Jc

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

jc@itsnicethat.com@jdmcartwright

1425 articles
  1. Lostmagazine-itsnicethat-list

    Modern urban living must be having a strange effect on society if the swelling number of independent travel magazines is anything to go by. The concrete confines of our respective metropoles are inspiring a wanderlust within us, sparking wave after wave of print publications with their sights set on adventure. If we’re being brutally honest there are only a few that bring anything new to the table so it’s exciting to discover a title that offers more than jet-setting anecdotes from the one percent.

  2. List

    The pre-orders have closed kids which can mean only one thing, Printed Pages SS15 has launched OFFICIALLY! Please, no more rapturous applause, we’ve got a lot to tell you about the contents of this new issue and so little time to do it. So without further ado…

  3. New-dps-itsnicethat-list

    It probably won’t be of much interest to you, but I wrote my dissertation on the intersection between digital platforms and physical publishing and the interesting ways people are finding to merge the two. For me it was fascinating, for some of you it’s probably exceptionally tedious. But for those of you with a similarly perverse interest in these curiously anachronistic forms of publishing there’s an interesting online archive that brings them all together. P-DPA (the Post-Digital Publishing Archive) is an impressive resource created by Silvio Lorusso dedicated to documenting projects at the forefront of modern publishing. It’s far from comprehensive, but the user-generated archive offers up some exciting examples of progressive publishing. I could go on, but I’ve probably already bored some of you to tears.

  4. Jonjones-itsnicethat-list

    You know what we really love apart from great illustration? Seeing how that great illustration was made. Jonathan Jones is a South African illustrator who flits between countries making his beautiful work, but what sets him apart from most of the rest of his freelance counterparts is the way he documents that work online. It’s lovely of course to see the final product of his endeavours, but to see layers of red, yellow and blue build up into a singular image allows a kind of eureka moment where you instantly understand the practitioner’s skill and wish you’d spent more time learning about colour separations at university.

  5. Artandgraft-thewalk-itsnicethat-list

    I sometimes feel like animators have things pretty tough. There they are, working slavishly away until the wee hours of the morning making still imagery appear to move naturally and by the end of the day what do they have to show for it? About five seconds worth of footage. Gruelling stuff!

  6. Dinakelberman-imgoogle-itsnicethat-list

    This is an oldie but a goodie that’s been floating round the hive mind of the internet for some time. Dina Kelberman is an artist from Baltimore with a wide-ranging practice that encompasses all manner of online, IRL, video and installation experiments. The most accessible of her projects is I’m Google and consists of a vast archive of images culled from many hours of search engine experimentation. Dina arranges her scavenged imagery in an ever-evolving grid system in which each new image bears some slight reference to the last. In this way a visual game of Chinese Whispers is played out as squash courts evolve into egg yolks, which somehow transform into silly putty by way of orbs of smouldering metal. Very cool!

  7. Schooloflife-love-itsnicethat-list

    The School of Life’s raison d’etre is to develop emotional intelligence in its audience, meaning they’re experienced in being confrontational with philosophical thought. But their latest short film is even more challenging than we’ve come to expect. In it we’re told repeatedly that love is an illusion and we’re all painfully and unavoidably alone. Then just as the weight of this message sinks in we’re asked to forget about the whole thing and get on with our lives as we were. Emotional rollercoaster!

  8. Teaserlist

    Week one of pre-orders is over, but you’ve still got time to get your hands on a copy of the latest Printed Pages before it’s available anywhere else – and if you’re really speedy you’ll be able to get one of the last few Alan Fletcher screen prints too. So if you’ve been holding out for the right moment to get your order in, seize it, that moment is now! If you’ve been waiting to find out more about the features in this issue then read on and we’ll show you some of the gems in SS15.

  9. Emptyfilmposters-itsnicethat-list

    Sure this isn’t the kind of thing we usually post, but the sun’s all blazing and glorious outside our windows today, so we thought we’d be kind and give you something to stare at for the next few hours until it’s time to make your way to the closest beer garden available. You know what these images are don’t you? They’re iconic film posters with all traces of branding and characters removed – the bench without Forrest, a sunset with Simba removed and a deep blue sub-aquatic fade that’s one shark short of of a multi-million dollar blockbuster franchise. These posters are the result of hours of hard photoshopping by French art director Madani Bendjellal, and for making our afternoon pass that little bit faster we owe him our thanks. Thanks!

