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

1197 articles
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.”

  4. Main

    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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. List

    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.

  9. List-1

    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.

  10. Main

    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.

  11. List

    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.

  12. List

    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.

  13. 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…

  14. Main1

    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.

  15. List

    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.

  16. Doom-list

    We all know Clarks has a cult following in Jamaica – everyone from Vybez Kartel to Little John has sung about them in one form or another (there’s even a book about it). But we didn’t know that the appeal of Clarks transcended musical boundaries to the point that mysterious rapper MF Doom would consider collaborating with the brand. But, that’s exactly what’s just happened; the company that used to make your school shoes have released a custom Clarks Original with the MF Doom monogram embossed into the leather. And here’s a beautifully-shot promo by Charlie Robins and Joe Alexander to prove it, following MF Doom on a road trip to the Somerset village of Street, where the very first shoe was born. Baffling and brilliant!

  17. Terminals-list

    There’s almost constant talk about the gentrification of London in the press and what that means for its established small businesses. Studios, workshops, barbers and quality off-licences (imagine!) are disappearing at an alarming rate across the city with blocks of unimaginative flats popping up in their place. But it’s often easy to forget that these changes affect real people who have been plying their trade for decades in these recently gentrified areas.

  18. Main

    Berlin-based illustrator Florian Bayer is a master of traditional media, using dip-pen and ink to create bold illustrations full of movement and life. He’s been practicing for a good while now and has abandoned the idea of maintaining a specific “style,” instead using his impressive draughtsmanship to suit the story he’s telling or the parameters of the brief. As a result his portfolio is brimming with fantastic portraits, scrappy illustrations of legendary musicians affecting powerful poses and a book that focuses on Austrian anthropology. It’s a mixed bag of subjects and styles encompassing reportage, editorial and children’s illustration, but there’s a phenomenal level of skill displayed in each and every piece.

  19. List

    Anyone that ever had the good fortune to attend art college will tell you that the worst thing about having to leave and enter the real world (apart from the crippling debt and self-doubt) is that all of a sudden you don’t have access to any facilities. The CAD suites, ceramic studios, woodwork equipment and print studios all just disappear overnight and you’re reduced to finally using that WACOM you bought years before to make a little bit of cash from your patchy software skills.

  20. Lead

    Normally we associate Dan Wilton with the music industry. His bread and butter work involves trailing some of the most exciting new musicians across the globe and documenting their antics for us mere mortals to enjoy. When he’s not doing that you can invariably find him making normal people look exciting, turning football fans and Repton boxers alike into iconic individuals with the swift click of his shutter.

  21. List

    Since 2012 we’ve posted about Colophon Foundry, directly or indirectly, eight times. We use their Aperçu font on the It’s Nice That website, and on most of our other platforms. When they do new stuff, we pay attention. In short, we love these guys, for their unflinching devotion to their output and the sheer quality of their work – they’re a clever bunch of chaps. And yet Colophon is a mere five years old, making them positively youthful in business terms. To celebrate reaching this modest age they’re holding a show at KK Outlet next month, creating an exhibition of 26 fictional possibilities for 26 existing typefaces, imagining the potential of each without the constraints of commercial realities. We’re excited to see how it all turns out!

  22. List

    Haymarket creative director Paul Harpin has recently launched a new initiative that sees typefaces being sold to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. Paul came up with the idea following the death of his 26-year-old niece, Laura. Since then he’s been designing a hand-drawn typeface in her memory which is now available to purchase form the BuyFontsSaveLives site. Alongside Laura are faces created by Matt Willey and Henrik Kubel and one donated by Michael Heseltine among others. You can also donate fonts to be sold if you happen to be a type designer. So get buying and donating your fonts and help these guys raise as much money as possible.

