Article Archive

  1. Stevedaniels-hero-list

    There is an awful lot of discussion around starting a new magazine and for many creatively inclined people it remains one of their foremost ambitions. Last week Makeshift founder Steve Daniels wrote an excellent blog about the things to consider when planning a new publication, and in doing so summed up many things we too feel are important. Steve’s now become an advisor to the title he founded, a move which maybe gives him a little extra distance to write “not a guide to the nuts and bolts of finding a printer and selling subscriptions but a contemplation of the major elements that will set you up for success.”

  2. Int-list-noah-publicity-_2---photo-credit---fernanda-pereira---300dpi-use-from-jan-15

    From retina-singeing graphics to a bold, experimental interactive website to stunning, sometimes heartbreaking music videos and visceral live visuals, all things Panda Bear of late have blown us away. While he’s not created these things single-handedly (he’s collaborated with Marco Papiro, Pattak, SEEN Studio, Encyclopedia Pictura and Danny Perez respectively), you don’t surround yourself with such brilliant visual content without having a very deft eye and a soul that’s as resolutely creative as your hair is resolutely ruffleable, in the case of Panda Bear.

  3. Helen-cathcart-bolder-int-list

    “Yes we do live in an ageist society – but it is changing. More people as they retire are staying active, you see older people out skiing, golfing, swimming and travelling. They aren’t lying around letting the world go by. Attitudes are changing but there is a definite cult of youth. My life motto? Be positive and never give in.”

  4. Poesis_savvy_6-int-list

    If we were being terribly lazy, we’d start this story about a great Mexican design agency “Savvy Studio by name, Savvy Studio by nature.” Of course we’re terribly diligent, so instead we’ll focus on the great work it’s carried out for a consultancy called Poesis. The branding project manages to elevate a company with complex aims (it hopes to “raise your energy levels of consciousness and skills of transformation and healing,” apparently) into something simple, slick and beautiful.

  5. Wieden_kennedy-nike-itsnicethat-list

    The US Masters is arguably the most anticipated event in the golfing world, and as Thursday’s tee-off draws ever nearer all eyes are on British hopeful Rory McIlroy. But as ever there’s also a lot of attention on Tiger Woods, whose scintillating talent can’t be ignored despite his much-publicised personal problems. With a lot made of the showdown between the two, it’s interesting to think that for years Rory idolised Tiger and this journey from fanboy to rival is played out with typical aplomb in Wieden + Kennedy’s new Nike spot.

  6. Larrysultan-pfh-10-int_copy

    Larry Sultan’s photography is imbued with both the traditions of documentary and staging, and captures suburban life often in his hometown in the San Fernando Valley. Pictures From Home is a project that spanned a decade featuring his mother and father as primary subjects.

  7. Main

    Matthew Houston or “Doctor Butters” as his web address proclaims, is an young illustrator working in a truly old-school way. The Ohio-based artist designs characters and worlds in a style he’s honed after years of studying drawing, which he took up after sacking in his job a few years back. I love how he’s embraced a fundamental branch of illustration in character design, and has strayed away from trendier styles in his quest to become an illustrator. The creatures and people he creates are a bunch of people seemingly inspired by video games, sci-fi, comic books, The Hobbit and anything to do with castles, folklore and legend. In an interview with Questioning Creatives Matthew says “I would recommend going to art school. It gives you time to focus on art. It gives you an excuse to create every day. Make sure to work on personal projects while in school, don’t just do homework.” Wise words.

  8. Jen-stark-whirl-side-int-10

    If it isn’t broke then there’s absolutely no need to even think about fixing it, as artist Jen Stark is fully aware, and there’s nothing broken about her geometric papercut sculptures. The LA-based artist has been making such work for literally as long as It’s Nice That has been running – here’s the first time we ever posted about her, back in 2007 – and although her work continues to grow in intricacy, she’s stayed true to her roots. These days her sculptures are made more and more often inside huge, unassuming black and white boxes, recreating the feeling that you’re a child about to unbundle a giant parcel of joy on Christmas morning, and they’re still as impressive as they were eight years ago.

  9. Unnamed-1

    We get excited about the two days off a traditional weekend brings, so with double the time off we’re doubly excited. But why just use that extra time to eat Transformers easter eggs and watch Netflix in your pants when you can be catching up on all the art and design news from the week? You can even do that while you’re in your pants, eating a Transofrmer easter egg, if you want. So no excuses, dive head-first into the gooey sugary centre of fun, The Weekender!

  10. Things-list

    It’s been a very, very long time since I wrote a Things post, and what fun it is to delve into the box once again and pick out the best bits and bobs from the last month. This list is very publication-heavy and I apologise for that, but that’s kind of the majority of what we get sent anyway, so until people start sending us crates of cheese and wine or frisbees (anyone?) that’s just the way it is. So, without further ado here are the best gems the postman has delivered to the It’s Nice That studio this month. Enjoy!

