Graphic Design Archive

  1. Gurafiku-itsnicet

    Clicking on to Japanese graphic design website Gurafiku is something like stepping feet first into a black hole of graphic design porn. Started by Chicago-based designer and researcher Ryan Hageman in 2009 as a way to learn more about the history of graphic design in Japan, it has since grown into a archive which spans over 200 years of work, from the 1800s all the way up to the present day.

  2. Foreign_policy_brandguidesingapore_itsnicethat_list

    Foreign Policy Design Group, who we featured on the site last year, has nailed the art of collating diverse and sometimes complex ideas into a beautiful, cohesive publication. The first book in its new series, Brand Guide: Singapore Edition is like a beautifully arranged scrapbook of your dreams, rounding up “iconic homegrown brands that attest to the current golden age of design in Singapore,” the studio explains on their Behance page.

  3. Leslie-david-itsnicethat-list

    Leslie David might be one of the busiest women working in her industry. We last checked in with her six months ago, to swoon over the identity and packaging her studio had created for Glossier, and a typeface which looked to be blowing in the breeze, among other things, but this week she’s back with no fewer than three new projects. Three! She never stops.

  4. List-ashley-stephenson-new-york-times-its-nice-tha

    Designer Ashley Stephenson seems to be a shy chap, perhaps explaining why he prefers to go by his creative pseudonym G/tr, and why it took a friend of his to get in touch singing his praises. We’re not sure why, as Ashley’s certainly talented: this project was created while interning at the New York Times, and looks to show the publication’s prestigious heritage while also celebrating its move into the digital era. For each of the images, Ashley has imagined what the stars of yesteryear might get up to if they were as preoccupied as we are today with the likes of Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, Periscope, Twitter, Facebook, What’s App, Club Penguin, Habbo Hotel…you get the picture.

  5. Studio_storz_itsnicethat_list

    Berlin-based Studio Storz has a portfolio chock-full of visual identities, editorial design and book design that’s varied in style. What differentiates Studio Storz from other design practices is its collaborative approach to design. As part of Spector Bureau, a collection of designers, artists and publishers, it actively works with other professionals in the field. It sees the role of designers as ever expanding and one that can manifest itself as researcher, engineer, craftsman and communicator; and the studio’s relationship with the Heidelberger Kunstverein has been ongoing since 2012.

  6. Alexandre-pietra-for-noise-festival-its-nice-that-list

    A good identity isn’t necessarily one with a mega logo – though it doesn’t hurt – but one that looks great and is instantly recognisable across any touchpoint, be it a coffee cup or huge stretch of hoardings. When we saw this festival identity looking bloody brilliant on a balloon, we knew it passed the test. This simple blue and white look for French festival For Noise was created by Swiss designer Alexandre Pietra, and aims to convey the festival’s new, less rock-orientated approach. “The concept of this 2015 edition is to let the music speak for itself,” says Alexandre.

  7. Byop_int_list

    Earlier this month, the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. The beguiling, multicoloured woven structure designed by Spanish architects SegnasCalgo sits in Hyde Park like a more grown-up version of a fort you might have built when you were a child. Over the last decade and a half the annual architecture commission has become a much-anticipated beacon of design, and to celebrate 15 years of the Summer Pavilion, the Serpentine Galleries have teamed up with Kidesign, Marina Willer and the team at Pentagram to launch a digital platform and national campaign to foster the aspiring young architects of tomorrow.

  8. Lust_typedynamic_itsnicethat_list

    LUST not only has a great name, but is a studio covering a huge range of disciplines in an extraordinary way. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, it’s this project the studio did last year at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam that demonstrates the studio’s unique and varied approach. An interactive installation for the exhibition Type/Dynamics, the show aimed to comment on the work of experimental graphic designer Jurriaan Schrofer.

  9. Song-haein-itsnicethat-list

    I’m just going to come right out and admit that there’s an inherent injustice in trying to explain how beautiful a printed book is through digital images. This is especially true in the case of Haein Song, whose painstakingly bound publications go one step beyond plain old riso-printing and saddle-stitching.

