Ms-300

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast. She also oversees our London listings guide This At There.

ms@itsnicethat.com@maisieskidmore

817 articles
  1. List

    It’s tricky to implement the intricate tricks of an optical illusion in a book cover design without the finished product appearing slightly heavy-handed, but designer Hansje van Halem does it with poise and perfectionism. She’s worked as a freelance graphic designer since graduating from Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietvield Academie in 2003 (as her About section explains) and her enjoyment of what others might find to be repetitive shines through in the illusory patterns in her portfolio.

  2. List

    We often talk about the difficult second album at It’s Nice That, the problem being that when you pour every ounce of passion you have into version zero of a new project it can be tricky to replicate this energy the second time around. Rather than falling into that old trap though, the creators of art and commerce focused publication Noon appear to have taken a great leap over it. Following up from the first issue of which we made no secret of fawning over last time around they’ve somehow found time to sit back, regroup and then set out to create something even more impressive with issue two. Safe to say, it’s quite something to behold.

  3. New-list

    If our interview with Brown Cardigan as part of our feature on to digital publishing has taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a GIF. Introducing then Japanese illustrator Nimura Daisuke, who has perfected the art with some of the sweetest, rudest moving images we’ve ever seen. How could you not fall for a shot of a woman flashing at a grumpy man as he looks the other way, or an unfortunate schoolboy leaning over and having the full conents of his rucksack crashing to the floor?

  4. List

    How’s this for a collaboration? Artist Quentin Jones, who counts photography, animation, painting and filmmaking among the tools of her trade, has teamed up with spatial designer Robert Storey to create the setting for her new exhibition in the The Vinyl Factory Space on London’s Brewer Street, with Robert creating a set for each of Quentin’s works.

  5. List-1

    Websites have come a long way since the days of Space Jam and the like, and in spite of the elaborate things designers are capable of now it’s often just a slick scroll and some jazzy illustration that will have you coming back to a site again and again.

  6. Opinion-list

    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what it is about weekly podcast Serial that has got the whole world talking. As ever, we want to hear what you think! Add your two pennies in the comment thread below.

  7. List-2

    A couple of weeks back a parcel containing the newest issue of The Pendulum made its way through our door, leading us haphazardly but happily to the website of its creator, Liana Jegers. Chicago-based artist Liana is an illustrator as well as a co-ordinator of printed imagery, and her Tumblr is full of snippets of sketches in progress which stand up admirably on their own.

  8. List-2

    “Hello, my name is Benjamin, but friends call me Benji,” begins the editor’s letter in the first edition of Benji Knewman, a new printed publication with the tagline “life that you can read.” Benji Knewman’s tone is so warm and inviting and tinged with the accent of its native Latvia that we can’t decide whether Benji’s a real life contributor (he’s listed as editor-at-large on the masthead) or a fictional construct created to lure us in. If it’s the former, we apologise for doubting you Benji, but if it’s the latter, it’s working marvellously.

  9. List

    Yesterday marked the launch of the brand new issue of bi-annual hardback Twin magazine, the defiantly substantial glossy publication that clubs fashion, art and culture together through interviews and gorgeous imagery. This issue includes photographs by Petra Collins, an archive of childhood shots of Kate Bush taken by her older brother and an interview with the remarkable Neneh Cherry, so to celebrate we thought we’d have founder Becky Smith show us the five books which have inspired and influenced her. In the process, we learned who her favourite photographers are, whose rare books she’s lucky to have laid her hands on and the unlikely inspiration behind the name “Twin”. Read on!

  10. List-2

    I’m sticking by my claim that the beach is one of the most fascinatingly liminal places going; you arrive, you take off (almost) all your clothes and you lie down, play volleyball and splash next to strangers with the same idea, and nobody thinks anything of it.

  11. Lisr

    We at It’s Nice That are the first to admit how easily we’re won over by an exotic script and an novel letterform – when you spend your days thinking about typefaces there’s something undeniably alluring about recognising the existence of a whole other world of them – so we won’t try to hide our excitement at coming across Anzai Konami’s work on Gurafiku.

