Article Archive

  1. Juno-calypso-itsnicethat-list-2

    If your idea of a dreamy night in is to check in to a couple’s suite at the Honeymoon Hotel in Pennsylvania alone and armed with nothing but a camera, a suitcase full of wigs, a number of questionable-looking beauty devices and a can of foreign hot dogs, then you’ve found a kindred spirit in Juno Calypso. “It was awkward,” she says. The London-based photographer captured our hearts and that dark place in our minds that’s usually devoted to Stanley Kubrick and Cindy Sherman with her last series back in 2013. That was when we first met Joyce, her alter-ego.

  2. Virgin-clubsize-itsnicethat-list

    If you’re tasked with redesigning the Virgin Atlantic clubhouse at Los Angeles International airport – the very last room visitors to the US’ beautiful west coast are going to see before jetting back off to their own grey lives – you’d best make sure you do a bloody good job of it. Virgin Atlantic were thoroughly aware of the potential pitfalls of such a project, and so have set about creating a space which encapsulates the warm, individual spirit that the company has gone to such lengths to establish. And it seems to us that they’ve succeeded.

  3. John-pawson-design-museum-its-nice-that-list

    The Design Museum’s new Kensington home sees its interior fit-out begin today, with Willmott Dixon Interiors delivering John Pawson’s designs. The new site will include two temporary exhibition spaces, a permanent collection display, learning spaces, design workshops, a library, an auditorium, a museum shop, a café and a restaurant. Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic says: “This is a truly exciting moment, as we take possession of this remarkable building and see it transformed into a museum for the twenty-first century. A huge amount of hard work has gone in to getting the museum to this stage and we are extremely grateful to all of our funders and supporters for their generosity.”

  4. Byop_int_list

    Earlier this month, the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. The beguiling, multicoloured woven structure designed by Spanish architects SegnasCalgo sits in Hyde Park like a more grown-up version of a fort you might have built when you were a child. Over the last decade and a half the annual architecture commission has become a much-anticipated beacon of design, and to celebrate 15 years of the Summer Pavilion, the Serpentine Galleries have teamed up with Kidesign, Marina Willer and the team at Pentagram to launch a digital platform and national campaign to foster the aspiring young architects of tomorrow.

  5. Camilla_perkins_itsnicethat_list

    Camilla Perkins is based in Brighton, and her illustrations use only the brightest hues which I hope are influenced by her seaside surroundings. We’ve not featured Camilla’s pictures since 2013, and it’s great to see how her style has developed since then. Shying away from collections of objects, it seems Camilla’s been perfecting her skills in illustrating the human form and the result is wonderful. Her figures are mainly surrounded by basic props and shapes, but the faces and features of her characters are marked out carefully in scratchy lines. In some images bold expanses of pattern applied as floors or walls are a lovely addition to all the brightness and it’s these details that really make Camilla’s work stand out.

  6. Animade-itsnicethat-list

    Tennis season is definitely in full swing now with the first game of Wimbledon kicking off (or whatever the tennis equivalent is) today. What better way to usher in the quintessentially British tournament than with some animation from our favourites Animade. Originally created for last month’s 2015 French Open as part of IBM’s interactive campaign for the tournament, eight animations and illustrations were displayed via large-scale advertisements around Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Roland-Garros tennis stadium.

  7. Emily-maye-itsnicethat-list

    When we caught up with Emily Maye this week, she was halfway through a mad tour of Colombia, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland, with France still to come. “Then home for some rest!” she told us. In hindsight, it’s something of a miracle we were able to catch her at all.

  8. Weekender-list-itsnicethat-

    If the Weekender was to create a soundtrack it wouldn’t have any of those cool jams the kids listen to these days. It would be filled with the songs and artists that remind us of a time when you had to ring someone’s house phone to talk to them. With bangerz from Craig David, Blazin’ Squad and Billie Piper, it would be like an old episode of Top of the Pops, and then we’d all go out for a Pizza Hut buffet. So while the Weekender drifts off into a carb-fuelled, cheese-laden food coma, have a little peek at what we’ve been seeing and reading this week.

