Article Archive

  1. Jo-glover-v_a-mcqueen-int-list

    The arrival of the Alexander McQueen retrospective Savage Beauty in London was always going to be special. Its showing at the V&A therefore required some very, very special graphics, and the job of creating them went to the establishment’s senior designer, Jo Glover. She’s worked on numerous campaigns for the V&A, but this one must have been something of a dream project, with so much superb imagery and such a fascinating character to try and convey through physical and digital graphics.

  2. Ash-thayer-kill-city-int-list-3

    New York City in the early 1990s was dramatically different to how we know it now, if Ash Thayer’s new book Kill City is anything to go by. The Lower East Side was overrun with derelict buildings and dingy corners, and having been kicked out of her Brooklyn apartment Ash came across a welcoming community at a squat called See Skwat. As publisher PowerHouse explains, in that era “squatters took over entire buildings, but these structures were barely habitable. They were overrun with vermin, lacking plumbing, electricity, and even walls, floors, and a roof. Punks and outcasts joined the squatter movement and tackled an epic rebuilding project to create homes for themselves.”

  3. Tomvek-main

    This month we are going to be studying the much-recognised connection between art and music. To kick things off we have designer and musician Tom Vek to make a speech of sorts about this very connection, and who better to do so than someone so involved in both fields. Lately Tom has been working on Sleevenote, a new free app that allows you to view artwork LP-style on your phone, which is well worth a look once you’ve read this fantastic piece of writing on the beautiful relationship between art and music.

  4. Chris-clarke-the-guardian-thefashion_redesign_coverstory1-int-list-2

    Described as “bold, bright and boisterous,” The Guardian’s redesign of its biannual magazine The Fashion manages to navigate that tricky aesthetic of merging playful with high-end. The magazine, which launched in 2013, was redesigned by The Guardian deputy creative director Chris Clarke, who aimed to align the supplement more with the paper’s other products. As such, there’s a new display font, a refined icon and a new typographic logo-mark which also acts as a page divider and guides the eye round the content in a simple, almost Bauhaus-esque way.

  5. Michaelthorsby-damnson-int-list

    Design projects focussed on hip-hop are like London buses in the old saying; you wait ages for one and then two turn up at once. Last week we celebrated Brick magazine and hot on its heels today we’re delving into Damn Son Where Did You Find That? which is described as “the first book ever to focus on the cover art of the modern US hip-hop mixtape.”

  6. Robin-maddock-gff-int-list-2

    Robin Maddock is currently working in Nigeria – a long old way from Plymouth, which was the setting for his series God Forgotten Face. The project condenses suburban British culture into a collection of curious and familiar photographs, made from the perspective of a photographer who is used to moving around frequently. “I wanted to use a place which I knew well, to show a wider feeling about England,” he explains to us. “My father is from Plymouth, so we visited my grandparents often when growing up in Singapore, and it made a very strong impression on me. All the history, especially the Blitz and its consequent post-war rebuild, speaks strongly about where we came from and what we wanted to be.”

  7. Catalogue-acorn-3-int_copy

    London and Leeds-based design studio Catalogue has designed the identity and printed matter for independent hip-hop and jazz label Acorn Tapes. The posters and tapes follow the same principle: bold typography that is stylistically recognisable but can be applied to hip-hop, jazz, or really any musical genre, and imagery that pushes the tapes from limited release to collectors’ item. The low-lit, jazz bar iconography and 80s illustration that without Catalogue’s design notes could have just been a little bit too much become tongue-in-cheek references to long-reigning stereotypes.

  8. Krass-mag-10-int

    KRASS is a nod to the function of a magazine as something to be taken home, read in bed, cut up, stuck up, passed around,” says Sanja Grozdanic, co-founder of the new publication. “We were motivated by the lofty ideals one finds studying Journalism or Literature, that are quickly extinguished in the real world. The medicine for that is to create your own world – one that happens to grant you access to a never-ending supply of brilliant minds.”

