic design as much as it is about music, founded by design graduate Farbod Kokabi and radio music director Farzad Moghaddam back in 2008. They were later joined by pals Bobby Power and Lee Summers, who formed the formidable team that now releases records with beautifully abstract, clean and bright sleeves and covers.

  9. Nan-goldin-4-int-list

    Last year Nan Goldin happened across a box of photographs taken in Boston in the early 70s when she was moving studios from the Bowery to Brooklyn. 50 of these images – which have remained largely unpublished until now – make up a new show at Guido Costa Projects in Turin. The exhibition looks back to Goldin’s Boston era as a turning point in her career, marking her first steps into the decade of work she coined The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.

  10. Dalziel-_-pow-rebrand-its-nice-that-list

    Surely the toughest client there could be is yourself. So it’s always rather intriguing to hear about design agencies rebranding themselves, and imagining the endless wranglings such a project must entail. We reckon London-based design agency Dalziel&Pow hasn’t done too bad though, launching a newly playful identity to bring it firmly up to date. According to the consultancy, the previous logo “just didn’t feel like us anymore – not all that surprising considering it was created over 15 years ago.”

  11. Iit-int-list

    Back in 2013 photographer Martin Zähringer launched a platform designed by Charlotte Heal to give seen-but-not-heard models a soapbox to stand on. Is In Town has been running online ever since, featuring shoots with fresh-faced up-and-comers – mostly shot by Martin and a small cast of collaborators – and accompanying conversational interviews. The model-driven project has also quite recently moved into print with a black and white publication and the second issue, designed by Laura Tabet, is fresh off the press with five covers all shot by different photographers. The magazine is distributed by Antenne Books and is stocked everywhere from Colette to the The Photographers’ Gallery.

  12. Canada-vogue-its-nice-that-list

    British Vogue has partnered with CANADA filmmaking collective to launch the first in a series of films for its Vogue Video offer. The film, called Ouch! That’s Big features model Anna Ewers and was styled by Vogue fashion editor Fran Burns. Shot in Barcelona, the short shows Anna having her foot tended to before probably my favourite song of 2013, Suuns’ 2020, kicks in as a fanfare to the stylish antics ahead. Weirdness, glamour, sumptuous architecture and a bump to the head ensue…

  13. Emoji-grid-itsnicethat-list

    Who needs a plot, a famous cast or a beautiful set when you have a loveable collection of ethnically diverse Emoji, a dancing lady and a smiling poo, eh? Not Sony Pictures Animation; the studio has just won a bidding battle to produce an animated movie based around the recognisable Apple-created characters who have come to communicate our every emotion, whim and fancy, Deadline announced today. The film is to be written by Anthony Leondis and Eric Siegel, who have yet to reveal how they intend to make a masterpiece out of our favourite funnies.

  14. Ai-weiwei-passport-int-list

    After four years of soft detention for Ai Weiwei’s social and political activism, the Chinese authorities have returned the artist’s passport. Ai Weiwei broke the news on Instagram today with a selfie brandishing the travel document. “Today, I picked up my passport,” he wrote in a caption.

  15. List

    The Bank of England has revealed the visual art stars that could be gracing the new £20 note. In a rather long shortlist of 592, the names shown are all those nominated by the public that fit the criteria that the artists must be dead and have worked within the field of visual arts. Among those nominated are graphic designers Barney Bubbles and Alan Fletcher; photographer Tim Hetherington; performance artist Leigh Bowery; inventor and artist William Heath Robinson; illustrator Aubrey Beardsley; artist Eduardo Paolozzi and filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock and Derek Jarman. The Bank has said that “a number of names have been included whose eligibility will be considered more carefully by the Banknote Character Advisory Committee before it starts to shortlist the characters in September,” and a final decision will be announced next year.