  9. Tumblr-tv-1

    It’s Friday afternoon, which means that if you haven’t yet searched the internet for a GIF to communicate exactly how you feel, you likely will do within the next hour or two. Fortunately for you, Tumblr has just launched Tumblr TV – an endless stream of GIFs which automatically play out, to make that process easier and more entertaining for everybody. It’s essentially Tumblr’s equivalent of Giphy TV, but with a search service which allows you to narrow down to exactly which image of Mariah Carey gently wiping away a tear you’re after, and it’s a treat for all of us internet-age aliens who can only express emotions through GIFs.

  10. Faye-moorhouse-wonky-movie-posters-itsnicethat-list

    Occasionally, when you happen across a particularly good one, looking at a series of work by an illustrator feels like glimpsing the world through their eyes for a moment, and that’s more or less how I feel looking at Faye Moorhouse’s new series Wonky Movie Poster Show. “I illustrated 20 movie posters,” she said in her email earlier this week. “They are weird and ugly and hopefully funny.” And I can testify that they are in fact all three.

  11. Saaatchi-and-saatchi-rekorderlig-silver-skaters-its-nice-that-list

    First we had the John Smiths ad that proved a very ordinary bloke could be a dab hand at rhythmic gymnastics, now we bring you a surreal ad that shows that two less ordinary, but very beardy blokes are a veritable Scandi Torvill and Dean. The spot for Rekorlderlig cider by Saatchi & Saatchi documents two very talented figure skaters training under the watchful eye of their devoted, less hirsute coach. It’s infused with grace and oddball humour, and was “born out of the thought that there is something beautifully invigorating and refreshing about seeing someone skating on ice on a sunny day when the sky is blue,” according to the agency. Brilliantly bizarre and, as the streamline goes, “beautifully Swedish.”

  12. Song-haein-itsnicethat-list

    I’m just going to come right out and admit that there’s an inherent injustice in trying to explain how beautiful a printed book is through digital images. This is especially true in the case of Haein Song, whose painstakingly bound publications go one step beyond plain old riso-printing and saddle-stitching.

  13. David_graham_where_we_live_list

    “I am not comfortable with the term ‘Americana’,” says photographer David Graham. “My photographs are often about people’s passions – the way they have painted their house, the kind of car they own, the sculpture they built in their front yard, the way they dress up for a parade or how they have taken on the impersonation of a celebrity or historic figure,” he explains. For over 30 years David has taken to the road, working with archetypes of American vernacular photography from the snapshot to the family portrait to holiday pictures. In his tireless cross-country documentation of the American cultural landscape, he manages to colourfully capture the run-of-the-mill and the offbeat in the same image, allowing the ordinary to seem surreal and vice versa. This is what makes his photographs surprising and familiar at the same time.

  14. Lust_typedynamic_itsnicethat_list

    LUST not only has a great name, but is a studio covering a huge range of disciplines in an extraordinary way. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, it’s this project the studio did last year at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam that demonstrates the studio’s unique and varied approach. An interactive installation for the exhibition Type/Dynamics, the show aimed to comment on the work of experimental graphic designer Jurriaan Schrofer.

  15. Alexander_short_selfie_stick_itsnicethat_list

    Probably the number one stocking filler of Christmas 2014, the selfie stick has only heightened the narcissism epidemic and further perpetuated the social media notion that if you don’t document your face at a place then you were never there. In Alexander Short’s series Take a Good Look at Yourself, he perfectly encapsulates how hilarious these selfie stick portraits look to the people around them. Like the technological equivalent of shouting that you’re having a great time, it’s hilarious to see people on their own, in couples or big groups so determined to get these perfect self-portraits.

  16. Its-nice-that-list-03riccardo-banfi---tnx-2013

    The connotations of club photography are more Chupa-Chup sucking gurners than chiaroscuro, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see the world of dance music depicted in sensitive monochrome usually associated with more genteel pursuits. Milan-based photographer Riccardo Banfi has recently put together Tnx , a book of his images shot at house music club TENAX in Florence. They’re gorgeous portraits that cast a calmness over the mania of clubbing, capturing dance as an artform and clubbing as a valid cultural pursuit. The book’s publisher, Yes I Am Writing a Book, says: “The pictures in Tnx … throw us in the middle of TENAX’s crowd and corridors, with a rhythmical and pressing sequence, trying to convey through images the formal exactness of a [dance] track.”