  9. Marta-monteiro-int-list

    Remember Marta Monteiro, whose series of Lilliputian heroines effectively encaptured all of our best Borrower-themed dreams last summer? The illustrator based in Penafiel, Portugal been busy at work since we last checked in, creating all manner of editorial illustrations for the likes of The New York Times and the Washington Post, not to mention some self-initiated projects which have materialised into beautiful books, like Sombras. Her work gives the impression of an illustrator still refining her style, which in her instance is immeasurably exciting, lending her a versatility and an authenticity few manage to successfully pull off. We’re especially enjoying the piece for The Man Who Knew It All, a giant-headed polka-dot dress-wearing lady borrowing the brain of another.

  10. Weekender-list

    The sun’s out, the Lighthouse Family’s on the stereo and we’re very much imbued with That Friday Feeling. But in the words of Columbo, “Just one more thing!” That thing is The Weekender, all the art and design news from the site and the big, bad wider world from this week in one big and pretty chunk for you.

  11. Va-alexander-mcqueen-int-list

    This week saw the opening of the V&A’s much-lauded exhibition of Alexander McQueen’s life’s work, Savage Beauty, a show which attempts to paint McQueen in all of the forms he appeared throughout his career. The experience is almost overwhelming in its presentation of the designer as a visionary, and I left the press view with lists of adjectives covering every available inch of paper I could reach: perverse, sexual, primitive, distorted, gothic, mourning, melancholy. None of them quite seemed to cover it.

    Senior research assistant Kate Bethune worked on the exhibition for around 18 months in the lead up to its opening. “It’s been an absolutely privilege to work on,” she explained to us in a busy corner at the press view yesterday, as the show exhibited in a similar form at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art several years back, there’s a sense that Savage Beauty has now come home. “London was the heart of McQueen’s world,” Kate continued. “He was born here, he was raised in the East End, he attended Central Saint Martins, trained at Savile Row as a tailor and established his fashion label here. It really meant everything to him.”

  12. Brick_01_cover_wizkhalifa-int-list

    There’s no question that BRICK has been the attraction of choice in the It’s Nice That studio this week. Its fluorescent green logotype and Wiz Khalifa’s fixing gaze on the cover combine to act like metal to magpies, and within seconds of picking it up you’ve been drawn in. It might be to a feature in which ex Death Row Records employee Nina Bhadreshwar reflects on her friendship with Tupac, or one where Cam’ron and T.I. discuss staying relevant after 15 years in the game, or editor-in-chief Grant Brydon gets inside the brain of Joey Bada$$. Either way, there’s no putting it down.

  13. Willhall-ponyfightpinterest-int-list

    We’ve all been there: it’s mid afternoon, you had too much lunch, the coffee’s worn off and the inspiration levels are in the doldrums. But that moodboard won’t build itself, right? So you head over to Pinterest and hope the good people there might have done some of the work for you.

  14. Milton-glaser-brooklyn-blast-int-list

    Milton Glaser has designed a new look for Brooklyn Brewery’s BLAST! IPA, working with his senior art director Sue Walsh on the project. Milton created the original designs for the bottles last year, and the new look aims to “capture more of the true energy of the beer,” according to the brand. It reckons the beer “deserved a little more oomph,” and we reckon Milton has given it just that.

  15. Moonhead-book22-list

    It’s so reassuring to hear that a job at a top ad agency can be secured from an interview on no sleep, feeling “a bit spaced out.” While it’s possibly not the best career advice, that’s exactly how Andrew Rae landed a role at BBH, he told us in his talk at Offset festival. We’re huge fans of Andrew’s work, which over the years has included creating characters for the Mighty Book of Boosh, beautiful botanical illustrations and the wonderful, heartwarming and psychedelic graphic novel Moonhead and the Music Machine.

  16. Laboratoryperfumes_l_kf_tonka-lr-int-list

    Fabulous photography, super set design and stunning scents. We’re starting to sound like a husky, sensual M&S advert. So before we delve into any more sensuous nonsense, we present a beautiful combination of all three of the aforementioned beauties: this gorgeous campaign for Laboratory Perfumes, entitled Imagining the Invisible. The images accompany the launch of the brand’s series The Lab, a range of “creative experiments in scent,” which look to the visual world to articulate how bloody lovely their perfumes are. These are shown on The Lab website, in images created by set design duo Lightning + Kinglyface (Anna Fulmine and Victoria Shahrokh, to the taxman), and photographed by Kate Jackling.

