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

1222 articles
  1. List

    As part of this year’s DesignMarch in Iceland, one of our favourite illustrators and designers, Siggi Odds, got together with a few collaborators to produce something 3D and tangible. He and Geir Ólafsson, Hrefna Sigurðardóttir and Þorleifur Gunnar Gíslason all work in a predominantly digital fashion, producing things that are transient and rarely made physical. To counter that they partnered with product designer Jón Helgi Hólmgeirsson, and working under the name Børk created a selection of bespoke quilts, printed with custom graphic imagery that’s evocative of Iceland’s landscapes and natural environments, borrowing elements from traditional mythology and folklore.

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    Architect and designer Ana Varela was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, where she graduated from the Superior School of Architecture with a bachelors degree in 2007. Since then she’s led an impressive professional and academic career, directing Spanish design magazine Pasajes Diseño and pursuing a masters in Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship at ECAL in Lausanne. Now she teaches at ECAL and maintains a professional practice as an interior and product designer in Lausanne.

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    Swiss type foundry Grilli Type have just released GT Sectra, a bespoke typeface based on the calligraphic forms of a broad nib pen. Originally designed for Swiss news magazine Reportagen, GT Sectra was designed to be ornate in its construction, yet refined enough to be comfortably legible when used in long-form journalism. As a result the Grilli Type’s greatest efforts were spent refining and standardising the face beyond the remit of a traditional serif, paying particular attention to the proportions of the letterforms and the integration of capital letters. The resulting font families are beautifully angular – dispensing with curves almost completely – and distinctive for their obvious modernity despite being grounded in more traditional typographic practice.

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    It was in 2007 that Yusuke Miyagawa’s Funky Jamaica first came out, but we were only just starting up then, so excuse us for missing it. In the intervening seven years the Brooklyn-based, Japanese photographer has become a regular at Dazed and Confused and INDIE, repeatedly commissioned for his beautifully up-close-and-personal style of documentary photography in which he consistently confronts his subjects head on. That said, we’ve yet to see him produce a body of work as cohesive as his Jamaican masterpiece.

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    Bird-spotting, Santa-papping photographer Luke Stephenson has recently turned his attentions to the documentation of a Great British culinary staple; the humble 99. For international readers allow me to explain: the 99 is Great Britain’s answer to France’s crêpe, or New York’s one dollar pizza – an article of questionable nutritional value that’s available in any number of strange locations throughout the summer. It’s a glorious swirl of vanilla ice cream spat unceremoniously into a flimsy synthetic cone and we eat them in their thousands.

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    Bankers have been the butt of a number of jokes over the past few years. They’re easy prey for satirists, what with their wholesale destruction of the global economy and flagrant disregard for fiscal responsibility. But Ninian Doff’s latest video for Peace’s Money adds a whole new level of surrealism to banking satire. In it we see an upwardly mobile yuppy climb the city ladder by unusual means. You see it’s not through tidy hedge fund management that he gains the respect of his bosses, it’s his badass dancing skills, and they gain him entry into a weird and wonderful finale that I really don’t want to spoil for you. See for yourselves…

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    Carlos Jimenez is a Spanish photographer and filmmaker living and working in London who caught our attention last year for his work on Nobrow’s promotional film for ELCAF 2013. It provided a slick overview of a massive, messy event and displayed some extremely nice editing flourishes. But Carlos’ most recent project is an altogether more refined proposition. Commissioned by the V&A to produce a film about the renovation of their plaster courts, Carlos has produced a slow, sweeping piece of cinema that glorifies some extraordinary works of Renaissance art including some rare close-ups of Michelangelo’s David. There’s also interviews with a few key players in the V&A’s conservation and curatorial teams who give a real sense of the important work they’re involved in.

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    In 2011 San Franciscan artist Tauba Auerbach held a solo show at the Bergen Kunsthall in Norway that cemented her reputation as a fine artist with heavyweight conceptual clout as well as being a maker of extraordinarily beautiful objects. Tetrachromat suggested that there was a fourth colour spectrum only perceptible to women and Tauba created a selection of objects that experimented with this theory – including vast books printed with rainbow gradients that are still some of the most beautiful objects I’ve ever laid eyes on.

