Article Archive

  1. Mini_ill_studio_another_reality_its_nice_that_list

    Step aside anyone who’s ever made a tutorial video before because THIS is how you really do it. This slick guide MINI has created with Paris-based Ill-Studio to introduce augmented reality (AR) to the masses turns tutorials into an artform. Another Reality shrewdly satirises popular science shows of yesteryear, mimicking the aesthetic seamlessly to introduce a concept many of us have heard about but don’t properly understand.

  2. List-vasundhara-pachisia-its-nice-that

    Brookyln-born graphic designer Vasundhara Pachisia is still studying, but has managed to clock up a CV including work with MoMA Design Studio and Ralph Applebaum Associates. Not bad at all. She’s currently studying at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where she’s making some great work combining vivid colour palettes with some gorgeous experimental typography. This is perfectly exemplified in the piece Until Perfect Comes , a typeface the designer says is “an ode to Victor Vasarely.” We’re sure the “grandfather of op-art” wouldn’t be disappointed.

  3. Adrian_samson_heatwave_its_nice_that_list

    People-watching is a pastime of mine – the hellos and the goodbyes after two people have just met are my favourite moments, with clunky air-kisses and unnecessary waving being tell-tale signs of an awkward first meeting. If you’ve never got into staring at people going about their day-to-day business (why not?), Adrian Samson’s series Heatwave is a great place to start.

  4. Chargedoubler-itsnicethat-list

    We’re drawn to a lot of the projects we cover by their aesthetic qualities but sometimes it seems right and proper to flag up something whose form may not promise much, but whose function is really exciting. So it is with Jorg Neugebauer and Kai Wiehagen’s ChargeDoubler, a USB that halves your charging speed to get your phone back up and running in super quick time.

  5. Lie

    In Chinese animator Lei Lei’s newest piece of work the words Missing One Player hint at something devastating – a world in which an incomplete group of Mahjong players, are waiting to find the missing person needed to play their tile-based board game as the earth hurtles towards an unnamed planet.

  6. Listnicer-tuesdays-childhood-int-7

    Remember what fantastic fun our childhood-themed Nicer Tuesdays was? There were balloons and everything. If you want to relive that evening, or if you couldn’t make it, then you’re in for a treat – we’ve got films of each of the speakers below for you. They were Science Museum curator Toby Parkin, comics artist Kev F. Sutherland, Play-o-logy co-founder Katie Johnston and Lawrence Zeegen, university professor and author of Penguin by Design. And gosh, they were good. Enjoy!

  7. Doty-list

    The category winners for this year’s Designs of the Year have been announced, including a nod to one of our favourite projects, Marcel’s Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables campaign, which scooped the graphics category nomination. The campaign was nominated by our very own Alex Bec, and was created to champion the beauty within misshapen fruits and vegetables, which are sold at Intermarché for 30% cheaper than their more traditional-looking counterparts. The overall Design of the Year from the six category winners will be announced June, and all are on display at the exhibition alongside the other nominations (read our thoughts on it here) until 31 March 2016.

  8. Janbuchczik-int-list

    If Jan Buchczik were to start a fan club – one which you could enter only by correctly spelling his surname 15 times or more – we’d be first in line, happily clutching our Jan badges. And not least because we’ve got his name down. Finally.

  9. Shannonlea-philliplarkin-itsnicethat-list

    In our recent interview with Spin’s Tony Brook he spoke about the shift in his design approach towards a fixation on conceptual work – “I wanted reasons, I wanted intelligent thought.” Tony of course is one of the best in the business with a great deal of experience; it’s less common to see this same concept-driven lust in young designers, particularly those still learning their craft at university.

  10. Alain-vonck_ruins_it's_nice_that_list

    Whether it’s glitchy internet art, streamlined design and art direction or bespoke typefaces, Alain Vonck has been building a strong portfolio since graduating from Paris’ ESAG Penninghen in 2012. Concentrating on visual identity as well as editorial and web design that communicates a passion for pattern, Alain confidently moves between a variety of commercial and self-directed projects. Whether a book and net archive inspired by early web designs and 90s digital culture, ilIustrations for the daily French newspaper founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Serge July, Libération, or super minimal art direction for a digital magazine, the Parisian designer has proven his approach is both contemporary and versatile.