  16. Sb-studio-itsnicethat-gif

    Remember The Brutalist Playground, the Assemble and Simon Terrill-created project we were harping on about a few weeks back? Built out of reconstituted foam in the narrow halls of the Royal Institute of British Architecture’s housing archives, it sees the Turner Prize-nominated design collective turn our attention to what editorial assistant Alex calls “these relics of post-war play.”

  17. Eleonora-arosio-int-list

    Eleonora Arosio’s hand-drawn style retains all the uneven textures of pastels and pencil marks, which caught the eye of Airbnb earlier this year. An illustration of hers that captures a moment between strangers won their #OneLessStranger competition, sitting alongside a client list including some small Italian publications and online magazine Cosebelle. Based in Milan, Eleonora recently graduated from Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA).

  18. Emil-kozole-seen-typeface-list

    In the week that Instagram banned #curvy, we bring you a typography project that looks at censorship in a way that’s thoughtful, powerful and brilliant executed. Seen was created by Central Saint Martins MA graduate Emil Kozole, and takes the form of a full typeface examining “privacy and the interception of our communications by the NSA,” says Emil. “It automatically strikes through so called ‘spook words’ as they are written.”

  19. Kitty_crowther_017-jake-green-its-nice-that-list

    Jake Green is an old chum of the site, and recently we’ve been enamoured with his look at London’s Evangelical churches. But it’s the church of illustration he’s been bowing down to recently, and all our prayers have been answered in the form of The Bookmaker’s Studio. The sweet little tome brings together beautiful photographs shot inside the studios of children’s illustrators, and features text by another old chum of It’s Nice That, James Cartwright. “It’s not often you get the chance to go and hang out with some of your heroes, so the images we’ve created capture our excitement at being allowed into these otherwise unseen spaces to witness such a variety of personalities, styles and techniques,” says Jake.

  20. Viviane-sassen-missoni-photographs-itsnicethat-list

    How’s a collaboration between photographer Viviane Sassen, Paris-based agency M/M (Paris) and revered fashion house Missoni for a holy trinity of creative ideas? The three got together to create Missoni’s new campaign, with creative direction from M/M (Paris), whose own Mathias Augustyniak created the marble plates featured, inspired by Missoni’s AW15 collection. As such, it’s a palatial ode to marble, which is undoubtedly having a moment – the setting is all natural slate landscapes and rainbow-hued stone, with equal influence from 80s artist Richard Artschwager – and we can’t get enough.

  21. Mondial-itsnicethat-list

    In the ten years since it first launched, Rapha has established a solid reputation for itself as the touchstone for all things concerned with cycling; whether that be a book of cycling photography, Kings of Pain, a series of stunning short films directed by brilliant Andrew Telling or the very best high-end gear any self-respecting athlete-on-two-wheels could wish to wear.

  22. Sighht-its-nice-that-gif-list

    I don’t know too much about the Sighht Tumblr, but I know what I like, and what I like is weird glitchy net art, Throbbing Gristle and psychedelic flashy things that hurt the eyes and brain. Which is exactly what Sighht is, and with every scroll it gets stranger and more fascinating. After some internet detective work by our in-house super sleuth (and INT Works art director) Callum, who first spotted this little blog of joy, it was discovered that two men named Joel Evey and Peter Steineck are behind Sighht.

  23. Thomas-prior-itsnicethat-list

    Never having actually met him, I picture Thomas Prior as a particularly light-footed kind of person, able to jump from shadow to shadow something like a superhero in a Marvel comic does to get his shot. Why? If you have a browse of his newest body of work, a collection of images snapped on his recent travels in Asia, you’ll see; he seems to inhabit the quiet spaces that most people wouldn’t rest their eyes on for more than a split second, capturing photographs of situations so fleeting you wonder how he spotted them at all.

  24. Marie-jacotey-itsnicethat-list

    If Marie Jacotey’s work were a film it would be a sexy, sinister love story based in Paris in the 1960s, with a precocious and beautiful protagonist whose passion in life was to drive her male peers wild with lust. It’s not, of course – it’s illustration, or more accurately a series of comic strips created with richly toned coloured pencil and underpinned by a concise and debauched narrative – but I can still imagine them read in torchlight under the covers by an adolescent girl.