  17. Dbg-book-int-list

    We’re huge fans of David Brandon Geeting at It’s Nice That, so news that his work has been immortalised in the form of a gloriously colourful new publication by Pau Wau books was music to our tired ears. Infinite Power is full of his characteristic still lifes, removing everyday objects from common use to make them appear utterly isolated and a bit strange. Copper piping topped with an egg? Check. A fluffy rug paired with a garlic clove? It’s in there. A never-ending hug of extension leads? He’s got that too. David, you complete us.

  18. Ryan-lowry-int-list-2

    There are few out there who have shot Richard Branson posing beside a golden lift for Travel and Leisure, or Tavi Gevinson reclining serenely on her bed for The Great Discontent, which leads us to believe that Ryan Lowry is no ordinary photographer. Splitting his time between Chicago and NYC (although his site specifies that he is available for projects “everywhere in the world… E V E R Y W H E R E”) he’s racked up an incredible roster of clients with his candid, dynamic imagery, including Apartamento, commissioners of all things excellent Bloomberg Businessweek, Vice and Condé Nast, as well as a bunch of others. He seems to be part of a new school of portraiture photographers able to bypass all of the stale sitting about making idle conversation and jump straight to the part where you’re having a really good laugh with your subjects, and his work is all the better for it.

  19. Dyakova-guestbook-8-int_copy

    Sonya Dyakova’s Atelier Dyakova has just updated its website with a new design for Guestbook, a magazine made in-house by onefinestay, who “curate homes” around the world for people to stay in. The design is clear and un-intrusive while maintaining a strong sense of character. The tone of the features runs through to the typography and illustration, and just as you’d expect from your favourite cities, the magazine has a nice sense of space.

  20. Azeliabanks-single-4-int_copy

    Whenever we need a power-surge in the studio we have a straight-forward recipe for success: Azealia Banks and headphones. Seriously, if you need to be ridiculously productive and do loads of high-quality work in an unfathomably short amount of time (just like Azealia Banks does), just stick on Broke with Expensive Taste and go, go, go.

  21. Will-robson-scott-dogs-int-list

    I don’t care how many Tumblrs are littered with pictures of puppies or how many Instagram pugs make their way into my feed, there’s something irresistible about photographs of dogs with their owners. Especially when they look alike. Which having seen this new project from Will Robson-Scott and Ollie Grove, is, I can confirm, a real thing. It happens. They start to resemble one another.

  22. Lamm-kirch-posters-2-int

    Lamm & Kirch is a graphic design studio based in Leipzig, Germany. Mostly working with printed matter, it has produced one of the most varied, fun and colourful back-catalogues of poster work I’ve ever seen. Referencing bygone eras, sci-fi, austere modernism and superheroes, Lamm & Kirch has pretty much got all bases covered.

  23. Wiedenkennedy-honda-list

    Nice simple idea here from Wieden + Kennedy to introduce Honda’s new range of cars under the wider umbrella of the brand’s boundary-pushing approach. Keep Up begins as a spot that challenges the viewer to, well, keep up with text that runs across the screen – against a backdrop of a vast expanse of desert – culminating in the line “Get to better faster.” But rather than leave it at that, the idea is taken onto its logical next step, with viewers directed to a second spot where the text goes even quicker, and then to a third where the words positively shoot across the screen. What’s interesting is how your mind adapts and you are able to follow the sense of it even at breakneck speed, which is a neat way of encapsulating the brand message in a very human, individual way.

  24. Piece-int-list

    Get ready for more unexpected furniture puns than you’d anticipated seeing this morning, courtesy of a self-initiated project from designers Marcel Häusler (the chap behind this fantastic work) and Regina Pichler. Give Piece a Chance was initially conceived of as a magazine which celebrates ten things each from the two designers’ homes which usually go un-championed – from a stack of magazines to an alarm clock shaped like a chicken – giving them their chance to shine in a simple zine format accompanied by joyous puns. It has since evolved into an online community of people around the world getting involved on their Facebook page, showing off some of the stuff they own and giving their own pieces a chance. A worthy cause!