  10. Karenelson-timwalker-itsnicethat-list

    As It’s Nice That’s resident fashion expert (ahem) I know a strong editorial shoot when I see one, and this one for Vogue’s May edition is as good as they get. In it you’ll see Karen Elson wearing all manner of clothing by various clothes-makers – all of which look stunning. But stuff the outfits, this is all about the locations and the luxurious referencing of south Asian iconography. Tim, Samantha Bryant and Duffy travelled all the way to Bhutan to shoot Karen in the Himalayas alongside a supporting cast of masked imps and Bhutanese locals, weaving a surreal narrative of pagan mysticism and evoking an atmosphere akin to the hippie trail.

  11. List

    Have you ever wondered what the world might have looked like after the great Old Testament flood? What bizarre events might have followed such a freak occurrence in weather? Me neither. It’s honestly never crossed my mind. But illustrator Samuel Branton has been fixating on the idea, imagining the strange fusion of land and sea that a tumultuous rise in water levels might effect. He’s gone one step further and illustrated these fictional scenarios in miniature, taking this Regency medium and making it weird. Witness crabs beating up a wild boar, monkeys tossing an elephant in the air and a sad old sperm whale incapacitated in a tree. And Deluge is available in book form too!

  12. Catswing-itsnicethat-list

    We all know the housing situation in London is shit. For the price of my south-of-the-river flat I could get a fully refurbished, three-bedroom, end-of-terrace on the seafront in any one of the country’s beautiful coastal towns. But I’m a sucker so here I stay. Thankfully a growing number of organisations are seeking to protest this financial absurdity and the latest to do so is Shelter.

  13. Hightide-itsnicethat-list

    If there’s one thing New York design studio High Tide knows well, it’s how to brand a luxury startup. Danny Miller and his team have worked with brands like Warby Parker since they were just a glint in the lens of their founder’s spectacles, then subsequently with all manner of high-flying fashion brands. As a rule they opt for effortless minimalism, but the selection of work below demonstrates the studio’s tailored approach to every new client they take on, whether it’s footwear or fragrance they’re peddling.

  14. List

    This isn’t our usual type of post; there’s nothing fun, colourful or inherently “nice” about these images, but Jonny Seymour’s shots of an Easter tradition in the Philippines are truly astounding, so apologies if they make your stomach turn. Jonny travelled to Manilla to witness this brutal Good Friday tradition in which three men are nailed to crosses in a reenactment of the crucifixion. Other penances carried out on the day include self-flagellation, crawling on the rough ground and carrying giant crosses. Jonny has captured these events with care and sensitivity, and though the impact of these painful pictures is hard to deny there’s nothing gratuitous about his portrayal of this devout practice.

  15. List

    Most of us have favourite bands; artists we love irrationally, inexplicably and would kill to get tickets for their shows. But there are very few fans out there with the commitment of George Salisbury, whose dedication to The Flaming Lips goes beyond simple fandom – it’s more like a life-long obsession. He met them age 16, harassed them into giving him a job and has been part of their entourage ever since, working on album covers, tour visuals, T-shirts, films and a whole range of weird objects that the band once produced on a whim.

  16. Sygold-itsnicethat-list-new

    Illustrator S.Y. Gold is one of growing number of young illustrators making a virtue of the limitations of digital software. His imagery makes clear its origins – Illustrator line tools and Photoshop’s airbrush can – in its exuberant final results. What’s the purpose of his unusual images? Hard to say but they display the beginnings of some great character design as well as the potential for interesting editorial applications.

  17. List

    It’s been a good few months since we released the Winter 2014 issue of Printed Pages, but we’ve been busy little bees in that time making a magazine that’s bigger and better. It feels nicer in your hands, appears prettier to your eyes and is still unfathomably cheap. It towers at a whopping 156 pages of art and design-related goodness; that’s over 20 pages more than we’ve given you before.

  18. Atelier25-vagamodes-itsnicethat-list

    Sunny graphic design for a bright Monday morning? Consider it done. Atelier 25 are a Parisian pair of designers – Capucine Merkenbrack and Chloe Tercé – making work for cultural institutes, festivals, record labels and publishers; always with an emphasis on strong conceptual foundations. The duo take a hands-on approach to their practice, often working in physical media instead of heading straight to the computer. This leads to some seriously tactile results and projects often bear the marks of the process that spawned them. This is particularly true in their work for Vagamondes festival, where a moiré of intersecting diagonals is layered colour by colour, highlighting the physical process of lithographic printing.