  11. Everybody-razzle-dazzle-1-photo-mark-mcnulty-int-list

    Sir Peter Blake has designed this fabulous dazzle ship, a Mersey Ferry that will carry commuter passengers for the next two years. Named Everybody Razzle Dazzle, Sir Peter says it’s his “largest artwork to date,” and that he was “honoured and excited to have been asked to design a dazzle image for the iconic Mersey Ferry.”

  12. Blur-int-main

    Blur used to be up for starring in their videos, back when they were all so good-looking that girls used to actually camp outside Damon Albarn’s house. I don’t know about the yoof of today and what they’re into, but I think I speak for all of the women in the It’s Nice That studio when I say that I still fancy each and every band member a LOT. With that in mind I was slightly disappointed when I saw they weren’t featured in this new video by Ben Reed. Still, you can’t complain when you’re met with a cool old Chinese guy with sweet moves having a good old shuffle in an old village hall with a bunch of women and a dove. Nice work. And welcome back Blur, let me know where’s best to pitch my tent.

  13. List

    The Typographic Circle (like The Magic Circle but with less rabbits-in-hats and more font chat) was founded nearly 40 years ago and is still going strong in its mission to “bring together anyone with an interest in type and typography.”

  14. Boyocollage-int-list

    Some budding young design talents fresh out of university might harbour resentment about being thrust into a new job at a design studio as a “photocopier boy” (his words), but Patrick Waugh is not one of them. Instead he took full advantage of the rich archive at his disposal in his earliest and most junior jobs to make copies. Lots of them. And then took a scalpel and some masking tape to them, and transformed them into something altogether more exciting.

  15. Us-list-int

    Chris Barrett and Luke Taylor met on the graphic design course at Kingston University and went onto to form Us, a directorial studio based in London. The award-winning duo have created commercial work for Airbnb, Honda, Nike and The Sunday Times but today we’re particularly interested in their music videos, as they’ve created inventive and engaging work for the likes of Labrinth, Dels, Benga, Foals and Wiley. We sat down with them this week to pick their brains about the art of making great music videos and found the boys in fine form, happy to share what they’ve learned about this creative craft.

  16. List

    For the upcoming issue of Printed Pages we’ve been exploring the city of Montreal through the eyes of people who know it best. We got some top tips from some great people but one name that was repeatedly mentioned was Popolo Press, a printing venture run by Kiva Stimac that specialises in traditional techniques.

  17. Pm-int-main

    Paweł Mildner’s style keeps changing. He jumps between crisp renders, oil pastels, Riso prints, paintings and drawings like there’s no tomorrow, and has a particularly interesting portfolio because of it. He lives in Wrocław, Poland where I can only imagine he spends his days in a well-lit, affordable studio creating zines and books that appear to be for children, but are actually cynical and witty enough to appeal to your discerning comic book-loving adult as well. I sometimes find myself lurking on his Flickr page, not really up to much, just loitering about, dragging his images on to my desktop, hoping one day he’ll notice me.

  18. Lou-stoppard2

    In the run-up to our summer creative symposium Here, which takes place in London on 12 June, we’ll be profiling the amazing creatives who’ll be taking to the stage. Today we’re looking at SHOWstudio’s Lou Stoppard.

  19. Book-shelf-list

    If you’ve been for a walk in Hoxton, east London recently there’s a good chance you’ve come across One Good Deed Today, a recently-opened shop selling a curated collection of lifestyle and homeware objects. The objects on sale are lovely, but the approach taken by the owners Romain and Alev is even more so – the products are chosen based on how and where they are made, making it a very responsible collection, and five percent of all proceeds from the store are donated to a charity chosen by the customer at the time of purchase. Nice, huh?

  20. List1

    Adjectives we’ve used to describe Oscar Bolton Green over the years include: delightful, super-talented, pretty accomplished, punchy, great, wonderful, wicked, vibrant and… different. He is all of these things and more. A consummate illustrator who never ceases to impress us with his experimentation and flair. Witness his latest set of personal still-life drawings. All he’s done is assemble a few bits and pieces from his house and then sketched, but holy hell they look fantastic! When you’ve become accustomed to seeing someone work digitally it’s a pleasure to be reminded they’ve got innate abilities as a draughtsman and can use pencil and paper at will – even better when the results are this good.

  21. Harley-weirlandscapes

    How can Harley Weir take photographs of landscapes and capture a natural or industrial scene as if it were a pubescent teenager? Each one of these photos is vulnerable, oily, undulating, smelly, confused and slightly sad: like a grumpy 15-year-old fumbling about for clues of its existence.

  22. Stephenabela-int-main

    At first, Stephen Abela’s images are all glorious bronzed bodies, sun-drenched beaches and hazy holiday reveries. But beneath the heat, there’s something else at play too, which feels a little more disquieting. In that oft-cited Edward Hopper thing: even in the densely populated scenes there feels like there’s a loneliness. Even the speech bubbles are lonely – in fact, they’re vacant – suggesting that for all the beautiful scenery, the folk that populate it aren’t quite sure what to say or what to do. There’s a joy there, for sure, but the great thing about Stephen’s work is this complexity, and the sense that all isn’t necessarily as it seems.

