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263 articles
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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.”

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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    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.

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    Roll up, roll up, it’s time for our weekly podcast! Seat yourself comfortably, one and all, to listen to Rob, Liv, Maisie and James talk art, exhibitions, poppies and peculiarities. You can listen via the SoundCloud below or subscribe via iTunes over here.

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    First up in our travel themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is Chris Vickers from She Was Only, the studio that has just taken over the design of “nomadic travel and culture journal” boat magazine. Chris explained how previously “each issue felt like a different publication entirely to reflect the cities being featured” and so his team worked on creating something more consistent. Changing the masthead, the format, the type choices and the way photography was used, She Was Only wanted a look and feel that could bounce off the feature city (Lima in Issue 7) while retaining an overall elegance and clarity.

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    If the weekend was a football team we’d dive headfirst onto the pitch dressed head to toe in spangly silver lycra and leg-warmers and bust out into a rousing chorus of chanting, interspersed with the odd Spice Girls lyric, to get the crowd good and warmed up ready for Friday’s giant victory. As it isn’t, we’re just going to crack open some beers and sip on them nonchalantly for the last, long half hour of the working day, wearing our usual, non-spangly attire, albeit feeling slightly more smug than we did yesterday afternoon. But, y’know, if you’re into dressing like a cheerleader, we can get behind that too. For you select few, get those pompoms good and spruced, it’s almost time!

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    Over the course of seven years It’s Nice That has been providing creative inspiration on a daily basis through our website, our publications and our events programme. But never ones to rest on our laurels, we are always reviewing what we do and how we do it. This is where you (hopefully!) come in. As part of our ongoing development of the It’s Nice That platforms, we’re super-keen to find out a bit more about who you are and find out what you like about the website, what you don’t and what you might like to see in the future. This way we can move It’s Nice That forward with plans that put our readers front and centre.

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    Two weeks ago we featured DesignStudio’s Airbnb logo. One week ago copywriter Rob Mitchell of We All Need Words wrote an Opinion piece calling for an end to convoluted brand stories. His article was cheered by some people and incensed others; Sam Peskin and Liam Hamill of VentureThree want to have their say and defend brand strategy. Again you can add your views using the comment thread below…

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    Last night’s travel-themed Nicer Tuesdays took us to the motorways of Iran and the beaches of northern Iceland, and from the Namibian desert to the streets of Lima all without leaving east London. Our four speakers all shared very different insights into how their work is shaped by changing geographical backdrops.

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    Next up in the talks from our outer-space themed Nicer Tuesdays is illustrator Ben Newman. Ben was inspired to create a space book after seeing the dull offerings in the bookshop where he once worked, and by “the sense of fascination and wonder” in the illustration-heavy books produced before man walked on the moon. Ben worked with his physicist friend Dominic Walliman to create Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, and spoke about the challenges of making something both scientifically robust and simple enough for his target audience. Borrowing the four-colour print process from the space books of old, his became a huge hit and has been translated into nine languages.

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    Quite a few of us joined It’s Nice That in the summer many moons ago and so the sunny months are awash with opportunities for reflection and reminiscence. With that in mind we’ve asked four of our writers to take us back to the first post they ever wrote for the site and find out a bit more about the article that launched their careers here. And just in case you were wondering; here’s the first ever post on the site.

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    We were pretty impressed with the new Airbnb logo when it launched last week, but for a different perspective, here’s Rob Mitchell from We All Need Words. He tells us why he’s had enough of “over-cooked brand stories masquerading as strategy” and as ever you can add your thoughts below…

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    I get the same feeling receiving the zip file from weekly Bookshelf contributors as I did when I used to babysit as a teenager and casually rifle through people’s drawers (by the way, don’t do that). Witnessing the telling spines residing on people’s shelves will always be intriguing, and Holly’s top five is no exception. The editor in chief of i-D has an absolute terasure trove of some of the glossiest, coffee table-worthy tomes money can buy. What’s brilliant about her selection is just how telling it is of her true passion for the world she has been submerged in since beginning as an intern there many moons ago, and of why i-D is so consistently brilliant with her at the helm.

  26. Weekender-list

    Ladies and gentlemen of the world, today our fair isle (Great Britain) is experiencing a HEATWAVE. It’s the prime annual opportunity for us to embody every stereotype better nations have about us; that we drink too much beer (true), that we don’t wear enough clothes (also often true) and that we get burnt at the merest glimpse of the sun (see above.) Whether you’re joining us in partaking in all of the above over a slightly too competitive game of rounders and potentially a BBQ’d sausage, we wish you the best fun. If you’re sitting in a deck chair watching disapprovingly over us, we’re cool with that too. Either way, have THE BEST WEEKEND. Here’s some stuff we liek to get you started.

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    Our next Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications will explore a range of brilliant creative projects inspired by travel.