  19. Hato-press-dazzle-ships-itsnicethat-list

    You’ve already seen Sir Peter Blake’s contribution to this year’s Liverpool Biennial; a giant dazzle ship in pop-art colours sailing down the Mersey. But why should Peter have all the fun creating technicolour tug-boats? Well that doesn’t have to be the case anymore. The inspired folks over at Studio Hato have busied themselves recently working with the Biennial curators to create an online resource where maritime enthusiasts can make your own dazzle ship. It’s not a real ship obviously – just a digital one for the internet – but the joy of building it online is just as good.

  20. List

    If you’re a luddite like me you’ll find that most technology needs careful and thorough explanation – ideally some kind of video infomercial that leads me step-by-step through the device at hand. Now that I think about it I’d also like the instructions to be given by an attractive female presenter with an overdubbed male voice; she should be smoking occasionally and if possible exude an air of insouciance. The guys at Impossible and Stark Films have been kind enough to meet all these stringent requirements in their latest promotion for Instant Lab, a product which prints polaroids directly from your phone, showing off all the gadget’s new features. They’re also offering 10% off the Instant Lab to our readers by using the discount code “itsnicethat” in their online shop. What a friendly bunch!

  21. List

    South Korean creative Bohuy Kim splits his time between filmmaking and graphic design. Having trained in film, TV and media at the Sungkyunkwan university in Seoul he’s now the proprietor of his own studio, Printlab where he produces visually arresting work for the likes of Samsung, KIA and local creative enterprises. His impressive portfolio is the result of “rigorous creative exploration,” and, let’s face it, a great sense of colour.

  22. Jordy-fantasticfantastic-itsnicethat-list

    Jordy van den Nieuwendijk has been responsible for the look and feel of the London-based band Fantastic Fantastic since before they even got a record deal. He drew their logo, designed their debut EP artwork and has now lent his trademark primary-coloured drawings to their latest single. Boulevard features an assortment of exuberant oil pastel characters mouthing along to the summery lyrics of Fantastic Fantastic’s infectiously poppy tune. It’s certain to sweeten your mood.

  23. David-jien-its-nice-that-list

    “The serpent no longer slumbers! He is awoken! Who shall deliver us from this affliction? Deep corruption has befallen our lands. Lo, Formosa has fallen, Shakran and his black words have immersed deep within our peoples. We have forgotten our ways and are divided, father against son, mother against daughter. The reptilian plague promises pleasure and power. We have lost many kin to its deception, they now fill the ranks of Shakran’s saurian swarm. Those fortunate enough to elude the intoxicating clutch have found refuge under a different regime. Pilgrims have flocked together from all corners of the land in search of a new Formosa, Exodus dawns.”

  24. 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.”

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.”

  28. 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!

  29. List

    When I was 14 music merchandise was pretty much all I thought about. My rucksack was covered in patches emblazoned with band logos, my T-shirts were exclusively black and baggy, showing off my love for Nirvana, Mudvayne, Papa Roach and a whole heap of rap metal bands I’m frankly embarrassed by today, and I’d be up in Camden every weekend adding to my collection of Judas Priest weed grinders that I was never actually going to use. I was Simon Tam’s target audience.

  30. A2-moscow-int-list

    Somewhat lazily I’ve included an image in this post that concisely explains exactly what Moscow Sans is, who’s created it and why – which pretty much negates this whole piece of text. But in truth it was the best example of the typeface in use that I could find, hence its inclusion with the images below. Anyway, rather than repeating the sentiments of this text I’ll just say how excited I am to see Margaret Calvert lending her expertise to this project and reiterate a widely-held view that Henrik Kubel and Scott Williams are some of the finest typographic designers working today. Enjoy!

  31. Namsa-leuba-khoisan-int-list

    In the past we’ve spoken about Namsa Leuba’s work only in the context of her fashion shoots for WAD magazine and Comme des Garçons, but these commissions came about because of her personal exploration of Guinean culture in a series called Ya Kala Ben. She’s also explored the traditions of a tribe called the Khoisan, one of the most divergent peoples in the world. As with many of her projects these images seek to subvert traditional perceptions of African culture by experimenting with anachronistic costumes and environments, and as ever they’re incredibly striking.

  32. Vg_alphabeta_04

    About seven years ago Village Green produced a series of iconic posters for London’s infamous Fabric nightclub… and then we haven’t checked up on them since. Poor form on our part as they’ve been busy expanding, improving and creating work for bigger and better clients. Currently it seems they’re specialising in architectural branding for commercial property developments, cladding the Alphabeta redevelopment in Finsbury Square, London and The Bonhill Building office spaces on Old Street. Of course they’ve done other stuff too; like the identity and exhibition design for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Barbican show and Nike’s 2013 Hypervenom campaign, but frankly there’s just too much stuff to cover in one article. We’ll be sure to keep closer tabs on these guys in future.