  23. Nicer-tuesdays-extra-int-3

    As host Liv Siddall helpfully reiterated last night “we’ve all been children at some point,” so the theme of Childhood is a surprisingly appropriate one for a night of talks from people doing brilliant work in the art and design world. Among the ones who spoke at Nicer Tuesdays last night we heard from Toby Parkin, who is lead curator of the hotly anticipated New Interactive Museum at London’s well-loved Science Museum, comics artist Kev F. Sutherland who has drawn characters for the likes of the Beano, Katie Johnston from Playology and Dean of London College of Communication, Lawrence Zeegen.

  24. Studio-audience-lemon_list

    This episode of the podcast finds me, Liv Siddall, having a good old chinwag with assistant editor Maisie Skidmore and art director Ali Hanson about all things news-related. Here we chat the new episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, Tracey Emin’s My Bed, and whether or not celebrity-backed projects such as Lauren Laverne’s The Pool or Jay-Z and co’s Tidal Wave should be immediately classed as any good.

  25. Wieden_kennedy_window-list

    It’s gone midday now, so sadly if you’ve not already done something hilarious like text your boss to say you’ve pooped your pants on the train à la Liv Siddall, you’re too late. Still, it’s time to sit back and reflect on what the less tardy jokers amongst us have been doing while the rest of us make clever comments about how with such-and-such-a-publication it’s tricky to tell the fools from the facts.

  26. Dhmis-int-1

    PESKY BEE! Today is the day fans all over the world wring their little tiny/big hairy hands together for: the day when a new episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is released! Did you know that the first episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared has over 24 million views on YouTube? With that many fans to please, Becky and Joe have been working overtime on this one, collaborating with a bunch of new people as you’ll see in the increasingly lengthy credits at the abrupt end.

  27. Dandeacon-int-main

    Have you ever been to a Dan Deacon gig where he makes the whole audience do a whole bunch of stuff to involve them in the performance? He makes everyone sit down, stand up, lie down, run in circles and, recently, control their phones to create a sea of rainbow lights clutched by sweaty hands throughout the crowd. What’s even better is that these chaotic sweat-fests more often than not take place in galleries. Yeah, galleries! Full of expensive art and priceless old stuff. We wanted to chat to Dan about why he tends to gravitate towards this kind of venue for his immersive performances, his brand new music video (below), which comics he’s into, and why his album artwork is always SO good. Here he is…

  28. Frida-by%c2%a0ishiuchi-_50_-2012-2015%c2%a0(sunglasses)-int-list

    It’s always a thrill to rifle through other people’s bits and bobs, even more so if that other person is Frida Kahlo. Thanks to a series of images by Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako we can do just that, taking a startlingly intimate-feeling journey through the particulars of the artist. The photographs, which are going on show in May at London’s Michael Hoppen gallery, were captured in 2013 and what makes them feel so eerie is perhaps the photographer’s diligent, cataloging approach to her subject matter. It’s telling that Ishiuchi knew little about the work of Frida, perhaps giving a stance which could be more critical and more focussed on the objects themselves rather than the meanings it’s so easy to imbue them with.

  29. Chloe-scheffe-modern-times-signs-int-list

    We’re struggling to believe that Chloe Scheffe is still a student: her work is incredibly mature, nuanced and smart. She’s studying at Rhode Island School of Design, which in part explains her brilliant output, and her site is a testament to the quality and breadth of her output. Two very different but equally accomplished projects that caught our eye are some brilliant monochrome posters for a show at the college, which need little explanation, and some signage, which needs a little more.

  30. Camille-summers-valli-int-list

    “Their agenda is that they want an activist film that goes into the history of their struggle and presents a contemporary portrait of what’s happening in Black Mesa right now. But it’s not an activist film. I think ultimately it has undertones of activism because of the subject matter, but an activist film follows a certain structure and I’m definitely moving more towards something else.”

  31. Nic-natives-int-list

    What happens when you take five very talented artists and makers, and send them all off together to a a stone barn in the Lake District to draw, make music, write poetry, take photographs and generally spend time exploring together? Beautiful things, that’s what, as Nicolas Burrows (who is one third of brilliant collective Nous Vous) soon found out.

  32. Hands-int-7-list

    Nicolas Herenstein’s Hands animation studio specialises in bright, bold vector animations, typically used for advertising and informing. Need to tell the world to get on social media for the duration of the Tour de France? Hands’ll do it. Want to encourage people to vote in the next election? Call Hands. Or maybe you’ve got a museum dedicated to the Olympics that you’d appreciate some visitors for. Not a problem; Hands has got it covered, and they’ll probably make your customers chuckle a bit too!