  12. List

    Contrary to popular belief, libraries can be wildly fun and psychedelic places if you’ve got the right tools to work with. Here and willing to help me prove my point are Tord Torpe and Magnus Nyquist, who created an animation to this end. Entitled KHIB Biblioteket after the library at their school, Bergen Academy of Art and Design in Norway, the animation sees a bandy-legged gent wandering absent-mindedly up to his library door, only to be thrown head first into a world of Memphis-inspired jumping shapes, swirling perspectives, fast-paced bright flashing colours and lights and morphing letterforms. It’s an incredibly ambitious project for a pair of students and happily it succeeds magnificently in its task, even being awarded a prize by Norwegian design blog Grafill.

  13. List

    When we get in touch with the people whose work we admire to ask if they’d like to be involved in the Bookshelf feature, we ask them to pick books which have been particularly inspiring or influential to them in their lives, and this brief might never been more closely followed than by Jessica Svendsen. Jessica is a graphic designer at Pentagram and teaches Typography at both Parsons and Pratt in New York, as well as working on a number of freelance projects which are as remarkable for the degree of research which informs them as for their bold, impactful imagery.

  14. List

    It’s one thing slapping a Valencia Instagram filter on a photo of your roast dinner and mentally patting yourself on the back for your old school photography skills, but it’s quite another to have your subjects dressed up like they’ve just been zapped in from another era and then photograph them to an extremely high standard accordingly. Photographer Robbie Augspurger describes the motivation behind his practice thus – “I like to think of what I wished existed, and then make it” – which is very admirable, really. Especially as what he wishes existed is a series of glamorous headshots so decidedly retro in both styling and format that you wouldn’t think twice if you found them in an old shoebox in your loft.

  15. List

    One of the many benefits of being a meagre 19 years old and making music so nice that thousands of people want to hear it is that you can play a teenage fangirl in your music video and nobody will bat so much as an eyelid. Greta Kline, aka Frankie Cosmos, can anyway; her new video for Art School sees her play a sweet, lovesick Justin Bieber fan happily hanging out in her own private Bieber-palace surrounded by posters, pencil cases and other paraphernalia.

  16. List

    Parisian graphic design studio La Mouche et la Cloche was founded by Fanny Katz and Sylvain Henri, who met at École Professionnelle Supérieure des Arts Graphiques de Paris and worked together at Les Bons Faiseurs before setting up their own studio in 2012. The pair focus their efforts on concepts and typography respectively, allowing them to specialise in both, and this in turn creates a well-rounded spread of projects.

  17. Weekender-list

    You could call it a kind of multivitamin of art and design knowledge, or a injection of irreverence straight to your brain, or you could just refer to it as a creative foodstuff with which to fuel your hangover come Sunday morning. However you like to think of it, welcome to this week’s instalment of the Weekender.

  18. List-gihpy

    Just when Dark Igloo had surpassed all of our expectations with Bored Game, a parody of every Christmas board game advert ever made combined into one super film presented by a creepy wizard, they’ve come back with This is GIPHY, an of-the-moment news report about the state of the online world. The only way to enjoy it is to allow yourself to be completely bamboozled by a talking dog with a penchant for basketball, a man wearing a pizza going over the weather report (which is actually a report on the state of the Giphy homepage) and a rapid exchange of GIFs so prolific and so great that you’ve probably already emailed them to a workmate at some point or other. Those Dark Igloo guys are completely and utterly nuts, and we love, LOVE them for it.

  19. Main

    Frank Bauer is a portrait photographer in the truest sense of the word, in that he is exceptionally, almost astoundingly good at photographing people. His skill has won him commissions photographing some of the most famous faces in modern pop culture, from Miranda July, Steve McQueen and Jane Goodall to Iggy Pop, Grayson Perry and Ai Weiwei. With each of his subjects he captures some new, as yet unseen angle, offering his viewers a novel glimpse into their untold stories; whether that be artist and director Steve McQueen trying to suppress a yawn, or primate expert Jane Goodall gazing hopefully into the distance, her features softening to the point of making her seem childlike.

  20. List

    Established in 2010, The Rodina is, in their own words, “a society of intimacy, love and trust where individuals may escape the competition of dehumanising forces in post-postmodern society.” Anybody else might refer to it as a visual communication studio, made up of Vit Musil, Radim Petruška and Tereza Rullerová, but the joy with which these guys write their About section permeates the entirety of their output, from completely bonkers posters to wonderfully colourful book cover design.

