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248 articles
  1. List

    And so the week is winding down and we’re all having a little jig thinking about the wonders and delights the next two days has to offer. But before we leave y’all, check out some things what we did this week and then the usual feckless collection of the weird and wonderful bits and bobs that made it into our eyes this week. There may or may not be a crow doing winter sports (there is).

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    At last month’s Nicer Tuesdays we were joined by photographer Dan Tobin Smith who talked us through his extraordinary London Design Festival installation of colour-coded clutter called The First Law Of Kipple. “LDF is always about new things – a slightly different kind of chair – so it was interesting to extend it to things that are kind of useless,” Dan explained. He talked us through his inspirations rooted in an interest in the laws of thermodynamics, and the practical considerations such as drawing up a definitive definition of what actually constituted kipple. But at its heart the piece had very universal appeal – “We can all relate to this idea of stuff,” Dan said.

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    This week the regular pod team were scattered by a combination of illness and holidays but we managed to find some 24-carat replacements. We chatted about the Kim Kardashian Paper Magazine cover shot by Jean-Paul Goude, as well as reflecting on the event we held this week at London College of Communication to explore whether there is a gap between design educattion and the creative industries.

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    It’s Chrrrrrriiiiissssstttttmmmmmaaaaaasssssssss! Ok it’s not really, but there are certain milestones that begin the countdown to the festive season and in our own small way we hope the arrival of the It’s Nice That Annual is one of them. Designed this year by the excellent Studio Makgill, the Annual is back and it’s bigger and better than ever before.

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    Nicer Tuesdays is back, and this month we are joined by four creatives who are exploring the world of food in unique and inspiring ways.

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    At October’s art themed Nicer Tuesdays we heard from Jessica Vaughan, programme coordinator at Studio Voltaire. She looked at the difference between commissioning and curating and explained that at Studio Voltaire, “there is a huge emphasis on risk-taking, and putting the artist at the centre of everything we do.” Focusing on their latest show with Turner Prize nominee Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jessica explained how she helps bring this challenging and provocative work to life. “I work with artists not art objects to make things happen, she said, but conceded, “as a curator you do spend a lot of time thinking about funding.”

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    Ahead of a panel discussion we’re hosting at London College of Communication next week we’re keen to explore whether the gap between design schools and the creative industries is a problem that needs addressing. You can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

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    Last month we held an evening of talks at Mother London to showcase some of our favourite creative projects made possible through crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Since it launched in 2009, it’s no exaggeration to say the organisation has changed the way the creative world works and it was great to hear from some of those who had made the most of the new opportunities Kickstarter offers.

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    First up at our art-themed Nicer Tuesdays we heard from Neil Griffiths, founder of the Arts Emergency charity. Describing himself as “part uncle, part agitator, part administrator,” his organisation was born out of “ a lot of passion and lot of anger.” Its mission is to open up careers in the creative and media industries to people who don’t enjoy the privileges that often give certain people a head start. From this simple idea the charity has grown to working with thousands of young people offering one-to-one mentoring and practical help like UCAS advice and vocal coaching for auditions. “We have got a toxic situation,” Neil explained in terms of financial cuts for arts education,” so we are doing something very practical and very positive.”

  10. Weekender-list

    The Weekender is like the online equivalent of the bucket full of sweets that your mum keeps next to the front door on Halloween to hurl at the kids who come trick or treating. Except we’ve replaced the treats with art and design, so you’ll have to get your calories elsewhere. As the Criminologist says, “I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.” Off we go then!

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    Last night’s Nicer Tuesdays was themed around art and we welcomed four speakers who looked at the topic from the perspectives of education, research, curation and publication.

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    To stop you losing any more precious minutes when we lose an hour on Sunday, here at It’s Nice That we’ve kindly gathered all the important stuff you should be wrapping your eyes around before they’re left sadly squinting in darkness. You know because we’re nice like that. Let us be your light. Here’s The Weekender.

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    At last month’s photo-themed Nicer Tuesdays we were joined by Luke Evans, a photographer, designer and one of our 2014 Graduates. Luke gave us a funny and honest account of three of his projects, from swallowing photographic film and creating landscapes on his kitchen table to printing with 400,000 volts. Outlining the fun and the challenges of working on what he called “super low-budget stuff,” his talk confirmed the importance of following through with ideas, however daft they may initially seem. “There were tonnes and tonnes of failures,” he admitted.

