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.

ms@itsnicethat.com@maisieskidmore

1100 articles
  1. Marianne-beck-itsnicethat-list-2

    When presented with a stray piece of paper my reflex is unfailingly to attempt an origami vagina (surprisingly difficult) so I feel that Marianne Beck’s recent undertaking is especially admirable. The Danish-born, Paris-based designer was able to create an entire typeface out of neatly overlapped paper using a few scraps and some clever folds, in an uncommonly cohesive and well executed series.

  2. Sleek-itsnicethat-list

    If you’ve rummaged through the art magazines in a well-stocked bookshop of late, you’ll likely have found yourself face to face with the glossy red cover of the new issue of Sleek magazine. A quarterly publication operating out of Berlin, Sleek takes contemporary art and recontextualises it as being just one element of visual culture as a whole, all of which is interesting, it argues. So instead of warding off would-be readers with inaccessible fine art speak and conceptual ideas, Sleek looks at photography, fashion and even topics like Greek mythology and health as being one and the same with art with a capital “A,” and covers the lot. Well, why wouldn’t it?

  3. Sh_books-itsnicethat-list-2

    From googly-eyed palm trees oozing California cool to a cheeky yellow thumbs up sign against a backdrop of a bright American flag, artist and designer Steven Harrington has been wafting LA sunshine our way via his cartoonish characters for years now. His work is a staple reference for anybody making Americana-influenced illustration, and spans huge hand-screened prints to limited-edition skateboards, all of which is doused in his sunny, funny style.

  4. Lift-type-itsnicethat-list

    If you’re a young freshly launched type foundry, how do you go about demonstrating to the rest of the world how fun and cool you are? A Tumblr showing off your wares in situ is a good start, as French foundry Lift Type has learned. Their blog hosts a smattering of bright, flashy GIFs, mocked up posters, scans of printed specimens and playful headers, and it’s an irresistible invite to get involved with what they’re offering.

  5. Weekender-list

    If you’re in the UK, IT’S BANK HOLIDAY SEASON, PEOPLE. We’re downing our pens and replacing them with pints, and we’re not going to stop until it’s Monday afternoon and we’ve got tennis elbow from all the lifting.

  6. Bbdfaotw-itsnicethat-list

    Studio Johannes Bissinger’s catalogue for the Stiftung Buchkunst, a compilation of the “BEST BOOK DESIGN FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD,” is a publication I’ve had on my desk since it arrived in the post last week, and which nobody has been able to walk past without picking it up to thumb through and remark “ooh, this is nice.”

  7. Daehyun-kim-itsnicethat-list

    Artist Daehyun Kim started to create his evocative, mystical Moonassi world out of ink while studying oriental painting in Seoul, South Korea, and has continued to grow it ever since. “The series is my life-time project,” the artist explains on his website. “There is no specific background story or a theory about the drawing. Each drawing is created based on my daily thoughts and feelings. I draw to meditate on myself and others, and to be able to see the whole story of the series in the end.” Daehyun operates out of a world in which the oceans are both shallow and bottomless, light is dark and dark is light, the moon acts as a torch, an eye and a character’s inner being are one and there’s nothing to do but reflect on your own existence all day, and it’s completely spell-binding.

  8. Charlotte-molas-itsnicethat-list

    French illustrator Charlotte Molas’ work falls somewhere between the masterpieces pre-school children make with blow-pens and water-based paints, and expertly stencilled murals. She deals predominantly in texture, having developed a soft shading technique redolent of vintage luggage labels and tourism postcards of yesteryear, to build modular figures which aren’t always necessarily what they seem. Girls dancing and jumping around is one thing, but some of her pieces present couples making out masquerading as mountainous landscapes, and silhouetted trees hiding far saucier situations. Obviously we’re huge fans.