  25. Gsa-51170-int-list

    Recent design graduates Kat Loudon and Erin Bradley-Scott watched from the design building as Glasgow School of Art’s historic Mackintosh building went up in flames last year. The much-loved library designed by Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh was destroyed and the archive was severely water damaged after a fire broke out as students prepared for their final degree show. Students lost entire portfolios, some 90 oil paintings, 8,000 books and journals, archival material as well as original furniture were all ravaged, and architecture enthusiasts the world over the reeled as it was revealed the Glasgow landmark’s library – a jewel of Art Nouveau design built between 1897 and 1909 – was all but ash.

  26. Madlen-hirtentreu-trash-bin-its-nice-that-list

    They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For one Estonian photographer, trash isn’t just treasure, but a rich, and possibly stinky font of creative inspiration. Madlen Hirtentreu got in touch recently with a simple missive: “I usually capture images with [an] analog camera and lately started to photograph trash bins in the early mornings… have a look.” There’s not too much more to say about the project really, but have a look we did, and found something oddly compelling about these pictures of dustbins. Each overspilling vessel tells a story go what once was: the parties, the shared pizzas, the lunches grabbed on the go, the mop cast aside for a newer, shinier number. It’s rather poignant in a way, but rather comical too. Essentially though, it’s just pictures of bins, and there’s nothing really too wrong with that.

  27. Sunny-parks-its-nice-that-list

    With Sunny Park, our curiosity was piqued with that glorious name; our hunger for great graphic design satiated with her brilliant portfolio. The New York-based designer recently graduated from Yale, and it was her thesis book project that really caught our eye. The publication is formed from a series of fold-out posters created using multi-colour Risograph printing. They manage to look both clean and bold in their approach, with a deft knack for layout and a wonderful way with type. The John Cage stuff is particularly inspiring, and we can’t wait to see what Sunny gets up to post-Yale.

  28. Rosanna-webster-itsnicethatlist

    For her latest personal project, London creative Rosanna Webster has reinterpreted a selection of her favourite magazine covers to beautiful effect. Working across photography, collage and moving image, Rosanna’s multilayered work is largely fashion-focused and moves in the realm of illustrated editorial. Most recently she has created work for the go-to fashion house for floral-inspired couture, Dior, and her portfolio also boasts commissions from Adidas, Dossier Journal and NOWNESS .

  29. Johanna-basford-colouring-its-nice-that-list

    Pentagram partner and creative director of Laurence King publishers Angus Hyland looks at why colouring books for grown-ups are more than a meditation aid.

  30. Fundaci%c2%a2n-bot%c2%b0n_-sol-lewitt_-wall-drawing-413-(2)--its-nice-that-list

    At first, it seems a career as graphic designer for Seventeen magazine is rather different to that of a genre-defining conceptual artist. Laying out covers of lipsticked teens, first crush woes and nail art dilemmas surely requires a rather different head to one that could, say, provide probably the best known definition of conceptual art we have. Unless you’re Sol LeWitt, that is.

  31. Stephanie-passul-itsnicethat-list

    Clear, cohesive, commercial graphic design is all well and good, but every now and then it’s nice to give your brain a stretch, and Stephanie Passul’s MA project, entitled The City in Six Pieces, provides the perfect apparatus for a mental workout. The project, which was developed as the final product of Stephanie’s MA at Dusseldorf’s University of Applied Sciences, explores narrative structures which have been developed as a result of the changing ways we consume information.

  32. Ianthe-hope-itsnicethat-list-2

    During her final year at Glasgow School of Art illustrator Ianthe Hope found herself preoccupied with creating portraits. “The face has always fascinated me, how we are all the same but also visually completely different, and this has played into my work a lot,” Ianthe explains. “In my head I give each portrait a personality, a job and a name. Some are based on people I know and some are fictional characters.”