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    Magdalena Wosinska has something of a reputation for creating exciting images that all the big brands want to buy into. Her photographs convey a sense of unreserved excitement and fun, strewn with gangs of achingly trendy twenty somethings with effortlessly beautiful physiques. But her style isn’t some affectation born out of a desire to be cool, Magdalena grew up photographing her friends in the skate and metal scene just doing their thing, inadvertently creating a vernacular that people want to buy into.

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    We first fell in love with Ramon Haindl’s work about a year-and-a-half ago when he was still finding his feet as a freelance photographer. We were immediately drawn to his sensitive treatment of subjects, his extraordinary use of light and his collaborations with the likes of Haw-Lin Services and Deutsche and Japaner. Arguably one of our stand-out photographs of 2012 was his shot of a model’s beautiful auburn hair resting on the neck of her knitted jumper – it’s a truly exceptional image.

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    As far as we can tell the only criteria Leif Podhajsky has for collaborating with a musical artist is their current level of cool. A swift scroll through his now expansive portfolio reveals nothing but exquisite imagery for the very finest artists of the moment. Usually he seems to work for musicians on the cusp of global success (Foals, Tame Impala and Lykke Li being perfect cases in point) but his latest collaboration is with someone much more established; Kelis.

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    Sara Andreasson is about as multidisciplinary as creatives come. She’s a designer hailing from Wermland in Sweden who has seemingly made a conscious decision not to specialise in any one area. Equally adept at fashioning furniture from extraordinary materials as she is at illustrating exuberant images of altered classical sculptures and abstract digital images, it would be fair to say that Sara’s portfolio is a mixed bag of projects. But the consistent element at the heart of all of them is her attention to detail. Whether sketching portraits in soft graphite or taking still-life photographs of taxidermy birds she’s certain to craft each piece with care, displaying the talents of an expert despite clearly being a jack of all trades.

  13. Wolfond-list

    We’re absolutely gutted not to be at the Salone Del Mobile right now as it turns out this is the year that everyone is there (that’s right, EVERYONE). Among them is Jamie Wolfond, one of Brooklyn’s youngest and finest furniture designers, who’s there to launch his debut collection at Designersbloc. If last year’s display is anything to go by the whole Designersbloc show should be a treat, but Jamie’s work in particular is well worth the journey.

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    We’ve featured Brinkworth’s beautifully designed skate parks on the site before when they launched Nike’s BaySixty6, a community project under London’s Westway that invited people of all ages to pick up a deck and try their hand on the ramps. The initiative was such a success that Brinkworth have become something of an authority on skate park construction and have since been invited to create a temporary set-up at the Old Selfridges Hotel, located inside Selfridges department store.

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    What is Yoboh Studio? Well, since you ask, it’s the brainchild of Lucas Dillon, an artist from Belfast who’s come to ply his trade in the capital city of London. His illustration is heavily influenced by 90s skateboard graphics, colourful sweet wrappers, late-night cartoons and potentially a sneaky little lick of an acid blotter, combining to create a psychedelic concoction of repeat patterns and symmetrical compositions. Quite what’s going on in these images is hard to say for certain, but it’s a recipe that’s clearly working as Lucas has clients like Becks, Converse, Nike and Red Bull pestering him at all hours for his distinctive visual language. Long may it continue.

  16. Ist

    Hey Studio always impress us with their consistently superb work. Their evolution over the past few years from die-hard champions of Swiss Modernism to creators of truly versatile work has delighted us, and it’s wonderful to see them grow into their creative potential. That said, we still really love their modernist posters, which is good for us as they’re about to go on display at Mad Shop in Barcelona from 11 April until 5 June 2014. There you’ll be able to see a huge variety of Hey’s poster projects, from their dynamic work for Film Commission Chile to recent pieces for ESPN Barcelona. Nice!

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    It’s been almost two years since we hand-picked Alex Walker from a lineup of hundreds of young graduates and told everyone what a creative genius he was, and since then he’s only gone from strength to strength. The former Nottingham Trent student dazzled us with his ability to illustrate technically advanced and conceptually ambiguous concepts with playful ingenuity.

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    If you’re the world’s oldest and most respected auction house, who do you go to when you’re looking for a comprehensive rebrand? Probably to one of the world’s most respected design consultancies. In the case of Sotheby’s that’s exactly what they did, enlisting Pentagram to revamp everything about their visual presence, from their logo mark to the design of their in-house magazine.