    The pixelated, retro-tech visual language of many of his self-initiated projects has taken cues from GIF revival and the unrefined aesthetic of the internet’s early days, carving him a niche as something of a digital archeologist. Further illustrating his creative range, one of Alain’s most recent commissions marked a departure into new stylistic territory with a bright book of over 250 block-coloured illustrations vaguely reminiscent of Matisse cut-outs for Franco-Lebanese publishing house Tamyras.

  11. Grayson-perrys-dream-hous-007-list

    A few years ago, you wouldn’t have expected Channel Four to show a documentary about a cross-dressing artist making a house in Essex on a Sunday evening. But that’s the magic of Grayson Perry: there’s no such thing as low and high culture, no such thing as people not being “into” art, no such thing as stereotypes.

  12. Alex-horne-do-it-poster-its-nice-that-list

    As the likes of Haw-Lin and Tom Darracott have proved in recent years, club posters are no longer the all-caps, bright yellow, shouty things on lampposts they used to be. Well sometimes they are, and there’s something quite charming in that (UK GARAGE SENSATION in Surbiton, anyone?), but there’s certainly a finessed approach to many of the posters now, as Alex Horne proves. The designer, who also founded label Fine Grains Records, hails from Aberdeen but now lives in London, working with clients including The Financial Times, The Vinyl Factory and Vice. Today though we’re looking at some great music posters, namely those for AV collective Do It! and Oslo-based club night promoter The Drop, which Alex runs alongside Norwegian record label boss and musician Andre Ishak. Throughout the work there’s a leaning towards Bauhaus-esque typography and clean, graphic shapes, with crisp layouts proving once again that the marriage of graphic design and electronic music is one made in heaven. Or in this case, in Aberdeen, London and Oslo.

  13. Leemawdsley-millenniummills-itsnicethat-list

    We’ve featured architectural photographer Lee Mawdsley on the site a few times over the years and have often focussed on his masterful documentation of ultra-modern workplaces, all gleaming surfaces and tangled wires. But among his new updates, one project in particular demonstrates his versatility.

  14. Michaelbuck-airbnb-house-list

    A few years ago there was a great deal of interest in Artangel’s A Room for London project, which saw Fiona Banner and David Kohn Architects build a boat you could stay in high above the South Bank. Today Airbnb has twisted that idea round for its own stunt, floating a 70-tonne house down the River Thames. Designed by Steve and Nick Tidball, creative directors of the TBWA agency, it includes two bedrooms, a working bathroom and a garden with real grass and an apple tree. It will meander up and down the river throughout the week, hosting various events and even some sleepovers.

  15. Ricco_maresca_mexican_pulp_art_its_nice_that_list_2

    Ballsy, bizarre and a little bit racy, these Mexican pulp fiction book covers are fantastic fun and epitomise our need for a bit of weird naughtiness. The kitsch-factor is overwhelming as scantily clad women run away in terror, a man in purple spandex is surrounded by adoring cats and giant robots menacingly pick up shiny red cars.

    As part of an exhibition at New York gallery Ricco Maresca held earlier this year, the collection is a celebration of pulp paperbacks released in Mexico during the 60s and 70s. Many of the artists remain unidentified which is a shame as some of these are absolute gems. Without book titles, there’s no context for the artwork and we’re left with the ordinary and extraordinary crashing into each other in glorious fashion. According to Ricco Maresca, there’s a key difference between Mexican pulp art and the American pulp art coming out at the same time. As well as the drama and sauciness, much of Mexican pulp art prominently featured violence, sci-fi, psychedelia, and crime, making it all the more outrageous.