  17. Its-nice-that-list-nips-headmaster_no7_silano2_web

    A large, veiny golden phallus and a very cheeky title made Headmaster a magazine sure to get our attention. And boys, boys, boys it did; mixing art, illustration, innovative copy and a smart curatorial eye, the mag is more than a smutty pun. It’s now in its seventh issue, so we had a chat with co-founder Matthew Lawrence about the print publication billed as “the biannual print magazine for the sophisticated man-lover”.

  18. List-its-nice-that-mtv_premium_collage_300dpi_iam

    MTV is launching a new “louder, shorter and hyper-visal” look and feel, incorporating user-generated content for the first time. The positioning has been reworded to “I am my MTV” from its former slogan “I want my MTV,” aiming to celebrate its audience and “bring new video art to audiences worldwide,” according to the brand. MTV says that the new design work was created in house, and it seems very much in the vein of the bright, brash and rather brilliant work of its senior vice president of visual storytelling and deputy editorial director (snappy!) Richard Turley.

  19. Royal_academy_summer_exhibition_poster_list

    I never thought I’d use the word irreverent to describe the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. Since 1769 the RA has taken a fairly unwavering and conservative approach to the world’s largest open submission exhibition, hanging up to 1,000 works by both amateur artists and great names. Long the lacklustre foxhole of stuffy Academicians and part-time painters, this year marks the greatest effort the RA has made yet to reinvigorate the English summer stalwart.
     
    It’s no surprise that the man behind the brightest, boldest edition yet is Michael Craig-Martin, this year’s curator and the artist best known for his Pop Art palette and his tutorship of YBA trailblazers Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas. Among his modernisms for the show is the decision to repaint the three central galleries in colours lifted straight from his work: hot pink, turquoise and baby blue. Far from playing to mere spectacle, Craig-Martin’s trademark penchant for polychrome is a bold statement that does away with both the white cube mis-en-scène of contemporary art and the fusty grandeur of the Academy. Regular attendees might also notice he has made the print galleries more central.

  20. Mads_berg_itsnicethat_list

    Danish illustrator Mads Berg’s modern take on the classic poster has seen him clock up an international client list including Wired, Monocle, Legoland and Carlsberg. His portfolio is filled with gloriously soft colours that emphasise his bold brushstrokes and simply constructed figures.

  21. Penguin_design_awards_2015_list

    Today Penguin has announced the winning covers for its 2015 Penguin Random House Design Awards. The awards are an opportunity for art and design students to get involved with design for publishing. Entrants are given a detailed brief from the publishing house and are invited to submit designs in one of three categories. This year Scott Kooken’s Freakonomics takes the Adult Non-Fiction category, Kate Gamet wins Adult Fiction with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and Lucie Williams’ Carrie’s War wins the Children’s category.

  22. Mannnu_itsnicethat_list

    Mannnu AKA Manu Rodriguez’s website is simple and considered with only a handful of projects included, but it’s ample opportunity to get a sense of how this art director and designer works. Based in Barcelona, the two projects created in collaboration with Spanish photographer Jose Perroche caught our eye.

  23. Amy-lombard-itsnicethat-list

    Nail art is something of an overlooked discipline on It’s Nice That – it’s not often it really flits into our line of vision – so when Amy Lombard got in touch last week to tell us she had collaborated with nail artist Natalie Pavloski on a series of photographs featuring some spangly fingertips, we couldn’t really say no. The photographer has employed her signature bright, saturated style to capture Natalie’s work clasping at greasy burgers, fried chicken, slices of pizza and the odd corn dog, “from White Castle to Taco Bell,” as Amy says, and the resulting shots are as glorious and grotesque as they come. Match made in heaven?