  19. Mixtape-list

    This week we had a belter of a playlist lined up, and then we had a bit of trouble uploading it in time – so you’ll have to wait until next week to give it a listen. BUT, every cloud has a silver lining guys, because in lieu of a playlist from musical experts we’ve decided to bring you right into the bosom of our studio with one of our absolute favourite personal playlists. The lovely Liv Siddall put it together many months ago and since then it’s been on constant rotation during office hours. In fact we’re listening to it right now! So go ahead and put your feet up, get this bad boy on the stereo and perhaps pretend you’re here with us, whiling away Friday afternoon with 145 tracks of incredible psych (and some punk and shoegaze etc.). Catch you next week you cool cats!

  20. List

    If I’m honest I don’t give two hoots about the gaming industry in general. When I was a kid I lost two years to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64, and I still have dreams about playing it; the characters I met in Hyrule, the tragic death of all the Zoran people and the battles I fought repeatedly until every one of the kingdom’s races were freed from Gannon’s wrath. My sense of nostalgia for that time is palpable. But then I found that no other game offered me the same escapism and abandoned the whole experience for good.

  21. Terrazzo-list

    “Terrazzo is a composite material produced from layers of cement interspersed with chips of glass, marble, quartz, granite and other appropriate material. The invention of terrazzo can be traced to the 15th Century when Venetian artisans started to exploit construction residues to make highly resistant, low-cost surfaces principally used in flooring." Interested? Probably not. But the Terrazzo Project wants to change that.

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    Robert Crumb fans (of which there are thousands) hold on to your seats because TASCHEN have just released another volume of the legendary cartoonist’s sketchbooks, and this collection precedes the last.The six volume edition encompasses 18 years of the artist’s career, edited by Crumb himself into what he considers to be his very best work from the period. There’s the usual glut of smut you’d expect from this uniquely perverse mind, but also studies for commercial work and hundreds of other pieces of extremely rare material. As ever the folks at TASCHEN have spared no expense on the release, and the hardcover, slip-cased set contains a total of 1,344 luxuriously printed pages. But that should be enough to satisfy the most die-hard fans out there. Although you really can’t have too much Crumb in your life.

  23. Opinion-list

    This week James Cartwright wonders whether it’s possible for the yakuza to rebrand themselves overnight after the recent revelation that they’ve launched their own website. As ever your comments are encouraged below…

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    EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was part of our It’s Mice That takeover on April Fools’ Day 2014. You can read our explanation post here or peruse the mice archive here.

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    EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was part of our It’s Mice That takeover on April Fools’ Day 2014. You can read our explanation post here or peruse the mice archive here.

  26. List

    EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was part of our It’s Mice That takeover on April Fools’ Day 2014. You can read our explanation post here or peruse the mice archive here.

  27. List

    This Thursday sees the launch of Suspended, a debut solo show by Chloe Early at The Outsiders London. The works on display are Chloe’s response to the “romantic splendour of Renaissance religious art” and an exploration of “the themes of weightlessness and gravity.” Her paintings feature realistically rendered human figures, lifted above the ground by unseen forces or large clusters of helium balloons. Chloe contends that we no longer have objects of worship within fine art, and so her images serve as celestial totems of real-world figures elevated above the mundane.

  28. Geoffrey%e2%80%93list

    To say that Geoffrey Lillemon is an unusual character doesn’t really do him justice. The Dutch/American artist/designer produces work that’s about as bizarre as you’re likely to see. His website is a surreal, pornographic maze of disfigured characters and disturbing sounds that evoke the very basest curiosities and desires with macabre delight. In his own words, “Lillemon has consistently foregrounded the interplay between the digital and physical world in his work, blending traditional mediums (sic) with modern vfx capabilities to craft new worlds and fantasies.”

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    You should know before you start reading that we really love Jim Stoten, he’s one of our favourite illustrators. So now you won’t be surprised when we start to gush about his latest project for Nobrow 9 which sees him tackling a comic based on scale and proportion that zooms in, step-by-step, from one panel to the next, allowing you to travel at speed through time and space. Jim takes you into the eye of a cat where a man plays piano on a toadstool, across a desert on a sunbather’s knee that’s home to a camel with can-can dancer eyelashes. There’s a guitar-playing duck with a solar system in his sunglasses and a horse galloping across the screen of a television on the moon. Jesus Christ it’s good. You should go have a look!

