Article Archive

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 

  7. 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.”

  8. Nick-mattan-itsnicethat-list-2

    Dutch furniture design collective Onbetaalbaar found a rare gem in Belgium-based designer Nick Mattan. Describing itself as a “research project born out of love for objects,” Onbetaalbaar (which translates as “priceless”) is both a workshop and a kind of think-tank “where furniture makers, upholsterers, writers, philosophers, product designers, restorers and graphic designers” can get together to work on a variety of projects – and with a brief that broad, it can be hard to find a designer with the right solutions. Nick has been working on the graphic identity of the collective for some time now, creating posters for various exhibitions and events, applying a consistent, relatable but still open-ended aesthetic to both digital and printed ephemera.

  9. Dandad-opinion-itsnicethat-list

    It’s Nice That founder and creative director Will Hudson was part of the D&AD Black Pencil jury this year. Here he is on judging one of the industry’s main awards, and why it helped change his mind about creative competitions…

  10. List-its-nice-that5.bob-_willoughby_hoffman_bancroft_bobwilloughby

    The red carpets are out, the yachts are moored and Sienna Miller and Jake Gyllenhaal are getting cosy with the Cohen Brothers on the judging panel. This year’s Cannes Film Festival opened yesterday kicking off 12 days of cinema and partying. And while there’s undoubtedly still glitz aplenty, the events of the past somehow seem so much more glamorous – perhaps simply because they’re in the past, but perhaps because of the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor and their lovely coats and the way they held a cigarette…

  11. James_irvine_it's_nice_that_list

    James Irvine is a name that carries as much weight in Italian design circles as it does in British. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1984, the Milan-based furniture and product designer worked under Ettore Sottsass at the Italian design studio Olivetti before striking out on his own and designing everything from Phaidon’s unrivalled stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair for several years, to city buses for Mercedes-Benz, and chairs for IKEA and Muji. Now, art publisher Phaidon has worked closely with his family and friends to release an intimate look at the life and work of the late design legend.

  12. Unnamed-1

    Ready your ears, engage your brains and assume the brace position – the new episode of Studio Audience is right here. In it we discuss Tate Modern turning 15, Assemble’s inclusion on the Turner Prize shortlist, Jeremy Deller’s Venice jukebox and a new show for the world’s best art forger. We also discuss Cass Bird shooting in the Met Gala toilets and the Design Museum’s Camper show.

  13. Alexchinneck-londondesignfestival-itsnicethat-list

    A 35-metre high upside-down electricity pylon was the stand-out project announced for this year’s London Design Festival today, but once again none of the headline projects are graphics focussed.

  14. Lukestephenson-pizza-itsnicethat-list

    Sometimes when you ask a creative about the genesis of their project the answer is pretty predictable, and sometimes it really isn’t. Photographer Luke Stephenson sent through his new series Pizza – a series of portraits of pizzas he ordered alongside the men who delivered them – but the initial inspiration actually came from jockeys, or rather paintings of jockeys on a collection of cigarette cards Luke stumbled across on Flickr.

  15. Secret-7-itsnicethat-hattie-stewart-8

    If you’ve passed through the hallowed halls of Somerset House at any point between 10 April and 4 May you’ve likely admired the 700 sleeves on show as part of Secret 7”, the best kept secret in London’s creative scene, and a pure, joyful celebration of illustration, photography and design. This year as always the line-up of names taking part was a star-studded bonanza, including the likes of Martin Parr, David Shrigley, Sir Peter Blake and Yoko Ono, and as of this weekend, the creators of each have now been revealed!

  16. List-anna-dunn-dot-magazine-its-nice-that

    For the past nine years, Anorak magazine has been making the lives of kids and their aesthetically aware parents that little bit brighter. The brainchild of Cathy Olmedillas, the mag proved to be a revelation in the world of kids’ publishing, which is all too often dominated by brash colours and here-one-minute-smashed-into-bits-the-next giveaways. Since its launch Anorak has spawned offshoots including teen mag Teepee, but its latest offering is Dot, aimed at the under fives.

  17. Ordinary-people-itsnicethat-list

    Ordinary People is a design studio based in South Korea, but if you think their name implies that they create similarly run-of-the-mill, humdrum work, you’re very much mistaken. On the contrary, their portfolio is so stuffed with first-rate creative projects, from exhibition design for Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art to some utterly irresistible poster design, that we scarcely knew where to start. So we had a chat with Jin Kang of the collective to find out its story.

  18. Owen-and-the-eyeballs-its-nice-that-list

    As our collective eyes and ears know, visual culture and aural culture go hand in hand. It’s a moot point that many bands form in art school, and that many designers, illustrators and artists have one eye on the easel (or screen) and one ear on their musical output. So with the news arriving that Tom Dixon is playing at MoMA this week in a band alongside Bradford Shellhammer, the man behind industrial design sales site Bezar, we thought we’d round up a few art and design stars who moonlight as musicians.

  19. Homework_fischerspooner_its_nice_that_list

    Danish studio Homework does luxury very well, so much so it’s like they’ve subtly crowned each project with a sprinkling of truffle shavings to make each one look even fancier. The monograph they’ve created for art pop provocateurs Fischerspooner is no exception with striking images bleeding into pristine white pages to create something truly handsome.

  20. Snarkitecture_it's_nice_that_list

    Following their installation for COS at last month’s Salone del Mobile, Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham’s experimental design studio Snarkitecture has branched out into clothing with its latest project, a capsule collection with custom print company Print All Over Me (PAOM). But these are not ordinary clothes, and in true Snarkitecture style, they find the unexpected in the familiar.