  16. Emilyscaife-cosmiccrisp-itsnicethat-list

    I’m a big fan of creatives who have the wherewithal to follow through on simple – and sometimes ostensibly silly – ideas. Jeff Greenspan is perhaps the high priest of this, but Emily Scaife has a nice line in realising pleasingly simple concepts with enough visual panache to make the results more than one-liners.

  17. Weekender-list

    This week has been a whirlwind, one minute it’s sunny, the next it’s raining. It’s an emotional weather-coaster as they say. BUT fear not, because the one thing that will never let you down is the Weekender. That’s right, no matter what, we’ll be there. Huzzah! So pop on your comfiest trousers and crack open the beers, it’s Friday and it’s time for The Weekender.

  18. Thokamaer-itsnobiggie-itsnicethat-list

    It was way back in 2012 that we first featured Thoka Maer’s it’s no biggie, a blog of joyous GIFS that capture little moments in life, by turns sweet and surreal. A lot has happened since then – not only the fact that we can now actually embed GIFs on our site and show you Thoka’s creations in all their glory. She meanwhile has graduated from the Visual Communication course at the University of the Arts, Berlin, and inb (as all the cool kids are calling it) won the self-initiated category at last year’s Association of Illustrators awards.

  19. Arthurfoliard-mood-itsnicethat-list

    Arthur Foliard has some impressive design experience on his CV – Pentagram, Landor and Moving Brands – and he’s been honoured by both ADC and the Cannes Lions. Not bad for a 25-year-old, but this London-based Frenchman has a portfolio of work that makes sense of these accolades.

  20. Yayoi-kusama-itsnicethat-list

    Yayoi Kusama is one of few artists who is seems to be without comparison. Her new exhibition, Give Me Love takes place at New York’s David Zwirner gallery, and features a collection of her enormous brightly coloured canvases. Their sunny dispositions are undercut with titles which reveal a more disquieting undertone for example I Who Cry in the Flowering Season, or I Am Dying Now There the Death Is. In another room a series of her bulging Pumpkin sculptures, reminiscent of decaying fruit in spite of their metallic sheen and polka dot finish, reinforces the juxtaposition of the joyous and the sinister.

  21. Anastasica_tsayder_summer_olympics_its_nice_that_list

    The buzz post-Olympics usually centres on the athletes, their achievements and the tirade of endorsement campaigns that inevitably follow. But what about the structures that house these magnificent quadrennial events? Often the stadiums and swimming pools have been purpose-built, but post-event many remain unused, abandoned or unimaginatively repurposed.

  22. Treat-studios-adultswim-idents-its-nice-that-list

    As anyone who’s seen pretty much anything to emerge from the Adult Swim network will testify, its output is pretty darned weird. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a help-I-feel-sick way, but perhaps that’s because I never have been and never will be a teenage boy. For its no-holds-barred bonkersness and gross-out mentality, it must surely be a dream for many animators to work for the brand. So Treat Studios, which has created the latest Adult Swim trailers, were understandably chuffed to be commissioned for the project “completely out of the blue.”

  23. Gigi_rose_gray_solo_show_its_nice_that_list

    There’s a beautiful vividness to Gigi Rose Gray’s illustrations – reds are crimsons, blues are ceruleans and yellows have seeped into deep ochres. Gigi crops into the small moments and hones in on a handful of people or the facade of a building.

  24. Mirko-borsche-itsnicethat-list-2

    Is there no end to Bureau Mirko Borsche’s brilliance? Having already produced season after season’s worth of printed collateral for long-term client the Bayerische Staatsoper, Mirko’s eponymous studio has just released its newest collection of work for the theatre. Spanning a series of events entitled Die Unmögliche Enzyklopädie, plus posters for the house orchestra Bayerisches Staatsorcheter and premiere posters too, the newest selection might even be the most diverse to date. 

  25. List-hero-lottie-hanson-lowe-love-me-do-its-nice-that

    There’s nothing quite like the sweaty, sticky, lightheadedness of that first frenzied, totally-losing-your-shit adoration a band can induce. While I’ve never really been a boyband type, I’m not ashamed to say I still have the 1997 Blur calendar stashed away in a cupboard, and that near-lunacy that accompanies the love of a band is still very fresh in my mind. It’s also very fresh in the mind of young designer Lottie Hanson Lowe, who’s created a beautiful zine about boyband superfans called Love Me Do.

