Graphic Design Archive

  1. List-martin-groch-its-nice-thatera-obalka-2-final-na-web

    “A natural talent for combining type, image and abstract forms” is how we described Slovakian designer Martin Groch when we first posted about him. We stand by that, and now his talents are being put to good use under the discerning eye of Eike König at Hort, where Martin’s currently interning. During his time there he’s worked with the team on some great graphics and illustrations for Read magazine, which suit his blocky, slick style perfectly. Elsewhere in his portfolio we’ve been admiring some great cover designs for architecture magazine ERA21, and some beautiful posters for a Czech documentary film festival. “The whole concept is about confrontation between sci-fi concepts and our present reality,” Martin explains. It seems fitting for his style, which manages to articulate normal things in a disorientating, bold and futuristic style.

  2. Post-husler_rose-istnicethat-list

    London studio POST– has built an admirable reputation for clean, considered design work for clients across the world. Perusing their portfolio recently we came across this pleasing work for Husler & Rose, an online boutique that sells furniture, homeware and other bits and pieces. Too often we see identities for these kinds of shops that tick off cliched checklists ripped from Instagram mood boards but I feel the POST– team has navigated these pitfalls with skill and style. Inspired by “Herbert Bayer’s Bauhaus posters and the old jazz record sleeve designs of Duke Ellington,” the designers have developed a relevant look and feel that works across both print and digital collateral and breathes a little life into a couple of quite standard conventions.

  3. List-muir-mcneil-its-nice-that-muir-mcneil-its-nice-that-lcc_type_design_1200

    It’s Summer Shows-time again, and so we’re bracing ourselves for another slew of smart identity projects to go with them. Today, we present to you the work of MuirMcNeil, which has created the identity for the show at London College of Communication, where the duo teach. MuirMcNeil is comprised of Hamish Muir, lead tutor of BA Graphic and Media Design and Paul McNeil, course leader for MA Contemporary Typographic Media. Naturally, it’s a very typographic identity, and “confronts traditional letterform” according to LCC.

  4. Tomaslaar-itsnicethat-main

    Nice body of work here from Dutch design student Tomas Laar, who has a pleasing understanding of typography and the fun there is to be had in publication design. Even though he’s still studying he’s been very busy immersing himself in the design world, taking part in Hort’s raucous After School Club and a number of different group shows and workshops. What I like about his work is that he’s not afraid to mess around a bit, and the more professional journals he’s put together and professionally bound are contrasted by mini-projects that see him making posters in homage to designers he admires and pasting them up on walls around The Hague. Even his typography is light-hearted, and shows how unafraid he is to get stuck in with different materials and processes in order to get the best result. He’s also got an absolute ripper of a blog.

  5. Spd-newyork-itsnicethat-list2

    Call me a massive magazine nerd if you must but I really enjoy the conversation about what makes a great cover. Is there a science to it as Tyler Brûlé maintains? Does it have to be meticulously planned or can it be the simple execution of gut instinct? Where is that fine line between bold and daring on the one hand, and obtuse and gimmicky on the other? Anyway yesterday two “best cover” shortlists were unveiled which gives us a glimpse into what two leading industry bodies think (The Society of Publication Designers and The Professional Publishers Association).

  6. 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?”

  7. Jaimezuverza-itsnicethat-main

    If you ever want to read a truly inspiring interview with one of the coolest designers out there, look no further than this one with Jaime Zuverza we ran on the site back in 2013. In it Jaime said: “Lately I have been inspired by the strange things the body and mind create. I think those things must be welcomed in a friendly manner. The body produces blood, tears, boogers, vomit, caca, gas, wax, urine, spit, odours, etc. The mind produces dreams, hallucinations, delusions, paranoid associations, psychic vibes, phobias, visions. All of these things are usually kept hidden but they play a big part in people’s daily lives.”

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Spin-itsnicethatlistfull_screen_simon_pengelly_2

    When graphic designers take on furniture designers, their broadening solutions can sometimes feel formulaic – all wholesome browns and chatter about “craft.” That’s why it’s so refreshing to see Spin’s work for British furniture designer Simon Pengelly. “The idea for Simon’s identity came from a visit to his workshop and noticing the lovely graphic stripes on the edge of the plywood used on one of his chairs,” says Spin. “The various iterations of the marque reflect different thicknesses.” Despite the fact, as Spin puts, it, Simon’s design approach “brings together a blend of organic minimalism and a distinctive feel for natural materials,” the identity focusses on the minimalism and shuns the organic, taking on a bold, direct and a very brave aesthetic.

  11. 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.