  9. Acne-studios-peter-schlesinger-collectionitsnicethat-list

    The most fascinating collaborations grow organically out of obscure details discovered through a working relationship between two creatives. In this case, that detail is sculptor Peter Schlesinger’s love of silk pyjamas, a gem which was disclosed to Acne Studios’ creative director Jonny Johansson. The pair met working on collaborations between Peter and Acne Paper, and the decision to make a book about Peter’s work in tandem with a collection of Acne pyjamas based on his prints, and in colours inspired by his ceramic glazes, seems to have grown naturally out of this bond.

  10. Yanda-itsnicethat-list

    DO NOT DESIGN is a Singapore-based creative consultancy whose portfolio directly undermines its name. Its work spans editorial design produced to accompany art, installation and performance works. What caught our eye though was DEAR, a new self-funded zine which aims to celebrate the unusual and the curious in a manner which reflects what the studio describes as “our salad-bowl of a nation, Singapore.” Including visual essays and contributions by a diverse range of artists, not to mention a sparse, pared-back layout bookended by the zine’s intriguing cut-out cover, DEAR looks set to mark the start of an eclectic, and hopefully enduring new chapter for zines created in Singapore.

  11. Nicertuesdays-technology-itsnicethat-list

    At last night’s Nicer Tuesdays we delved into a whole host of cutting-edge creativity with six speakers whose work touches on technology. First up we heard from David Sheldon Hicks and Peter Eszeny of Territory Studio who specialise in creating futuristic user interfaces for films like Prometheus and Guardians of the Galaxy – “to tell a part of the story the actors couldn’t.” They spoke about the challenges of creating visuals that “are judged in a three-second burst and are often in the background” and explained how creating work for movies set in the near future is particularly difficult because it has to be grounded in reality. The key is to find “a visual language you can tie into quite quickly” so for the new Alex Garland film Ex Machina, blueprints for a bionic skeleton were based on IKEA assembly manuals!

  12. David-hockney-perspective-should-be-reversed-itsnicethat-list

    David Hockney never fails to astound me. He’s likely the most prolific British painter, printmaker and photographer our generation will see, and rather than settle down into one comfortable style – he has entertained more than a few over the course of his 50-year and counting career – he continues to set himself new lines to cross. He pushes back on the boundaries he had set himself the last time around. 

  13. Hana-knizova-itsnicethat-list

    I know I’m not alone in my deep-rooted fascination with twins, identical or otherwise, and Czech-born, London-based photographer Hana Knizova is just one of many to help me indulge it. Her series Family Matters features ten pairs of womb-sharing siblings, shrouded in like-minded mystery and wearing similar attire, and draws upon aspects of their relationship in carefully composed and almost classical portraits. They’re beguiling and somewhat mystical to look it. 

  14. Ecal-bejining-connection-itsnicethat-list-3

    After a holiday I usually struggle into the arrivals lounge with carrier bags brimming with tat, a couple of sandy disposable cameras, an empty wallet and an Instagram account groaning under the weight of all the gratuitous exotic photographs I’ve inflicted on my friends. I don’t often spend my time coming up with innovative alternative ways to log my trip. Which is the difference between me and the BA Media and Interaction Design students at ECAL, or the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne in Switzerland.

  15. Ditto-gllts-itsnicethat-list

    In Iron Fist Magazine editor Louise Brown’s brilliantly written foreword to God Listens to Slayer, she compares heavy metal music to religion, and the journey from fandom to concert hall to a spiritual pilgrimage. “In the last British census, heavy metal defeated Scientology when 6,242 people claimed to follow it religiously,” Louise explains. “It was official: following Slayer to the ends of the earth was confirmed as a form of worship. But we who live and breathe heavy metal already knew that.”

  16. Bfc-lfw-list

    If you’ve ever stepped through the gateway from the Strand to Somerset House’s inner square during one of the two week-long periods each year when it’s transformed for London Fashion Week, you’ll know that it’s a hallowed space. Somerset House has become synonymous with the British Fashion Council’s biannual spectacle, which sees it transformed into an enormous arena for models, press, peacocks and show-goers. So it comes as quite a surprise that after six years of hosting the event at Somerset House the British Fashion Council has announced that LFW will now take place at Soho’s Brewer Street Carpark.