  21. List

    The musically named Lili des Bellons (say it aloud) has an impressive roster of styles in her portfolio which also includes film and 3D animation – she’s a girl with fingers in pies – but it’s her illustrations of buildings and bird’s eye views over urban cityscapes that have caught our attention. Dotted with tiny speckles of pixellated colour, they’re oddly reminiscent of the pictures you’d make with coloured sand as a kid, although dramatically better and rather less messy. Soothing and atmospheric, the Paris-based creative’s work succeeds in tapping into a surreal alternative universe that’s not so far from our own, and yet which could be from another planet entirely.

  22. List

    Lauren Marsolier creates images unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Piecing together fragments from several different photographs from her personal library – taken over a period of years in a number of different locations – she composes landscapes that are simultaneously utterly strange and so familiar they leave you convinced you’ve seen them before. Lauren was born in France but now lives and works in Los Angeles, which goes some way to explaining the vast landscapes, the huge modernist houses and that soft bluish light which bathes many of the compositions in her work, causing them to emanate a kind of serenity.

  23. List-2

    “It’s my magazine and I’ll photograph it in a hydrangea bush if I want to” I imagine editors Bertrand Trichet and Olivier Talbot singing as they snapped away. And why not? The brand new third issue of surfing magazine Acid is fluorescent pink, so it looks perfectly at home against some nice botany.

  24. List

    If you follow him on Instagram you’ll likely already know that photographer Dan Wilton is currently in Tokyo, working on a number of different photographic projects but also just having a really wonderful and incredibly photogenic time. It’s the “good time” element that his most recent series Call Us If You Wanna Have a Real Party which he shot for Vice focuses on. “Someone told me that Halloween isn’t big in Japan,” Dan explains. “I got a feeling they might be wrong when I arrived and there was Halloween bunting up in my hotel, three weeks before the day. Sure enough, Tokyo lost the plot on Friday night.”

  25. Lisst

    Longtime fans of Toro Y Moi will already know Chaz Bundick to be a man with impeccable visual stylings, and a portfolio which stretches way beyond logos and album covers to include album launches turned art exhibitions, screen-printed posters and a heavy involvement with the concepts behind his music videos as well. Today marks the launch of Chaz’s debut album Michael under the name of his dancier side project Les Sins, which we decided made for an ample excuse to get a look at his Bookshelf. And my god it’s a good one.

  26. List

    We’re well-acquainted with the brilliant woodblock posters that Anthony Burrill has made his bread and butter, so when he got in touch to share a new project he’s been working on we were happily expecting more of the same. On the contrary, his new project with Banana & Associates is a bold, provocative and political project, executed with all of Anthony’s trademark boldness and thinly-veiled wit. Pleasantly surprised does not cover it.

  27. List

    You could be forgiven for taking a cursory glance over the MAAD site, as I did, and assuming that it was dedicated to a design collective more diverse and comprehensive than we’d ever even seen before. Because that it kind of what it looks like. In fact, MAAD stands for Masters in Art Direction and belongs to ECAL, aka the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, in Switzerland, and the website serves as both a pamphlet for prospective students and an archive for the projects of previous ones, making it one of the best thought out university sites that we’ve ever seen.

  28. List-2

    Helsinki-based agency Prakt were brought on board to design the identity for the tenth anniversary of the Mikkeli Illustration Triennial in Finland – no mean feat for an agency whose instinct might be to turn to illustration to get their message across. “The triennial went back to its roots: all techniques and themes were welcome in the competition,” founder Matti Tuominen explains. “We didn’t want to create more illustrations for the exhibition already showcasing the best Finnish illustrations.”

  29. List

    Viviane Sassen has enjoyed an impressive ascent over the course of her career in order to get to where she is now. Having spent several of her formative years living in Kenya, the artist and photographer has moulded a unique and distinctive style permeated by references to her childhood memories of Africa: luscious, vibrant colours, strong forms and sculpted silhouettes all feature heavily in her work.

  30. List-2

    If you’re anything like me, the 1990s were a decade dedicated to pogs, the Spice Girls, Hey Arnold and Clarissa Explains It All and with those keys players to occupy us it’s no surprise we were too busy to pause and take note of all the great slang vocal being flung around. Fortunately i-D were more than happy to recount the lot in their classic alphabetical fashion, and they even recruited the marvellous Layzell Bros to help them.