  12. Wife_web_backdrme-itsnicethat.list

    It’s always such a joy when great music and great graphics combine, as we explored recently in our Art + Music series. So when we found out that Manchester agency DR.ME was behind the sleeves for one of our all-time favourite record labels, Tri Angle, it was a happy day indeed. “Happy,” however, is perhaps not so apt for describing the sleeves themselves – or indeed the music of Tri Angle’s roster – characterised by a dark, brooding, experimental sound. Some dub it witch house, others drag, but by any name, it’s downright weird and often rather brilliant. But enough gushing about these strange, cracked-out sounds, let’s talk about the sleeves.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.”

  15. Chris-van-niekerk-itsnicethat-listfine_furniture_1

    Chris van Niekerk’s designs are direct, accomplished and considered, but what makes them extra intriguing are the process stories behind each. Take his special edition vinyl sleeves for Cheap Thrills. They look good enough – all dingy, limited palettes and dynamic type – but he explains that the imagery was created by sampling the sound waves from side A of each vinyl, and visualising them, which is pretty cool. The project that really caught our eye, not least because of how well shot it is, is Chris’ branding for bespoke furniture maker Jake Coleman, which takes a fresh look that’s true to its product, using a puzzle piece inspired by dovetails as the centre of the identity. To show the versatility of this kid, we’ve also included the designs for an Aperture publication, marking 60 years of the photography foundation, which looks very slick indeed.

  16. 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!

  17. Faber-modern-classics-itsnicethat-.list

    A couple of months ago, we spoke to a number of book designers about whether they felt you had to read a book to design its cover. Whichever camp you sit in, it’s clear that with something as powerful and evocative as a piece of literature, summing up complex and emotive ideas in a single cover is no mean feat, so we were keen to hear more about how the process worked when designing for Faber’s new series of modern classics. The series launches this week with ten books including Look Back in Anger by John Osborne, Ariel by Sylvia Plath, TS Eliot’s Selected Poems and Self-Help by Lorrie Moore. A further six titles are to be released in June.

  18. 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.

  19. I-give-an-xpentagram-itsnicethatlist

    Where an “x” was once a kiss, it’s now something rather different – a mark that signifies your voice in the election. This little but very powerful symbol is at the heart of a new non-partisan project by Pentagram, I Give an X, which saw Marina Willer and the team create hundreds of different x marks which they hope people will use as their online profile picture.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. List-innocent-sorcerers-image006

    Posters for Polish film never fail to excite; the strange, b-movie quality they have, the bold cut-and-paste aesthetic and the unabashed melodrama make them utterly captivating. So it’s always exciting when Kinoteka Festival rolls around in London, not just to have a chance to see the movies the posters promote, but because of the ace satellite shows of Polish cinema visual ephemera. This year, the festival boasts an exhibition of posters for director Andrzej Wajda’s films. As well as work by Polish artists, international designers such as Peter Strausfeld, Dominique Guillotin, Otto Kummert, Milan Grygar and Erhard Grutter all have posters on show. It’s a gorgeous spread of work, all on loan from the archives of the Film Museum in Lódź.

  23. List-respect_byd_ad-itsnicethat

    D&AD has commissioned a rather playful campaign to promote 2015’s Judging Week, created by design agency The Oldham Goddard Experience and illustrator Marion Deuchars. Marion’s signature off-kilter typographic approach makes a great counterpart to the instantly recognisable black and yellow of the D&AD brand, used across a number of tongue-in-cheek slogans. All in all, it’s a simple, smart and effective solution to what must be a rather daunting brief.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. Cooperhewitt-howposterswork-itsnicethat-list

    We feature a fair amount of poster deign here on It’s Nice That but in the pell-mell rush for aesthetic appreciation it’s rare to take time out to consider how this particular design discipline works. Luckily the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York has forced our hand with its new show How Posters Work. Displaying 125 of the museum’s 4,000-strong collection, the aim of the exhibition is to illustrate how poster designers go about maximising the potential of the medium.

  27. Secret7-itsnicethat-list

    The annual Secret 7” show is always eagerly anticipated and this year’s exhibition – which opens today at Somerset House in London – looks like it lives up to our high expectations once again. The brainchild of Kevin King, the format’s success is tied to its simplicity with seven tracks from seven well-known musicians offered up to creatives from around the world. This year’s songs include Underworld’s Born Slippy, Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, The Rolling Stones’ Dead Flowers and St Vincent’s Digital Witness and the artists and designers taking part range from big names to young talents. For the time being whose sleeve is whose is kept under wraps, but we’ve spotted a few styles that we can immediately identify. After the show all the sleeves will be sold off for the same price with proceeds going to music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.