  17. Weekender-list

    My, what a week it’s been. We’re all tuckered out after celebrating the launch of Printed Pages last night. But you know what, just for you, we’ll muster up the rest of our diminishing will to keep on typing to present this week’s edition of the Weekender, because we’re so nice, and because it makes us feel just that little bit closer to Saturday. And of course, to all of you. So here’s all the art and design bits and bobs you could possibly want for your two days of freedom.

  18. Pp-list-new

    If you hadn’t already clocked by now, the brand spanking new SS15 issue of Printed Pages is here, and we’re pretty bloody proud of it! And with all of these fantastic features, interviews, essays and images under our belts, can you blame us for gathering up a bunch of locals at KK Outlet for a few beers, courtesy of Heineken, to toast the new issue? The sun shone, the refreshments were drunk, the mag was purchased and fun was had by all. Here are a couple of photographs of last night!

  19. Wipeout-itsnicethat-list

    Dominic Szablewski is the kind of technological wizard who has a level of understanding so sublime that I imagine he might be able control the universe from his computer one day. He’s a digital designer who builds games – really, really cool games – and through means unknown to me, he has succeeded in porting levels from cult PlayStation racing game WipEout, which was first released in 1995, into a browser-compatible format.

  20. Newswall-itsnicethat-list

    Yesterday saw the launch of a brand new form of news presentation by Channel 4 in 4NewsWall – a Tumblr-hosted website dedicated to the day’s top news stories, listed chronologically, with each presented by a GIF. Thought up by 4Creative’s Jack Croft and Stacey Bird and developed by the creative team, it’s flashy, image-led and uncluttered – with each GIF offering a click-through button to a more detailed report – and looks set to be an interesting and exciting progression for news journalism.

  21. Flatland-itsnicethat-list

    “We hear a lot about the death of print and the dominance of digital,” begins Epilogue’s Kickstarter pitch video for a new version of Edwin Abbott’s Flatland, “but it’s having access to either that makes this an exciting time. The challenge is, how do you make something that is interesting and meaningful with both?”

  22. Amylombard-kidz-bop-itsnicethat-list

    The last time we featured Amy Lombard on It’s Nice That, it was her photographs of pet animals preened and packaged for an animal show in the USA that we were babbling over. This time around it’s the Brooklyn-based documentary photographer’s new series about the Kidz Bop phenomenon sweeping the US that we’re gushing over, and if it seems like a sizeable gap between the two subjects, then it’s an appropriate reflection of the breadth of her work.

  23. Stosh-itsnicethat-list-2

    Stosh is the leading case in my new argument (actually my only case, but that’s neither here nor there) that all studios formed of two or more people should be named by combining those two names together. Freelance graphic designers Stephanie Cuérel and Josh Schaub (Stosh!) have been collaborating since 2010 and judging by their website – a trichotomy of bold design made by one, the other or both of them, with the odd GIF thrown in for good measure – it was a good decision.

  24. Hattie-stewart-itsnicethat-list-2

    Hattie Stewart is back – not that the self-proclaimed doodle-bomber ever goes away for long – and this time it’s with reams of new work for her very own exhibition at the House of Illustration, entitled Adversary. In the first of what looks to be a whole series of commissions by the London-based gallery, she has created a collection of new (and enormous) pieces in her signature doodle style, decorating images from pop culture with accessories, stripes, googly eyes and emojis and generally elevating them beyond magazine fodder and into something entirely unique and infinitely bolder. 