  10. List-its-nice-that-mtv_premium_collage_300dpi_iam

    MTV is launching a new “louder, shorter and hyper-visal” look and feel, incorporating user-generated content for the first time. The positioning has been reworded to “I am my MTV” from its former slogan “I want my MTV,” aiming to celebrate its audience and “bring new video art to audiences worldwide,” according to the brand. MTV says that the new design work was created in house, and it seems very much in the vein of the bright, brash and rather brilliant work of its senior vice president of visual storytelling and deputy editorial director (snappy!) Richard Turley.

  11. Penguin_design_awards_2015_list

    Today Penguin has announced the winning covers for its 2015 Penguin Random House Design Awards. The awards are an opportunity for art and design students to get involved with design for publishing. Entrants are given a detailed brief from the publishing house and are invited to submit designs in one of three categories. This year Scott Kooken’s Freakonomics takes the Adult Non-Fiction category, Kate Gamet wins Adult Fiction with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and Lucie Williams’ Carrie’s War wins the Children’s category.

  12. List-eric-hu-talk-magazine-its-nice-that-

    We’re longtime, long-distance admirers of the work of Eric Hu, so the news that he’s recently launched a new magazine, Talk, is pretty damn exciting. And from what we’ve seen of the spreads, young Eric’s not disappointed us. The mag is the product of a collaboration with art director and writer Harry Gassel, former art director at The Fader, and is described as “a style-driven magazine on design focused on emerging culture.” And style-driven it damn well is: we’re digging the cover typeface, which seems to be formed of gloomy balloons, while the spreads show some innovative approaches to layout and image size. The first issue features the likes of David Brandon Geeting, Maxime Harvey, Simon Whybray and Raf Rennie, and we’re keen to see how Talk’s dialogue continues in future issues.

  13. Bond_web_moominfont_a_small_optimized-1

    Tove Jansson was a one-woman phenomenon. Last year Finland celebrated the centenary of the much-loved Moomin creator and children’s uberauthor and illustrator, and you might remember we spoke to C-G Hagström for the Autumn issue of Printed Pages about photographing her throughout her life.

  14. Zoo_festival_de_l%e2%80%99histoire_de_l%e2%80%99art_itsnicethat_list

    Paris-based studio Zoo has been featured on the site before for their zesty posters for a music event, and this time they’re back with a beautiful identity for the Festival de l’Histoire de l’Art 2015. Created as part of a proposal for a competition held by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the theme was “Matière de l’œuvre (the matter of the work of art).”

  15. Kino_xenix_it's_nice_that_list

    We all got quite excited about this book of film posters from Kino Xenix, the underground cinema that has become something of a cultural institution in Zurich. Starting as a nomadic student film club back in 1981 with little more than a super 8 film projector, it’s been upheld as a bastion of Zurich’s youth culture since setting up shop in a former school barracks several years later.

  16. Muokkaa_yorokobu_itsnicethat_list

    Showing a bit of love for the humble number is Muokkaa Studio AKA Alex López Becerro, with his series of Memphis-inspired numbers for Spanish magazine Yorokobu and their annual calendar. A fabulous mix of primary shades and pastel hues, these creations are all 3D renders but start as sketches on paper. “Once I have an idea that I think will work, I start working on the computer. For this project I designed shapes, modules and patterns to form the letters – because they have several elements in common, they form a font family of numbers,” Alex explains.

  17. Studio-studio-its-nice-that-list

    I don’t know a lot about Icelandic literature, but I know what I like. Well I don’t, but I know when I like the covers, and boy do I like the covers that Studio Studio creates. The Reykjavík-based studio is made up of Arnar Freyr Guðmundsson and Birna Geirfinnsdóttir, and works a lot in the cultural sector designing books, brochures, identities, catalogues, signage, websites and typography. The work is clean, bright and intelligent, with poster designs as crisp and sophisticated as covers for complex literary works. As well as their editorial design prowess, the studio also boasts some brilliant identity design projects, including that for the Icelandic Art Center, which uses a simple blue and white template from which the identity can be expanded in multiple formats and looks using an expressive brushstroke device. Twice the name, and twice as nice.