  31. List

    Johnny Dufort is a photographer from Cornwall who is currently living and working in London. That’s about all we know of him thus far, but we’re dead certain it won’t be the case for long; the young’un was picked up by i-D earlier this summer as one of the new generation of photographers, and as they so aptly phrased it, “learn their names, because you’re going to need them!”

  32. List

    Kate Moross is a one of a kind in the creative industry – there’s not a programme, a technique or a medium that she’s not willing to teach herself, and this readiness to experiment, to try, to fail and to try again has landed her in fairly a unique position. Now aged 28 she has her own studio, a portfolio full of artwork, visuals and music videos, a book and an exhibition to her name. If that’s anything to go by, it seems her DIY attitude pays off.

  33. List

    If you’re yet to be acquainted with the weird and wonderful world of Toiletpaper then allow us to introduce you. Artist Maurizio Cattelan, photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari and art director Micol Talso got together some years back to create images which distilled their passion for the bizarre, the grotesque, the darkly humorous and the sensual. From this came Toiletpaper Magazine, and before long their work had spread across the fashion and art industries like wildfire, picking up the attention of a number of big-time brands along the way. No surprises there.

  34. List-2

    Where some printed publications shy away from British culture as it exists beyond Union Jack flags and Yorkshire tea in floral china, LAW Magazine, which stands for Lives and Works is already knee-deep in the grit and the grime. Now in its fifth issue, the staple-bound bi-annual describes itself as a platform for “the beautiful everyday… A window into the world of the current undercurrent that nobody is catching and which is therefore of greater importance to document.” It’s a kind of Britishness so ubiquitous that you’d have to be wandering the streets with your head in a bag to miss it – one defined by full-suspension mountain bikes, Sunday League referees, Hackney estate maps and Vauxhall Novas.

  35. List

    There’s a very simple kind of pleasure to be had from illustrator Liam Stevens’ work. The image-maker and designer occupies himself predominantly with line-work and geometric shapes, creating vast landscapes and atmospheric compositions from very little. Collage elements enter into his practice from time to time, but on the whole his sketches function using a simple cross-hatch which gestures vaguely towards a form, or a series of wiggly lines used to demarcate a sprawling horizon. Finding Liam’s work online allows it to function in much the same way a breath of fresh air does in a loud, smoggy city. Breathe deep and enjoy the view.

  36. List-3

    I’m happy to admit that after watching all three minutes and 47 seconds of Stevie Gee’s new music video for Archie Bronson Outfit, my computer desktop is littered with so many screenshots of boobs, beers and motorbikes in psychedelic hues that I can scarcely find anything else. And the thing is I don’t even mind.

  37. List

    Several artists have attempted to respond to the nude photo scandal, in which private photographs of a number of celebrities were hacked from Apple’s iCloud software and leaked on sites like 4chan and Reddit earlier this year, but few have had any success in harnessing the sense of shock and the eery echo of “have you seen them?” which rippled through the internet in the aftermath.

  38. List-2

    When it comes to psychedelic album artwork, it sometimes feels like the very best might already be behind us – Wes Wilson, Mouse & Kelly and Rick Griffin already having worked through the golden era. There’s something reassuring about the knowledge that graphic designers are still looking for ways to incorporate psychedelic elements into their designs though, and French graphic artist Lucas Donaud is foremost amongst them.

  39. List

    It’s a well-established fact that even the most conceptually exciting product designs can fall flat on their face if they’re photographed poorly. Imagery can often make or break these projects. And while of course this isn’t the be-all and end-all, it’s worth taking this part of the process seriously to maximise the chances of your work cutting through the noise.

  40. List

    To say that Rebecca Reeve enjoys a magnificent view is not to do her work justice. The British-born, New York-based photographer has long been occupied with framing landscapes with domestic devices in her work, from placing a pair of translucent curtains around a mountain range and invoking the Dutch custom of covering paintings at the wakes of deceased family members to help them make the transition to the afterlife, to hanging a blind in front of a swamp to oddly effective ends. On an aesthetic level this unusual use of the prop partially obscures her chosen view, bringing a curious sense of mystery to the image, but the subversion of that familiar sense of domesticity resonates much further than surface level, creating an odd feeling of displacement with a surrealist slant.