  25. Anagrama-itsnicethat-list

    Mexican design studio Anagrama has turned its focus to one of its own this time around, creating a solid brand identity and new interior for a “cantina” called Botanero Moritas. Anagrama had the restaurant’s rich brand history – stretching all the way back to 1939 – to wrangle with, and chose to channel as much of its tradition and history into the new identity as possible while still striking a chord with contemporary branding. It went with a simple, bold logo on dark grainy backgrounds for much of the printed collateral including business cards, postcards and packaging, employing a rainbow foil to jazz it up where necessary, while the variety of typefaces used on menus and signage hints at the diversity of old and new references.

  26. Laurabradley-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    There are few corners of the internet which remain sacred nowadays, but anothermag.com, the online counterpart to Dazed ’s sister publication AnOther Magazine, feels something like a tiny jewel-bedecked cave in the midst of a vast wasteland. Hosting a curated collection of insights into the lives of legendary artists and craftspeople, alongside photographic series, handwritten letters and aspects of the fashion world which might otherwise go unnoticed, the site is a rare gem, and at its helm is editor Laura Bradley.

  27. Graphilately-itsnicethat-list

    For some years now stamp collecting has been relegated from the status of a widespread and admirable pastime to a somewhat nerdy pursuit, and this is a perception that Blair Thomson, creative director of design studio Believe In, is keen to shake off. Having had a passion for stamps instilled in him at a young age, Blair is the designer behind Graphilately, an Instagram account dedicated to his own beautifully curated, and very well photographed collection, which celebrates stamps as a form of graphic art in their own right.

  28. Anna-kulachek-itsnicethat-list-2

    The very best graphic identities, as designer Anna Kulachek would attest, take on a life of their own. The Moscow-based creative has been working on identities for the Prague School of Design since 2012, and they’ve since grown into an evolving body which grows and reforms with each new brief. “In the beginning it was built on the illustrations of the city,” Anna explains, “because one of the points in the brief was to show what’s happening in Prague. So I decided to draw the school in simple shapes.”

  29. Weekender-list

    If you thought that marginally overweight bloke in swimming trunks snoozing on the beach was at the top of the Weekender for entirely arbitrary reasons this week then you thought WRONG, my friend! In fact he is the star of one of the two covers shot by Tadao Cern for the new issue of Printed Pages, which is now available for pre-order, with the first 500 orders also receiving an exclusive print from designer Alan Fletcher’s archive. That is correct. What are you waiting for? Onwards, to the Weekender!

  30. Production-type-itsnicethat-list

    It seems to me that half the job when you work at a type foundry is finding the best way to showcase your wares. In an industry now bubbling with interactive websites, weird apps and even the occasional trailer, typeface specimens are an old fashioned means, but as Paris-based digital foundry Production Type proves, they’re often the best.

  31. Inside-abbey-road-itsnicethat-list

    There are a lot of things I’ll likely never be able to do in my life. I’ll never be an astronaut, because I’m shit at science for starters, and I’m never going to record a world-changing album, because in reality I didn’t get much further than playing The OC soundtrack on the piano. So when a digital experience comes up that allows to you pretend you might be sailing around the moon aboard the Soviet Union Luna 2, say, or to peruse the hallowed studios of Abbey Road among the likes of the Beatles and Tony Bennett, I’m more than happy to take it.

  32. Obv-campaign-itsnicethat-list

    The impending general election in Britain is encouraging a spurt of striking advertising campaigns and creative efforts to encourage potential voters, not least Pentagram’s “Give an X” campaign, and this new offering by Saatchi & Saatchi for Operation Black Vote is particularly powerful. The campaign is intended to boost the numbers of black, Asian and ethnic minority voters, in order to attain greater representation of Britain’s diverse population in government. Featuring Paralympic athlete Ade Adepitan, actor David Harewood, rapper Tinie Tempah and footballer Sol Campbell with their faces painted white, the campaign reasserts the quotation “If you don’t register to vote, you’re taking the colour out of Britain.”

  33. Wardheirwegh_itsnicethat-list

    Some graphic design projects seem straightforward; a lovely foil, and Bob’s your uncle! Others demand a bit more attention, however, and for those we call in the likes of Ward Heirwegh. Based in Antwerp, Ward specialises in design for exhibitions, translating complex, abstract concepts into coherent, understandable printed accompaniments. In my opinion this branch of design requires a very specific and quite elusive skill for compressing and transforming information.