  18. Isabel-seiffert-not-the-end-of-print-its-nice-that-list-

    We’re not short on submissions of projects examining whether print is obsolete (SPOILER ALERT! It isn’t), so the work has to be pretty special for us to take notice. That of German designer Isabel Seiffert really stood out, and her book and design for Not the End of Print is considered, accomplished and fully embraces the physical media it endorses. Not only did Isabel design the book, she also carried out the research and penned the text. The gorgeously tactile foils and hand-stamping and well-crafted layout show her dedication to the print cause, and nod to the more sensory appeal of pages over browser windows. While not an original idea by any means, Isabel’s craft and eye make this a piece that stands out and begs to be pored over, analogue style.

  19. Production-type-itsnicethat-list

    Paris-based foundry Production Type seems to be on a self-orchestrated mission to jazz up type specimens. Following on from the neatly put-together booklet demonstrating Proto Grotesk which we posted about not long ago, the foundry is back with more printed goods, and this time around it’s to show off Gemeli Micro.

  20. Karlsson-wilker-new-list

    In another rare foray into the world of commercial interior design, we bring you this rather lovely project from Karlssonwilker, which created the designs for a bar in Keflavík International Airport in Iceland. The consultancy created everything from the name to the signage to the menu graphics, and the concept carries through each beautifully. The name Loksins was chosen, meaning “finally” in Icelandic, with the idea that the bar welcomes passengers arriving and departing to and from the airport to offer a little respite in what can often be an arduous and tiring journey. The spinning bar sign is just one of many moving elements throughout the space, including screens and a charming neon shark. The posters use a simple, thick-lined graphic sensibility, complementing the hard, no-nonsense wall imagery and heavy materials. Finally, a well-designed wee sanctuary for the strange, purgatorial feel airports can have.

  21. Twice-itsnicethat-list

    “We have updated our website! :)” said the email which landed in my inbox yesterday morning, in 24-point type, and on referring to the bundle of new work on Twice’s site I can confirm that this proclamation is true. Paris-based art direction and design studio Twice, formed of Fanny Le Bras and Clémentine Berry, is one of my favourites – the duo delivers confidently pared-back, textural design at a consistently high standard. Their newest offerings, including a book for Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography and an identity and catalogue called Archimode are no exception to the rule.

  22. Maurits_rozema_posters_it's_nice_that_list

    As well as being a talented photographer, Maurits Rozema is a graphic designer we’ve got our eye on. The Dutch creative divides his time between the two practices and often brings them together, as in the beautifully simple publication made with friend and collaborator Rebecca Worth, First Summer. Maurits was also spotlighted in design site Fontanel’s book Dutch Design Talents 14 we featured earlier this year.

  23. Arc-itsnicethat-list

    The Royal College of Art in London’s student-led magazine Arc is a cut above the rest. Following on from the resounding success of the Work-in-Progress exhibition identity earlier this year, the school brought designers Minna Sakaria and Carolina Dahl of Summer Studio on board again to design the 19th edition of the publication, of which the theme is Contagion.

  24. Florian_mewes_maak_plaats_itsnicethat_list

    As we all know Holland is much more than tulips and clogs, and this publication commissioned by the Dutch government is just one initiative that suggests those in power are keen to move on from this old-fashioned stereotype. Titled Maak Plaats! (Make Space!) this 400 page publication presents masses of research and proposes a strategy centred around transit-oriented development (TOD) for the north Holland precinct. It sounds complex, but the basic idea is to utilise the land surrounding public transport stations for housing and other urban functions therefore adding more value to the area.