  28. 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.

  29. Pentagram-cooperhewitt-itsnicethat-list

    Off the back of our post this week on Julien Lelièvre’s proposed museum and gallery identities, we got to thinking about some of the many excellent projects of this nature we’ve covered in the past. A trawl through the archives turned up a whole host of gallery and museum identities – from the very well-known to the enjoyably leftfield – and so we felt the time was ripe for a romp down memory lane. If there’s any you think we’ve missed (or you just want to tell us how WRONG we are) then you can use the comment thread below.

  30. Joni-kirton-itsnicethat-list-2

    Multi-disciplinary designer Joni Kirton designs from the bottom up. He specialises in creative strategy and analysis, meaning that his thing is creating solutions to problems, rather than drawing up aesthetically pleasing ideas which fail to do what they were intended to. And when you cast an eye over his portfolio with his in mind, the diversity of projects he has worked on is even more impressive – from an identity for a packing and removals company, to one for a small indie record label based in the North of England.

  31. Julienlelievre-museepicasso-itsnicethat-list

    I always think designing an identity for an art gallery sounds like a dream commission but then you are targeting an audience that is more visually literate than say mayonnaise-buyers and that must bring an added pressure. It’s a challenge Julien Lelièvre clearly relishes and the French graphic designer has proposed bold, communicative identities for both the Musée Picasso Paris and Palais de Tokyo in recent years.

  32. Cinderblock-itsnicethat-list

    You Work For Them is the next foundry in line to present a new font with a snazzy dedicated website, and this time they’ve take the presentation one step further with a trailer. Yes, a trailer – the kind that usually promotes a film – except this is dominated entirely by Cinderblock, their newest typographic offering.

  33. Axelpelletanchethevenart-int-list

    Across the It’s Nice That studio there’s a heck of a lot of people looking at creative work all day, every day and so on occasions it comes to pass that two people will suggest the same person for the site. That’s exactly what happened this week with the marvellously-named Axel Pelletanche Thévenart, a French graphic design student currently interning with HelloMe in Berlin. Axel’s site is in French and the oddities of Google Translate mean that it’s pretty tricky to get your head round the intricacies of his projects, but from the visuals alone it’s clear that Axel has a really developed graphic sensibility and an ease with type and colour that belies his young age. We’re keen to see what he gets up to once his studies finish and his talents are fully unleashed on the world.

  34. Poesis_savvy_6-int-list

    If we were being terribly lazy, we’d start this story about a great Mexican design agency “Savvy Studio by name, Savvy Studio by nature.” Of course we’re terribly diligent, so instead we’ll focus on the great work it’s carried out for a consultancy called Poesis. The branding project manages to elevate a company with complex aims (it hopes to “raise your energy levels of consciousness and skills of transformation and healing,” apparently) into something simple, slick and beautiful.

  35. List

    The Typographic Circle (like The Magic Circle but with less rabbits-in-hats and more font chat) was founded nearly 40 years ago and is still going strong in its mission to “bring together anyone with an interest in type and typography.”

  36. Chloe-scheffe-modern-times-signs-int-list

    We’re struggling to believe that Chloe Scheffe is still a student: her work is incredibly mature, nuanced and smart. She’s studying at Rhode Island School of Design, which in part explains her brilliant output, and her site is a testament to the quality and breadth of her output. Two very different but equally accomplished projects that caught our eye are some brilliant monochrome posters for a show at the college, which need little explanation, and some signage, which needs a little more.

  37. 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!

  38. Artworklove-jeff-koons-int-list

    You’d struggle to make a big, bright, shiny Jeff Koons balloon dog anything but visually brilliant, but Parisian studio Artworklove has surely done more with it than most, making it the star of some beautifully designed invitations to the artist’s show at the Pompidou centre. The colours, the scale and the stock selected work together beautifully and make a nice introduction to what the studio’s been up to since we last posted about them in 2012, when we flagged up some great art direction using a nice Julia Roberts quip. Other cool noteworthy projects they’ve carried out of late include a great identity for French furniture and homeware site La Chance, which takes a simple icon and colour palette and twists the mark into something more dynamic.

  39. Nbstudio-almeida-int-list

    It’s often the case with design work that the final outcome is quite different in scope to the original brief. So it was for NB Studio, which was originally asked by the Almeida Theatre in London for a brand review and refresh. After what the studio calls “an intensive period of immersion and briefing sessions,” the NB team came back with a more wide-ranging proposal – “It was clear then that this was to be a bold re-brand rather than mere cosmetic enhancement,” they say.

  40. 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.