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    Over recent weeks we’ve made a few ch-ch-changes here at It’s Nice That HQ and seeing as they’ve now all taken effect, we thought it made sense to bring y’all up to speed too. Rob Alderson, James Cartwright and Maisie Skidmore stay in their current roles as Editor-in-Chief, Print Editor and Assistant Editor respectively but elsewhere we’ve mixed things up a bit.

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    This month’s Nicer Tuesdays will tackle the subject of art, bringing together four speakers who will each describe a different stage in the art process from education and research to curation and finally publication.

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    At last month’s photography-themed Nicer Tuesdays we were thrilled to welcome Harry Hardie, photography lecturer at the University of Westminster and founder of Here Press, whose mission he explained is “to make concept albums in book form. We like to find projects that are really problematic and try to make sense of them.”

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    Earlier this week we covered Chelsea Louise Berlin’s fantastic book Rave Art which celebrates the flyers and invites that defined the acid house era in the 1980s and 90s. The article was a huge hit, bringing back some fond (and maybe quite hazy) memories for many readers, so with that in mind it was a no-brainer when it came to choosing this week’s Friday Mixtape.

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    At last month’s Nicer Tuesdays we welcomed four speakers who explored the art and craft of photography in very different ways. Olly Lang kicked off proceedings telling us from the off that he’s very definitely not a photographer; although his 200,000 Instagram followers may beg to differ. Olly talked about how he marries the technological advantages of shooting on his smartphone – the discretion, the flexibility and the sheer number of pictures you can take – with the artistic flair of the photographers he really admires, “who manage to capture so much flavour in their images.” The power of the phone is that it allows him to switch very quickly between creating and consuming imagery, and he explained how the right composition plus the right context can create powerful pictures.

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    Few things fundamentally change the way the creative world works, which makes the rise and rise of crowdfunding site Kickstarter all the more remarkable. Now five years in, it’s one of those brands that’s become a verb and “to Kickstarter” is an increasingly common way of launching a project.

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    In recent months the question of so-called spec work has been raised with us over social media in light of various design competitions we have helped promote. Off the back of that we have spent a lot of time discussing this thorny issue with various people so as to formulate a consistent approach, although the nature of these things is that each is best analysed on a case by case basis.

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    At last night’s Nicer Tuesdays we were treated to four varied but equally enlightening talks on different aspects of the art and craft of photography.

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    At August’s storytelling-themed Nicer Tuesdays, we were joined by founders and hosts of The Butcher’s Apron podcast, Emma Gibson and Nadine Monem. They came together after realising “that all the best stories were the ones we told and retold down the pub” and wanted to carve out a radio space in which these tales could live.

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    If the Weekender was a person, it’d be the kind of person you’d walk past in the street, then taken three steps backwards to get a better look at, then recoil visibly from, then reach into your pocket to take out your phone and take a selfie with. Later on at the pub you’d whip out your phone excitedly to share this uniquely memorable moment with your friends, and find that the photograph had disappeared and all that was left was a shot of you posing awkwardly with a packet of Monster Munch. That’s just the kind of guy the Weekender is. Enjoy our weekly supplement!

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    At last month’s Nicer Tuesdays the brilliant Ken Wong of ustwo gave us a terrific insight into how narrative informed and permeated the studio’s hugely popular Monument Valley game. “There is no blowing things up or high scores,” Ken explained, “just geometry and impossible architecture and forgiveness.”

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    To celebrate the launch of the Autumn issue of Printed Pages, we’ll be giving you a taster of some of the articles all this week. Below you’ll find a short excerpt from the story as well as a couple of images; for the full piece you can buy the latest Printed Pages here.

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    This month’s Nicer Tuesdays event sees us bring together four photographers who approach the discipline in unique and inspiring ways.

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    To celebrate the launch of the Autumn issue of Printed Pages, we’ll be giving you a taster of some of the articles all this week. Below you’ll find a short excerpt from the story as well as a couple of images; for the full piece you can buy the latest Printed Pages here.

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    At last month’s storytelling-themed Nicer Tuesdays, we were joined by actor and director Gabriel Bisset-Smith freshly arrived back in London from the Edinburgh Festival. He gave us an entertaining insight into how his approach “of picking up elements as you go along” plays out in practice. Inspired by a messy break-up but without “a video camera or any money..and depending on budget, cast and when people were available” he showed how the initial ideas evolved into an intriguing end-product; at times funny, at times unsettling and always perceptive about our relationship with photographs, and each other.