  25. Ines-cox-kwintessens-its-nice-that-list

    We’ve long been a fan of the work of Antwerp-based graphic designer Ines Cox, who founded her own eponymous practice back in March. The latest project to emerge from her considered stable of great designs is for Kwintessens, a quarterly design and fashion magazine published by Design Flanders in cooperation with Flanders Fashion Institute. Since its launch in 1992, each issue of the magazine has been designed by a different creative, and Ines’ look for the latest issue, dedicated to the theme “from birth to death,” uses a grave-like grey cover and stark black lettering. For all its dark exterior, though, the pages show a deft eye for the power of negative space, letting colourful text and beautiful imagery speak through a careful grid system. From the typeface to the colourways to the commissioning, Kwintessens is a beautifully designed, inspirational piece of print.

  26. Offways-marius-burgmann-and-mike-magduschewski-its-nice-that-list

    Marius Burgmann and Mike Magduschewski not only sound like a buddy movie duo, but are also rather industrious and talented designers. The pair recently got in touch with news of their great new venture Offways, a brilliantly-designed biannual magazine that they not only design, but edit and publish, too. Based in Dortmund, Germany, the magazine looks to champion the work of creative types who make something because they love it, and to put it simply, they couldn’t not create it. It uses Grillitype’s GT Sectra and GT Cinetype, with a screen-printed cover and a hand-made illustration slotted into each copy.

  27. Massimo_vignelli_itsnicethat_list

    Last week Timeless, Massimo Vignelli opened at the Disseny Hub as part of Barcelona Design Week to coincide with the first anniversary of Italian designer’s death. Created by Spanish studio Husmee, the show consists of 53 posters developed by some of the best studios and designers in the world including; Milton Glaser, Build, Graphical House, Javier Mariscal, Magpie and many others.

  28. Studio-set-itsnicethat-list

    Jasio Stefanski and Lauren Thorson are Studio-Set – a creative duo who have been working together since 2012, and who now have a host of commissioned and self-initiated projects to their name. They’ve made work for the LA Art Book Fair, a Polish Film Festival in New York and a Museum of the Portuguese Language in São Paulo, and each time they switch up their style, darting from brightly coloured printed posters to animated GIFs, with some happy book design thrown in for good measure. They might still be working out in which of these styles they’re happiest, but for the time being we’re glad to be able to revel in all three, and to give credit where credit is due to the studio’s flexibility.

  29. 2_music_henry-moore-(2)-its-nice-that-list

    A lot of designers talk about the thrill of seeing their work out in public – that cliche of having created something that your nan might see at the bus stop. Music’s identity for The Event Sculpture exhibition not only ticks that box, but manages to do so in 10,000 different ways. The campaign looks to reflect the nature of the exhibition itself, which is comprised of a series of momentary events. Each is unique and each and no two people will experience the events in the same way, and so the campaign uses unique pieces of print created using generative technology. The project was led by Music’s associate creative director Orla McGrath.

  30. Fontsmith-fs-silas-its-nice-that-555-list

    Typophiles can get a bit of stick sometimes. Sarah Hyndman, the founder of Type Tasting has even quoted our very own Rob Alderson as saying “typography is seen as the least sexy design discipline.” It’s about time then that someone launched a typeface with a spy movie (albeit a short, delicious abstract one). That’s exactly what Fontsmith has done for its new face FS Silas, possibly the most heavily PRd typeface we’ve encountered. Days before its launch we’ve been breathlessly emailed with instructions to brace ourselves for an exciting announcement and when it arrived it was with no shortage of fanfare – a good number of further missives from all corners and the aforementioned film.

  31. Hexus-itsnicethat-list

    Experimental literature publications arguably have a pretty raw deal of it when it comes to first impressions. Too often they’re immediately written off as a slew of black text crammed unthinkingly into a zine format, when in fact the very genre lends itself to something a little more thoughtful. Hexus journal takes the latter form. The first issue, subtitled The New Black, was designed by Christopher Gray, who has set out a selection of experimental texts – short stories, poems and the like – in a pared-back but concise format, with bold headers interspersed with tailor-made imagery to set the mood, with chunky black borders to differentiate between sections. The journal is almost Tristram Shandy-esque in its employment of solid black pages, broken paragraphs and the occasional music stave, resulting in a publication which demands not only to be picked up, but also to be read. Cover to cover. Potentially more than once.