  34. Neil-krug-itsnicethat-list

    Some bands are happy to leave the creative direction of their gig posters and visuals up to their labels, but others, and these are often the more special of the bunch, put as much care into their visual representation as they do their music, carefully building a coherent image with every photo shoot, illustration and album sleeve. First Aid Kit is one of the latter. The Swedish sibling duo has accrued quite a roster of preferred illustrators and photographers to design their posters, channelling their one-of-a-kind amalgamation of Scandi heritage, folk symbolism and references into each one. We spoke to Johanna and Klara about the process of commissioning their posters, their favourite illustrator to work with, and keeping creative disagreements in the family.

  35. Alisondubois-after-itsnicethat-list

    Alison Dubois is a San Francisco-based illustrator who channels all of the vitamin D from her native temperate climate into her work. Take After, for example, a collection of re-creations of works by great masters, including Henri Matisse, Peter Doig and a handful of Paul Gauguins. Her drawings are rendered in felt tip and dominated by primary colours, and looking at them for too long feels something like consuming a bottle of Sunny D via an IV drip.

  36. Thomas-slater-mosaic-itsnicethat-list

    It’s a good job “Thomas Slater, Illustrator” has such a nice ring to it, as we seem to be spending a lot of time on his website of late. His newest undertaking is for Mosaic, the science-led strand of the Wellcome Trust which is using commissioned illustration and photography to make even the most opaque of articles on their journal absorbing. For a piece entitled Do You Need to Go to Parent School? Thomas has created a series of drawings depicting kids both being encouraged by, and outsmarting, their ambitious parents – putting them on school buses, playing at being doctors from their buggies, or having their brains measured while diligently sipping on juice cartons. It’s the kind of commission which shows editorial illustration at its most challenging, but somehow Thomas manages to convey broad ideas about parenting and education with a simple and bold colour palette, outsmarting us all in the process.

  37. Milton-list

    “I knew that I was obsessed with drawing as a child, and that it was a source of my greatest pleasure. There was nothing else I would prefer doing than drawing. Actually that is persistent to this very day.” So begins The New York Times’ short film looking at the spectacular life and career of Milton Glaser, and if this wonderful clip doesn’t restore your faith in design (and in the same amount of time you’d spend making a coffee, too!) then I don’t know what will.

  38. Ng_inside_2bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    London-based fashion brand Eley Kishimoto was founded in 1992 by Japanese-born Wakako Kishimoto and her Welsh husband Mark Eley, and has since earned a global reputation for bold print design and collaborations with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Jil Sander. We were lucky enough to pin down co-founder Wakako to find out which publications have most inspired and influenced her on her trajectory thus far. Her response? A beautiful old Japanese/English dictionary, a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac-clad Snoopy, and an old old issue of the National Geographic and all of the treasures inside it.

  39. Maya-fuhr-itsnicethat-list

    Maya Fuhr is a photographer with an inexplicable ability to photograph young faces without losing any of the youthful disdain, muted excitement or quiet rebellion that play an integral part in being young. Which more or less makes her a natural fit for a fashion brand to shoot their campaign, don’t you reckon? John & Jenn has cottoned on, commissioning Maya to shoot their new collection of simple and structural pieces, and she did a lovely job of it; the resulting images are textural and tactile while maintaining the models’ quiet air of not-giving-a-shit. Somebody give the girl a billboard.

  40. Random-studio-itsnicethat-list

    I don’t know what it says about our relationship with technology that fancy websites are still providing a source of joy so long after the internet was invented, but there’s nothing like a bit of magical and unexpected web trickery to wake you up from a dull afternoon slumber. Case in point is eccentric Italian design house Fornasetti’s website, which has just been given a good jazzing up from Amsterdam-based Random Studio.