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    Eike König and his HORT studio are celebrating 20 years of genre-blurring graphic design work with a show at London’s KK Outlet at the moment, and we felt this was a milestone well worth marking. So we’re excited and delighted to unveil three specially-commissioned t-shirts on which we have worked with Eike’s brilliant team.

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    Would you bloody well look at that? You thought Friday would never roll around again and yet here it is, like the cat that wanders home in the morning having spent the whole night in the cubby hole behind the garage getting chummy with next door’s Tabby, smug, self-satisfied and ready to sit in your lap and purr itself to sleep. These anthropomorphic days of the week, you never know what they’re going to turn up as. Here’s the Weekender.

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    Last month our Nicer Tuesdays event focused on storytelling, with four speakers tackling how this much overused idea informs and inspires their work. Illustrator Kyle Platts, one of our absolutely favourite creatives, explained that life “is a sandwich filling between two baps of infinity” and so storytelling is our response to this, as a way of passing on experience from generation to generation.

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    Fun bus, you ask? Yes! The fun bus! Because it’s back-to-school week, and while that predominantly means potentially giving our shoes a polish for us non-attending folk we have been getting into the spirit of it by listening to this on repeat and raiding the stationery cupboard for some fancy new pens with which to draw all over our backpacks. School’s the bomb. Here’s some fun/ridiculous/entertaining stuff we found this week.

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    And so another week wings by in an instant but for all you pod fans that means another brand new episode of Studio Audience. This week listen to Liv, Amy, Rob and Maisie discuss some going-on from the art and design world, plus the usual weird and wonderful tangents you’ve come to expect. As ever you can listen using the SoundCloud embed below or you can subscribe via iTunes here.

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    In London, the August bank holiday weekend is all about Notting Hill Carnival. Whether you’re staunchly refusing to go to it in favour of sitting at home in a grump, the first person to stick gold ostrich feathers to your best pants or already knocking back the “mix-them-in-your-mouth rum cocktails!” and having a bash on your steel pans in preparation (in which case you’re two full days early, chill out yeah?) we’re ready to get you started with our weekly instalment of tomfoolery. Crack right on!

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    Next up in out travel themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is Chris Coe, who founded Travel Photographer of the Year “after a day of frustration talking to commissioning editors who were only interested in bog-standard photography.” He explained how the award has grown massively over the past 12 years to the point that he now reviews around 20,000 annual submissions and nearly 50,000 people saw the exhibition in London last year. He also showed that travel photography is “not just pretty pictures” but rather a broad spectrum “limited only by the scope of the photographer’s imagination.”

  36. House-announcement

    Sound the conch folks, we have some exciting news from It’s Nice That HQ. We’re restructuring and expanding our team and so we have not one but two great opportunities to come and be part of our team.

  37. Weekender-list

    If you’re old enough to remember Friday evening trips to Blockbuster with the babysitter (there was none of this Netflix malarkey for us 80s and 90s kids) you’ll remember the excitement of scanning the shelves, a bag of buttery popcorn and a bottle of coke bigger than your torso clutched in hand. Think of the Weekender as the equivalent of the wet-yourself-in-terror scary horror film that you managed to pass off in the Pingu video case; a bit unnecessary, occasionally hilarious but on the whole, entirely worth it. Here it is! Have a good’un.

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    This month we are joined by four creatives who are exploring the art of storytelling in unique and inspiring ways.

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    Next up in the talks from our travel-themed Nicer Tuesdays is reportage illustrator Olivier Kugler. Olivier was hooked on drawing since receiving a Tintin book when he was seven, although his dad’s attempts to encourage him to sketch outdoors came up against his desire “only to draw superheroes.” Now Olivier has established a practice for creating compelling visual narratives which use individuals’ lives to tell bigger stories. “I don’t draw spectacular things but I love little details,” Olivier said, and you could see that in the way his pen picked out the Pope calendar in the flat of a former Mafia boss, or the heartbreaking trivialities in a refugee camp.

  40. Weekenderlist

    As well as rounding up some of the best creative content on the site for you all week, we also like to send emails to each other with cool stuff we’ve found on ye olde internet. The Weekender is our hamper for you, a hamper of weird videos, funny pictures and cool articles. Basically anything that doesn’t quite fit under the umbrella of art and design. Enjoy.