  32. Kokoro_moi_itsnicethat_list

    Design studio Kokoro & Moi has created this wonderfully bright identity for the Guggenheim Helsinki NOW exhibition recently on show at the Taidehalli in the city. As part of the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is seeking a visionary design for a proposed Guggenheim museum in Helsinki.

  33. Thames_capsule_character-set_02-list-its-nice-that-

    A few months ago we heard a lot of chatter about Doves Type, a face that was thrown into the Thames in the early 19th Century and only recovered in 2014 thanks to a painstaking project that involved a lot of diving and even more patience. Eventually, in work led by Robert Green, the face was pieced back together, recreating the designs created by the two partners of Hammersmith’s Doves Press, Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson and Emery Walker. A feud between the pair led to Thomas James systematically throwing the punches, matrices and metal type into the river.

  34. Rolling_stones_sticky_fingers_it's_nice_that_list

    When you realise the Rolling Stones are in their sixth decade of music making it’s somewhat shocking Andy Warhol’s model for their Sticky Fingers album cover is still shrouded in mystery. To honour their septuagenarian status the Rolling Stones have just rereleased the classic 1971 album. Featuring hits like Brown Sugar and Wild Horses, the remastered and expanded Sticky Fingers bears its original Andy Warhol-designed bulging blue jeans cover with working zipper.

  35. Eduardo_munoz_bachs_poster_it's_nice_that_list

    Cuban film posters prove creativity loves constraints. Widely upheld for their visually inventive style, these lively relics of the 1960s and 1970s are examples of timeless design. For post-revolutionary Cuba, the film industry became another means of promoting political agenda, and Cuban creatives leaned in to their political and economic limitations. The simplicity and focus of poster design was often shaped by tight budgets and limited ink supplies which saw designers move well away from vintage Hollywood-style illustration and toward a far more modern graphic language. Instead of detail they relied on colour, abstract images and minimalist typefaces to capture a mood.

  36. _list

    Designing for a design show requires an innovative solution – a standard identity that looks slick for an iPad and a compliment slip sometimes won’t cut it through numerous venues, on signage and outdoors. This identity for San Francisco Design Week manages to overcome all this using enormous 3D shapes, placed around the city and acting as a transparent window to the environment. Local agency Character created the 2015 campaign with the goal of “highlighting the uniquely diverse ecosystem that makes up this hub of creativity we call home,” it says.

  37. The-beautiful-meme-the-line-its-nice-that-list

    When I read the words “east London art walk,” I admittedly shuddered, imagining a street art tour led by a well-meaning but slightly enervating trustafarian type, pointing out graffiti and saying “safe” (it means “good,” we’ve heard) too much. However, The Line is a little more nuanced than that, and its brilliant identity by The Beautiful Meme promptly shut up my hippie-hating, street art cynic inner voice.

  38. Ana_mirats_itsnicethat_list

    With her understated, cool approach, it’s clear that lookbooks for funky luxury brands are Spanish designer Ana Mirats’ niche. But it’s this AW14/15 catalogue for Italian brand Kocca that caught our eye with its summery pastels and playful typography.

  39. Sven-lindhorst-emme-itsnicethat-list-2

    When you come across a graphic designer who spent a full ten years learning about and working with lithograph printing, you can more or less put your money on the assumption that he’s going to be pretty good. Fortunately in Sven Lindhorst-Emme’s case we don’t have to assume at all, as the graphic designer has a bulging portfolio of work on his site, including more great poster design than we’re accustomed to finding in one place. 

  40. Paula-scher-pentagram-shakespeare-its-nice-that-list

    Paula Scher and her team at Pentagram have created the campaign for a Shakespeare performance programme in Central Park, using bright colours and a provocative typographic style we wouldn’t perhaps usually associate with the Bard. The performances marry Shakespeare’s The Tempest with fairy-tale romance Cymbeline – two pieces about magic, storytelling and strange forces.