  33. Bodiam-sa-int-list

    Most of the time you’ll find Michael Bodiam hunched in his studio, carefully manipulating lighting and sets to achieve perfectly balanced, perfectly lit compositions for fashion and editorial clients. He’s great at this, but well aware you can’t spend all your time indoors. So a few times a year he jets off to far-flung corners of the world with his camera to apply everything he knows about photography to sprawling landscapes and foreign cities. In this instance he’s found himself wandering through South America capturing the diversity of rural and urban life to be found there.

  34. Johnny-ryan-angry-youth-7

    In 2008 the fourteenth and final issue of Johnny Ryan’s Angry Youth Comix was published and all of a sudden some of the world’s greatest fart jokes, cock drawings, and narratives set inside vaginas disappeared from publication. The world got a little less crude that day. Realising that people crave this kind of horrible filth, Fantagraphics and Johnny have compiled all 14 stinking, degrading, borderline unpublishable issues into one great big compendium of poop and smut. What more can I say? If you’ve got the brain of a 12-year-old boy, if you love needless swearing, repellant characters, bad puns and diarrhea then Angry Youth Comix may be the last book you’ll ever need to buy.

  35. List2

    This won’t be the best-shot, best-edited film you’ve seen all day but it’ll definitely be the most exciting. Volvo (the car manufacturer) have just released a luminous paint that’s invisible during the day and then brightly fluorescent at night as soon as car headlights bounce off it. Spray it on your bike, helmet, clothing – maybe even your face – to make sure you’re lit up like a Christmas tree whenever you set off on nighttime rides.

  36. Marion-fayolle-coquins-int-list

    When I sat down to write this article I was planning to discuss Ardéchoise illustrator Marion Fayolle’s impressive career to date; her numerous books for the likes of Nobrow and Magnani Editions; her editorial work for The New York Times, her textile designs for Cotélac and Kiblind and of course her very own illustration publication Nyctalope which she co-runs with Simon Roussin. And then I remembered she did a brilliant book of saucy drawings, Les Coquins, and decided to focus on that instead.

  37. Laurel-golio-dancexplosion-int-list

    After Little Miss Sunshine I feel like the world of American pageantry is something I understand implicitly. Young girls travel the country with their drug-addled grandparents, suicidal uncles and mute brothers desperate to prove their worth as dancers, cheerleaders, singers and acrobats. I assumed that Laurel Golio’s series of photographs at Dance Xplosion might dispel these cinematic myths but it seems this is a fiercely competitive world of high drama and emotion. Laurel’s photos show just how much these kids, as well as their parents, are focussed on success, twerking, tapping and tangoing their way to middle American superstardom.

  38. Dwp-bikestock-int-list

    This morning I had a puncture that I couldn’t fix and had to get the train to work, so it feels timely to be writing about Bikestock, a range of vending machines full of cycling essentials that can be found all over New York and Boston. The concept is a simple one; inner tubes, spanners, tyre levers tyres and any number of other little bits and pieces that make your wheels turn smoothly are boshed into a vending machine so you can grab them on the go and, more importantly, at any time of day!

  39. List

    Joost Bos is a recent graduate from the Academie Minerva Groningen in The Netherlands where he’s spent three years studying for his bachelor’s degree. Like many of his Dutch counterparts he’s a dab hand with typography both traditional and experimental and has a plethora of printed pieces in his portfolio. This one, Sequence 1, is an exhibition catalogue for a show of artist books at Joost’s alma mater, which perfectly demonstrates his design sensibilities. Immaculately set type is interspersed with hand-drawn elements and bright colours bring intrigue to an otherwise monochrome publication. Like what you’re seeing? He’s available for freelance work right now!

  40. List2

    Good news everyone, you can now get access to the Printed Pages archive online! It’s been ages since we sold out of the last few copies of our first four issues and if we’re honest, we’ve been getting nostalgic for all those lovely articles we published way back in 2013. There was that interview with Sagmeister & Walsh when they’d only just made Jessica a partner, our racy chat with Dian Hanson about her career in pornographic magazines, the time we found out who put a massive crack down the middle of Tate Modern and our sunny visit to Geoff McFetridge’s LA studio.