  24. List-eric-hu-talk-magazine-its-nice-that-

    We’re longtime, long-distance admirers of the work of Eric Hu, so the news that he’s recently launched a new magazine, Talk, is pretty damn exciting. And from what we’ve seen of the spreads, young Eric’s not disappointed us. The mag is the product of a collaboration with art director and writer Harry Gassel, former art director at The Fader, and is described as “a style-driven magazine on design focused on emerging culture.” And style-driven it damn well is: we’re digging the cover typeface, which seems to be formed of gloomy balloons, while the spreads show some innovative approaches to layout and image size. The first issue features the likes of David Brandon Geeting, Maxime Harvey, Simon Whybray and Raf Rennie, and we’re keen to see how Talk’s dialogue continues in future issues.

  25. Dana-stirling_dead-water_03its-nice-that-list

    While “ruin porn” as it’s so charmingly known is nothing new, there’s more to Dana Stirling’s work than simply exhuming decrepit architecture with her lens. The series Dead Water shows the Kibuts Kalia Atraktzia water park near the Dead Sea in Israel, a site that holds personal significance for the artist. “The Atraktzia [was] an oasis of sweet water in the sea of death,” Dana explains. “Many Israelis share memories of Atraktzia as part of their tradition of family vacations and weekends. I have never had the chance of experiencing it for myself, yet I grew up knowing of a miraculous fantastic oasis in the middle of nowhere.”

  26. Bond_web_moominfont_a_small_optimized-1

    Tove Jansson was a one-woman phenomenon. Last year Finland celebrated the centenary of the much-loved Moomin creator and children’s uberauthor and illustrator, and you might remember we spoke to C-G Hagström for the Autumn issue of Printed Pages about photographing her throughout her life.

  27. Jim_lambie_zobop_ra_it's_nice_that_list

    For this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, Scottish artist Jim Lambie has transformed the storied art institution’s grand staircase with one of his kaleidoscopic floor installations and shaken up the English cultural calendar highlight. Using hundreds of strips of adhesive vinyl tape, Lambie’s eye-catching floor work follows the architecture of the Academy and is part of his ongoing series Zobop. The 2005 Turner Prize nominee’s slightly riotous, technicolour stairs breathe new life into the neo-classical space, and the optical effect packs huge impact, fittingly leading the way to the boldest, brightest edition of the Summer Exhibition in its nearly 250-year run.

  28. Elcaf-itsnicethat-list

    One weekend a year Hackney is flooded with comic-lovers clutching armfuls of printed matter between clammy hands. The reason for their being there is ELCAF, the East London Comics and Arts Festival, which is as good as a church for those who worship zines, comics, prints and books as though print were their religion and indie bookshops their altars.

  29. Isabel_magowan_cygnets_itsnicethat_list

    Isabel Magowan’s series Cygnets is a magnificent portrayal of youth in all its forms. It’s the baby swans’ temperament that inspired Isabel, with their graceful and delicate appearance often undercut by their fierce tendencies. “All the individuals in my images are young, their perspective and attitude towards life only just forming,” New York-based Isabel explains. “There is a period where innocence is chipped away as one becomes self-aware, increasingly meeting societal expectations and ideas.”

  30. Owen_gatley_itsnicethat_list

    We last featured illustrator Owen Gatley back in 2012, and since then his client list has expanded impressively. Creating work for Condé Nast Traveller and airline magazines such as German Wings magazine and Jet Away, Owen has carved a lovely niche for himself through his travel-themed editorial illustrations. Simply outlined characters with expressive faces run across beaches, explore while on safari and ski past chalets. Cheerful, bright and charming, his most recent work is a joy to look at and instantly whisks me away to the destinations he’s depicting.

  31. Nina-chanel-abney-its-nice-that-list

    The carnivalesque colours and vibrant busyness caught our eye in Nina Chanel’s work; her attitude and subject matter kept us looking. Nina is based in New Jersey, and uses bright brushstrokes and text to explore issues of race, politics, sex and the strange world of celebrity. How? Through a strange troupe of aliens, strange symbols and rainbow colours. Surrealism plays with pop art and high-brow plays with low-brow in her huge e-number fuelled pieces, which carry a depth belying their initially saccharine appearances.

  32. Heavydreamers_itsnicethat_00

    Jeff from Booooooom got in touch with us at the end of last week to share their latest film profiling a number of creatives invited out to Hawaii for POW! WOW! festival. Held every February, the street art festival sees artists descend onto the island of Oahu to celebrate art, music and culture.