  26. Brest_history_and_chips_it's_nice_that_list

    Imagine a John Stezaker collage let loose in the kitchen and you’ve got the History and Chips series from Brest Brest Brest. With a portfolio that includes a poster of Elvis Presley’s face emerging from a melting ice cream, the graphic design studio based in the south of France couldn’t fail to pique our interest. For their playful History and Chips collages, Rémy Poncet and Arnaud Jarsaillon have raided the fridge and dressed up classic movie stills and vintage portraits with everything from smoked salmon and mustard, to ham and pineapple. A testament to the fact that food makes everything better, these old pictures are given a new lease of life thanks to a little bubblegum and a wry sense of humour.

  27. Qiu-yang-t-magazine-itsnicethat-list

    As editorial photography goes they don’t come much sharper or stranger than Qiu Yang, the image-maker who has been executing the strangest of situations with the cleanest of finishes for some years now. It seems this precise combination of bizarre but beautiful is working wonders for Qiu – echoing the carefully constructed still-life compositions of Dutch Renaissance artwork, he has clocked up a client list including Vogue, The Gentlewoman, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin and several series for KENZO.

  28. Olafur_eliasson_the_weather_project_it's_nice_that

    This week the most visited modern and contemporary art museum in the world celebrates its 15 year anniversary. After its transformation from derelict power station to beloved beacon of British culture, Tate Modern has defined a generation and helped open art to the everyman. Here, we look at some of the top moments over the last decade and a half at Britain’s leading arts institution.

  29. I-d-street-sound-itsnicethat-list

    Britain’s history is all the richer thanks to the the subcultures the country has fostered. Holding the placard for this shining reputation is i-D, the publication founded by Terry Jones and his wife Tricia in 1980 which has been celebrating youth’s weirdest and most wonderful for 30 odd years now. So it’s perfectly apt that this week the magazine launches its first ever TV series with Channel 4 looking at British style history, entitled Street Sound and Style.

  30. Studiodumbar-vbms-itsnicethat-list

    It’s all very well championing identity work for a cool club night or a hipster restaurant, but it’s more interesting to come across really impressive design for, how shall we say, less glamorous clients. And they don’t come much less glamorous than VolkerWessels Boskalis Marine Solutions, or VBMS, which specialises in “subsea power cable installation” (mmm, sexy). So it’s great to see the ever-excellent Studio Dumbar create a new look for the new company which was formed by the coming together of two existing entities.

  31. Kings-cross-pond-ooze-architects-its-nice-that-list

    I’ve slid down an art installation before thanks to Carsten Höller, and I’ve frolicked about in a room full of balloons thanks to Martin Creed, but never before had I literally swum in art until this morning. Bright and early, there I was shivering in art, thanks to a bathing pond art installation in a building site in London’s King’s Cross. The piece, formally known as Of Soil and Water: the King’s Cross Pond Club , was created by Ooze Architects (Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg) and artist Marjetica Potrč, and takes the form of a natural, chemical-free pool, complete with plants and bushes. And who knows what else – I didn’t dare think what one day could be lurking in there after the maggoty old python Hampstead Heath ponds story of a few years back. 

  32. Studio-mennicke-care-affair-its-nice-that-list

    Chatting to designers about what being a “designer” means these days, you’re often met with the same response – that titles like “digital designer,” “graphic designer” and “motion designer” are becoming blurred. The advertising and design worlds are increasingly passionate bedfellows, too, and as such studios are often looking to become jacks (and masters) of all trades. One such studio is Cologne-based Studio Mennicke, which can take care of pretty much any design task you care to throw at it, from film to advertising to curation to copywriting, illustration, packaging, wayfinding… you get the idea. It sums it up far more concisely than us: “We deliver straightforward creative services for all mankind.”