  21. Camper_life_on_foot_its_nice_that_list

    Shoes are functional. They keep our feet dry and safe from the elements but we have an ingrained desire to take the humble shoe beyond this purpose. We like to make them into objects we can admire, play around with and explore. For Spanish footwear brand Camper, this sense of fun is at the heart of what they do and we’re given a glimpse of this creativity in a new exhibition at the Design Museum. Life on Foot marks the 40 year anniversary of Camper and takes us on the journey from collection conception all the way to the shop floor.

  22. Studio-toogood-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    From furniture design and a fashion line to a series of installations, Faye Toogood is a material aficionado. Her interior and environmental design work is founded in artisanship and “the irregularity of the chosen material,” meaning that no corner of the creative industries has been left untouched by her influence. We caught up with Faye to find out which five books hold the greatest sway on her bookshelf, and her inspirations – from Yohji Yamamoto to Barbara Hepworth – are evident throughout her expansive practice.

  23. Polly-brown-itsnicethat-list

    Open Little Deaths, the sweet new publication by photographer Polly Brown (the very same who photographed office plants in the world’s biggest companies), and if you’re not at home with French euphemisms you might believe you’re looking at photographs of places where a person experienced their first kiss, say, or ate a really good BLT. You’re not, of course – a “little death,” as translated from the French “petit mort” is an orgasm, and Polly is interested in those of the self-induced variety.

  24. Recens-itsnicethat-list-2

    When I was 15 years old I was getting drunk on Bacardi Breezers by the beach huts and caking myself in Impulse body sprays to try to cover up the smell of smoke from a crafty fag on the way home from school. I definitely was not launching an independent magazine, formulated in response to the oppressive perfectionism of mainstream media. But that’s because I’m not Elise By Olsen.

  25. Therese_ottem_nyc_opera_its_nice_that_list

    There’s a bittersweet note to Therese Ottem’s identity for the New York City Opera. While the Swedish designer was working on the project, the company (which launched in 1943) unfortunately filed for bankruptcy and now no longer exists. But, chins up everyone and let’s appreciate the wonderful work Therese created for it anyway. Modern and fresh, the colour palette dances within the soft waves used throughout the identity. Therese manages to balance the elegance and high culture expected at the opera with the innovative and contemporary work the company was known for perfectly. The bold initials are striking and I love how they trip gracefully off the edges of gift bags and banners.

  26. List-dan-romanoski-its-nice-that-4_900

    Some bands thrust their fans’ hands into their pockets with things like “pussy rings,” a “tedious beer” or a box set of dildos, as James Cartwright found out.. Others are content with great graphic design across posters, record sleeves, patches and T-shirts, and that’s where Dan Romanoski fits in. Dan is a freelance designer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. His work careers through numerous styles and concerns, from some 80s-like colour combinations reminiscent of the big, baggy things my mum wore when I was small to more industrial-led monochrome works, all executed with finesse.

  27. Abi-benitez-gayletter-covers-its-nice-that-list

    It’s not just the beautiful boys, pops of candy pink and considered, but effortless-seeming look and feel of Gayletter that’s made me fall slightly in love with it on the first flick through. I think it’s chimed so much in its sense of positivity – a feel of community and working together to celebrate what’s positive and beautiful in not only gay culture, but in society more widely. The second issue of the mag arrived in the post recently all the way from New York, and greeted with that sunny, fun cover image of a pretty young thing cradling a bunch of big yellow sunflowers, we couldn’t really resist it.

  28. Flickr-itsnicethat-list

    Remember the days when Flickr reigned supreme over the kingdom of image-sharing sites and photo galleries? So does Yahoo, and after spending two years working on an extensive redesign across web, iOS, Android, PC and Mac, it’s hoping to elevate the site back to its former status under the title Flickr 4.0. Among the elements included in the redesign are a new filter which allows you to view images according to colour, size and orientation, more intelligent algorithms which are better suited to search terms, and a tailored image recognition service which tags your photos for you. All hail the terabyte’s worth of online storage!

  29. List

    They wowed us in 2010 with their pop-up cinema in an old petrol station in Clerkenwell, The Cineroleum, and the following year they won us over with Folly for a Flyover in Hackney Wick. Now, after 15 years of transforming unusual spaces, the east London collective Assemble has been shortlisted for the 2015 Turner Prize for the revival of a cluster of derelict terraced houses in Liverpool, Granby Four Streets. Borne out of the DIY-culture and the flurry of pop-ups like Bold Tendencies that took London by storm a few years ago, the collective of 18 designers and architects is an exciting choice, and a first for the often sensational art prize.

  30. Htmlflowers-virtualcandle-spaceface-itsnicethat-list

    We’ve been quietly stalking HTMLflowers (aka Grant Gronewold) these past few years since we found him through Simon Hanselmann’s Girl Mountain tumblr. The pair are housemates, living and working together in a most intense fashion – drawing, eating, sleeping and dabbling with chemicals together – but that’s something we’ve explored here if you want to find out more.

  31. List-erik-kessels-unfinished-father_002-its-nice-that

    Kesselskramer co-founder Erik Kessels’ side projects usually seem light-hearted: take his book Attack of the Giant Fingers, for instance. His latest project, though, has a decidedly more serious slant, having been borne of his father suffering a stroke. For the project, named Unfinished Father, Erik looked to his pa’s passion for restoring Fiat 500 (Topolino) cars. Prior to his stroke, Kessels senior was halfway through completing his fifth of such restorations, but it was left unfinished since the attack left him barely able to move or speak.

  32. Nicer_tuesdays_technology_list_image

    This month’s Nicer Tuesdays is on the subject of nature, bringing together four talks from creatives who approach the subject in their own unique way.