  30. List

    Since we first heard Jungle’s debut single Platoon in June of 2013 we’ve been eagerly anticipating every new track they’ve released and keen to see how they’ll follow up their outrageously cute first video that featured B-Girl Terra, a six-year-old break dancer.

  31. List

    We like to think we don’t watch all that much TV here at It’s Nice That. We’re too cultured to be slumping down in front of the box and watching whatever’s on. But the reality is we’re terrible consumers of TV shows, we just do it with box-sets in three-day sessions over a bank holiday; in bed, blinds down, takeaway pizzas on speed-dial. Which means we’re not even slightly immune to this fantastic project from Kevin Wu, that cropped up on Wired yesterday.

  32. List

    Not to be confused with the magician of the same name, Benoit Fournier is a French photographer living and working in Brazil. Having taken up photography at the relatively ripe old age of 20, he’s been developing his skills in Mexico and Spain, before settling in Rio de Janeiro. While there he’s been at work compiling numerous series’ of photographs that document life on the city’s streets and beaches, particularly focussing on the population’s relationship with water.

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    We’ve always gone nuts for Brecht’s work, his deeply satirical view on the modern world is impossible not to enjoy. But recently we’ve noticed he’s actually improving rapidly. We thought his work simply couldn’t be beaten, but he’s become not only a better illustrator as the years have progressed, but also a better satirist. Examining his recent work you’ll find all kinds of imagery that deals with current affairs and news stories in the most extraordinary fashion, dressing them up in cartoonish clothing to sneak hawk-eyed observations under the radar. But in truth Brecht sees the world for what it is, and pictures that seem like just a bit of fun at first can often have some pretty hard-hitting messages.

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    We post a fair few creatives on the site who specialise in poster design and are adept at using their graphic skills to grab your attention from the other side of a room. But often those skills don’t translate across different media – what makes for a great poster won’t necessarily work in a smaller format or across digital platforms. This seems like an obvious statement, but is often a stumbling block for young designers.

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    Japanese studio Akaoni Design have got so much fantastic work under their belts it’s almost impossible to pick out a favourite piece. So we didn’t, instead offering you an overview of their lovely work. The Yamagata-based consultancy have an incredible skill for combining hand-drawn and digital elements to create a graphic language that’s entirely their own. Similarly they combine Roman type and Kanji characters with effortless flair, making bilingual design look a breeze.

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    Always With Honor are one of those frustratingly talented studios capable of effortlessly turning out thoughtful, considered design and illustration for clients as international and massive as Nike and as small as Boke Bowl, their local noodle bar. This scalable approach to clients comes to bear on their aesthetic choices too. Their vector graphics can be transformed from hard-hitting monochrome icons to a playful herd of animals (like the ones below) with the simple addition of a few colours, and yet still maintain that signature Always With Honor vernacular.

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    Polish-born photographer Josef Schulz has an extraordinary body of work to his name. The 48-year-old’s imagery deals predominantly with mundane man-made objects iconicised by his lens. But his images aren’t quite as simple as they first seem. Using digital manipulation Josef transforms his originals into familiar yet otherworldly scenes, removing the typography from commercial signage and transplanting urban architecture from its cluttered surroundings into bare backgrounds. His Übergang series saw him traipsing across Europe documenting abandoned military and national checkpoints, subtly blurring their backgrounds in post-production to remove them from their original context – which gives them the appearance of being captured in a different era entirely.

  38. Sw-list

    Sometimes the best design projects never even see the light of day. Once the client rejects them (the fools!) they’re erased from the public domain and confined to a plan chest of unrealised ambition. But that doesn’t mean they’re not great pieces of work…

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    We’ve always suspected that Robert Hunter was a talented chap – we were certainly aware that his illustration skills were pretty top notch. But what we hadn’t appreciated was what a diverse range of skills he’s got tucked up his sleeve.

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    Thus far we’ve only featured Fons Hickmann in the context of their work for cultural institutions. They’ve continually produced stunning work for Dresden’s Semperoper and Wuppertal’s Impulse Theater, drawing on the heritage of their locales to create imagery that has an inherent nostalgia but remains distinctly modern.