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    Next up in the talks from our space-themed Nicer Tuesdays is Hefin Jones, founder of The Welsh Space Campaign. Playing off “the tension between the domestic and the cosmic,” Hefin looks at how Welsh skills, trades and cultural artefacts can be recontextualised as part of an intergalactic future. From working with his brother, a plumber, on a space suit (“It’s pretty much like a heating system innit?”) to using traditional woollen mills to provide the fabrics, Hefin’s mission is an inspirational tribute to the potential of participation as a mass cultural force.

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    Next up in our space-themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is super/collider’s Chris Hatherhill, who told us that while we are familiar with a handful of iconic space photographs, there are thousands more that most of us have never seen. Super/collider’s Apollo 77 project (named partly in honour of the abandoned south London video store in which it was first exhibited!) brings this vast archive to a wider audience: “images that caught our eye in terms of their artistry, deliberate or not.” They vary from the sublime to the surreal and Chris is particularly drawn to the abstract, colour-streaked images created when astronauts fire off a few shots to end the rolls of Hasselblad film.

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    We are now just a few days away from unveiling our 2014 Graduates; 15 of the most exciting young talents leaving UK art schools this summer. For the first time ever this year we called on a panel of expert judges to help us select our final 15 and we’ll be hearing from them over the course of the next few weeks.

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    Next up in our footie themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is graphic designer Rick Banks who talked us through his 2013 book Football Type. As a ten-year-old boy he was left in floods of tears when the Manchester United goalie top his mum bought him had the name Schmeichel in the wrong font; from here grew a lifelong obsession with football typography. He explained how it took two years to get the brands and clubs on board for the book and shared some interesting back stories; for example the Barcelona typeface is based on Gaudi’s chimneys. His talk encapsulated the highs and lows of self-publishing from the militant attention-to-detail required to filling your flat with the packaged books ahead of sending them out.

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    “Turn and face the strange” – that’s how David Bowie advised we all deal with ch-ch-ch-changes and we think, as ever, Brixton’s favourite son was spot-on. It’s been more than two years since we last changed up itsnicethat.com and we felt the time was ripe for a refresh. The main change sees us move away from the content grid on the homepage back to a linear, blog-style format, a lay-out with which those of you familiar with our earliest iterations will be familiar. Hopefully this makes it slightly easier to browse the articles and work out what you’ve already seen on the site.

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    Next up from our night of football-themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is Alice Devine, co-founder of blog The Illustrated Game. She explained how they learned about the “necessary immediacy” for satirical illustrations and showed how the work was boiled down “to one concept, with no need of an explanation” – Arsene Wenger in a weirdly massive Arsenal duffle coat for example. From the blog has grown a podcast, a Pick Me Up show and various publications amongst other projects; an inspiring example of the potential of finding a rich creative furrow to plough.

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    If I could, I’d don a sparkly, silver cape and a severe black bob wig while gazing into a crystal ball à la Mystic Meg to envision what all of you lot are going to get up to this weekend. I like to think I’d spot all manner of illicit affairs, summer solstice-inspired weirdness and wild, finger-forsaking parties.

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    Another week, another slightly delayed podcast. We think it’s worth the wait (as we would) and we promise to tighten up and do better from now on in providing your aural art and design treats on a Thursday again. But cast aside your judgements for a second and enjoy a slightly elongated pod in which we learn a little, laugh a lot and live life to the full (ok not the last one). As ever you can listen on the SoundCloud embed below or subscribe via iTunes here.

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    Next up in our talks from the football-themed Nicer Tuesdays is film maker Sam Blair, who admitted he feels “self-conscious” about making documentaries about sport which some consider low-brow. “I am an uptight documentary filmmaker who wants to be taken seriously,” he admitted. But he loves how in sport “the inner struggle is so visible…the psychological and physical is intertwined.” His latest film for ESPN told the story of Maradona’s virtuoso performance in the 1986 World Cup. Drawn to the Argentine’s “operatically charged” persona on the football pitch, Sam became obsessed with hunting down old VHS clips on YouTube to tell the story in a new way, which in turn helped him appreciate football’s significance in modern life.

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    On Friday we once again headed west for our third annual Here symposium at the Royal Geographical Society. A stellar line-up of international creative talents treated us to a day of insight and inspiration, shot through with honesty and humility.

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    Our next Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications is going where no monthly art and design talks event has ever gone before, with an outer space themed evening now ready for lift-off.

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    First up in our football-themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is self-confessed “stats nerd” Christoph Lorenzi of Sennep who became frustrated with the limited opportunities for football sticker trading he encountered as an adult: “Once you leave school it gets really hard to find people to swap with!” So the studio built an online sticker swapping website, after working out that it would otherwise take on average 824 packs to achieve the coveted completed album. The original site was built in just one week and has now been improved ahead of the World Cup next month; proof that if something geeky’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

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    This week Nat Hunter, director of design at The Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (RSA) and a trustee of D&AD, welcomes awards being given to projects that make a real difference. It might mark, she believes, a fundamental shift in the design world. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below.