  23. List

    I was under the impression that we’d last featured Edward Tuckwell’s portfolio a few months back, but it turns out it’s been a year and half since we last checked in with the former Falmouth illustrator. Time flies eh? Even though the months have flown by, Ed’s work has remained fantastically consistent; still maintaining those film noir sensibilities and a crisp, angular approach to image-making. What has changed however is Ed’s embracing of colour (he used to be so monochrome) and the expanding of his visual language into something that feels more malleable; clients could definitely hire this guy and be confident that his work would feel tailored to them. And they already have, with commissions in the bag for the likes of Wired, The Church of London and Short List. Nice work!

  24. List

    If you’re a regular reader of the site you’re probably pretty familiar with the above image by now. It’s a cheeky little photo of an orange and a white hen’s egg engaged in a tender embrace. It was shot for us by Italian photographer Maurizio Di Iorio, a creative we’d not had the pleasure of working with before. We’ve known his work for a long time though and have always been enamoured with his still life imagery – although he’s equally adept at capturing the female form with similarly striking results – and decided he was the man we needed to take on the challenge of our first ever photographic front cover.

  25. List

    Whenever we hear whispers of updates from Santtu Mustonen we get very excited indeed. The Finnish New Yorker always produces visually arresting imagery that we’re powerless to resist, so it’s usually just a case of seeing which brands have bought into his delightful trademark style this time round. In this instance he’s got a brand new website to house exciting new projects for the likes of Granta, Wired and Architecture In Helsinki. He’s also producing an ever-increasing amount of motion graphics, which we have to say add an impressive depth to what is already eye-catching work.

  26. Main

    For the Spring 2014 issue of Printed Pages we went out to six of London’s finest galleries and museums to interview their invigilation staff about the works of art and antiquity they take care of, and what they mean to them personally. We hit the Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, White Cube Bermondsey, The Saatchi Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery, and in this film we meet Neide Gentelini, a gallery assistant at the V&A, who explains her love for a piece of Renaissance sculpture.

  27. Main

    Dutch illustrator/designer/artist Louis Reith produces work with a multimedia focus. His portfolio is equally full of sculptural pieces, mixed media collage and more traditional inks on paper – he can pretty much turn his hand to everything. Whether he’s reimagining photgraphs as geometric landscapes or fashioning old maps into 3D mountain ranges the one thing that ties all of his work together is the reapropriation of found objects into a single artistic vision; every single piece crafted from a second-hand book, an antiquated map or even a flea-market photo album.

  28. List

    We’ve known about Will Sanders for a long old while now, but he’s one of those terrific talents that you can keep coming back to for his constant creative progression and canny knack for moving his practice into uncharted territories. In the past we’ve mostly been enamoured with his street photography and portraits of celebrities (and let’s not forget that shot of inflatables on a beach, that’s a solid candidate for the best photography of all time) but increasingly his fashion shoots are winning us over for their unashamed sense of fun and excitement. We’re not saying that the fashion world is too serious for its own good (we are a little) but it’s great to see someone like Will liven things up with a more playful perspective on an industry that should be really be fun ALL the time.

  29. List

    For the Spring 2014 issue of Printed Pages we’re ringing in some changes, the first of which is our brand spanking new spine (just LOOK at it). Which is a direct result of the second big change; that we’ve upped the page count from 76 to 128. Kind of a big deal. We’ve also made our first foray into photographic front covers, inviting Maurizio Di Iorio to create a beautiful still life image that for him, is the epitome of spring. We’ve also used heavier paper stocks throughout, and even thrown in a coated section for good measure.

  30. List

    There’s not a lot of independent magazines in existence in the Middle East. Fewer still that cross over into a global market (there’s that prohibitive language barrier that gets in the way). And when you look at the few that are on offer (I can actually only think of Brown Book ) it seems there’s only one that really deals with the realities of life in the Arab world.

  31. List

    Baptist Espinay, and Galand Julie Valentine Thébaut are Zoo, a Parisian studio specialising in graphic design that borders on the kitsch. Their practice spans everything from exhibition signage and print publishing to web design and UI, but across each discipline they maintain a playful sense of enjoyment and experimentation, bringing in anachronistic design details that evoke bygone eras when our tastes were more outlandish. With that in mind there are sometimes elements of the purely decorative to be found in their portfolio, but always with the knowing application of one who understands completely the origins of their inspiration.