  25. Nikhartley-everyst-3-int

    Nik Hartley’s Every Street records three days worth of haircut highlights at Stylz barber shop in North-East Lancashire. Alongside the strong cuts are shots of the red-brick terraces that line the streets, bunting and electricity pylons. There’s a nice sense of pride to the portraits, both of a good haircut and more pertinently, the social hub of a hometown.

  26. Jasongalea-int-main

    I came across Jason when I was ogling at this poster for the Panache Spring Fling featuring White Fence, yet another ear-watering gig that I won’t be able to make it to because it’s across the Atlantic. Panache is a boutique booking agency in LA which represent bands like Ty Segall, Chris Cohen, Jacco Gardner, Fuzz, Juliana Barwick, U.S Girls…I could go on. In keeping with its roster it commissions the likes of Melbourne-based visual artist Jason Galea to make the posters and sleeves look as cool and apt as possible. Jason clearly knows what he’s doing with these posters, record sleeves and animations. This is the work of someone who has studied the music visuals of the past, sat around a Ouija board, reincarnated them, and smoked the spirits up in an acid-green infinity bong before splurging them out as art. It’s okay to rip stylistic qualities from eras gone by, but only if you, like Jason, genuinely love the music, and know exactly what you are doing.

  27. Blamey-ct-6-int

    David Blamey, the artist who founded publisher Open Editions, has authored the first release from Continuous Tone, a series of sound works that treat the medium as a viable space for the production of art.

  28. Sagmeisterwalsh-fugue-int-10-list-new

    It’s always good to get word from Sagmeister & Walsh in New York but it took some concentration to get our heads round their latest project. The studio has produced a new identity for Fugue, a platform which “automates the creation, operations, and regeneration of cloud infrastructure” (us neither).

  29. Queen-list

    Turns out even Prince Charles and Camilla are prone to some Royal cock-ups on Mother’s Day, if a new ad for The Body Shop is to be believed. The brilliant spot by Mr President and Alison Jackson shows Charlie and Cam struggling, as many of us do, to make the morning just perfect for Her Majesty, burning the toast, making a shambles of Sellotaping gifts and goofing around washing the corgis. Where they do succeed, however, is in making the boiled eggs into very British little soldiers. It’s a really clever campaign – sweet, funny, brilliantly written and replete with Harry dashing down the stairs clutching champagne, wearing nothing but his pants (Union Jack-patterned, of course.) And if you want some tips from the hapless pair before this Sunday, there are six additional films showing the prep in more detail, including “How to blow-dry a corgi” and “How to make a breakfast fit for a queen.” Great work, Alison!

  30. Andyrementer-sanmarinostamps-int-list

    Here’s some things you probably didn’t know about the tiny Republic of San Marino. It has no railway. Its 33,00 citizens enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world. It is famous for its stamps, which are widely collected by philatelists, or stamp collectors. This last revelation is the one that concerns us here, because we found out yesterday that illustrator, artist and long-time friend of the site Andy Rementer has just designed a set of stamps for The Philatelic and Numismatic Bureau of San Marino, themed around fantastical interpretations of 3D printing.

  31. Alicerawsthorn-instagram-int-2

    An awful lot has been said and written about the new ways we consume design in the digital era. But although the rights and wrongs of design blogs have been well-covered, other platforms have received less attention as critical mediums and it’s always interesting to see new ways of engaging with visual content. Alice Rawsthorn is one of the best-respected design writers around, thanks both to her books and her articles for Frieze and The International New York Times.

    On January 1 she began posting design-related imagery to her new Instagram account and this has evolved in recent weeks into themed explorations of topics ranging from film titles to feminism. Posted with articulate explanatory captions, she seems to have hit upon an enlightening and accessible way to talk about design. We caught up with her to find out a little more…

  32. Neo-neo-int-list

    The last time we wrote about Geneva-based design studio Neo Neo it was to find out a bit more about them and the way they work, in spring of last year. They’ve since amassed a client list populated mainly with arts and cultural establishments – museums, galleries, town halls and the like – creating identities for art festivals, graphic design exhibitions, film festivals and classical music concerts in some of Switzerland’s cultural hotspots.