  32. List

    This week James Cartwright pleads with everyone to shut up about the death of print for good, and urges print and digital to just bury the hatchet and get along. As ever if you think he’s wrong (or right) you can dissect his argument below below…

  33. List

    We love it when good people collaborate, and we especially love it when those people are a pair of our favourite creatives. Which means we’re thrilled to discover that London-based designer Shaz Madani has created a new identity for the now legendary photographer Giles Duley. Giles’ images pretty much speak for themselves – they’re so rich with pathos one can’t help but feel immediately absorbed – and so Shaz has created a simple logotype that’s simple enough to never interfere with the work. But it’s his portfolio where where her designs really come into their own, with bespoke cardboard packages filled with sheets of Giles’ images, their harrowing provenance detailed on the reverse.

  34. List

    I don’t normally go in for illustration thats composed from inky washes. It always reminds me of fashion illustration so I can’t shake the feeling that it’s somehow inherently shallow. But German illustrator Tina Berning turns my prejudice on its head with her stunning ink and watercolour portraits. Her use of line is so practiced and her attention to detail so honed that it’s impossible not to be engrossed by her vast portfolio of editorial illustration. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing Tina speak about her work and can vouch for the rigour of her process. Seriously impressive stuff.

  35. List

    Nobody makes fan art these days. Everyone’s too busy updating their Instagram, or Twittering, or doing stuff on Skype and that. Plus there’s so many bands to listen to now that music is basically free that it’s nearly impossible to choose what you actually like. Are you into rap or is it actually death metal that floats your boat? Gahd, it’s all so complicated!

  36. List

    Mossless is an independent photography publication started by Romke Hoogwaerts in 2009. His intention was to interview a photographer every other day and eventually compile a book once he’d amassed enough interviews.

  37. List

    We don’t often feature a single magazine cover on the site, but John Morgan Studio’s recent work for Art Review is so strong that we’re prepared to make an exception (also, it’s four different covers). The prolific designer, who undertook a wholesale redesign of the publication back in September 2013, has just commissioned these striking cover images, by excellent photographers Luke and Nik, that white out the faces of typically stylised head shots to introduce an issue that deals with the unknown artists of the future. The concept, photography and execution are all top notch, and it’s exciting to see a publication with such pedigree embrace an experimental cover that will undoubtedly set it apart on the newsstands. They are VERY unnerving though…

  38. Bacoa-list

    We usually associate Two Points with experimental graphic design; posters based upon complex systems for high-brow arts organisations, magazine covers that push print processes to their most exciting limits and books that investigate modes and trends that permeate the design industry. But their most recent work is much more commercially-minded than anything we’ve seen from them before.

  39. Replacement-list

    How Jiro Bevis finds the time to produce so much awesome work we’ll never know, but the London-based image-maker always seems to be hard at it, turning the most obscure pop culture references into killer illustration. Since we last caught up with him – when he did some beyootiful work for our Annual – he’s churned out a whole load of great new projects like it aint’ no thing, for the likes of Nike, Adidas, Bloomberg Businessweek, trendy London nightlife hotspot Barden’s and a heap of great bands. Treat yourself to a stroll through his portfolio on what’s otherwise an exceptionally grey Monday.

  40. List

    Joseph Guerra and Sina Sohrab are Visibility, a New York-based design studio specialising in the creation of simple, functional products. None of their designs rely on the use of expensive materials or fitting into a collective design aesthetic. Rather, each answers its own unique problem, exploring the limitations of products that currently exist on the market and improving them through small but important modifications to their function. Among other things they’ve created a beautiful briefcase fashioned from laser-cut polypropylene – which transforms it from luxury item into universal object – and they’ve revolutionised the humble broom, adding a pivoting head to give it increased usability and minimise damage in storage. Seriously clever stuff.