Graphic Design Archive

  1. List-dan-romanoski-its-nice-that-4_900

    Some bands thrust their fans’ hands into their pockets with things like “pussy rings,” a “tedious beer” or a box set of dildos, as James Cartwright found out.. Others are content with great graphic design across posters, record sleeves, patches and T-shirts, and that’s where Dan Romanoski fits in. Dan is a freelance designer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. His work careers through numerous styles and concerns, from some 80s-like colour combinations reminiscent of the big, baggy things my mum wore when I was small to more industrial-led monochrome works, all executed with finesse.

  2. Therese_ottem_nyc_opera_its_nice_that_list

    There’s a bittersweet note to Therese Ottem’s identity for the New York City Opera. While the Swedish designer was working on the project, the company (which launched in 1943) unfortunately filed for bankruptcy and now no longer exists. But, chins up everyone and let’s appreciate the wonderful work Therese created for it anyway. Modern and fresh, the colour palette dances within the soft waves used throughout the identity. Therese manages to balance the elegance and high culture expected at the opera with the innovative and contemporary work the company was known for perfectly. The bold initials are striking and I love how they trip gracefully off the edges of gift bags and banners.

  3. List-michael-bierut-usa-milan-pavilion-its-nice-that-

    Michael Bierut has created the graphics for the USA Pavilion at this year’s Expo Milan. The 2015 event takes the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” with the USA pavilion, designed by James Biber of Biber Architects, named “American Food 2.0, United to Feed the Planet.” Michael’s graphics combine the American flag and the image of a knife and fork, which replaces the stars of the traditional flag. The title uses the typeface Titling Gothic, and the graphics are also painted onto the pavilion itself directly onto corrugated steel. Pentagram says: “Like a roadside sign, the massive flag helps the building stand out in the Expo grounds, and at night it is internally illuminated.”

  4. List-hero-jelle-marcehal-atelierfolder-its-nice-that

    Belgian designer Jelle Maréchal isn’t doing too badly for himself at all: he’s designer and art director at Antwerp’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and also manages to find time to work on numerous other projects on the side, from branding high-end bicycles to creating slick websites and posters. One of the ones that caught our eye is the design for a sweet book promoting performance organisations from The Netherlands and Flanders, and is initiated by The Netherland Consulate General and Flanders House in NYC. The book was designed in collaboration with Dutch NYC-based designer Kees Bakker. As in Jelle’s work for Atelier, the clever use of colour and line make for an engaging but clean aesthetic. We’re also bringing you some op art-inspired posters created for Fresco, a video installation by Antwerp-based art collective Lampekap. The graphics use four different silhouettes taken from stills from Jeroen Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, placing them in a neat grid that adds order to some rather trippy ideas.

  5. Uniteditions-spin360-itsnicethat-list

    Tony Brook is clearly knackered. The 520-page monograph of his studio Spin produced by Unit Editions, the publishing imprint he co-runs with Adrian Shaughnessy, is just weeks away from publication and his pride is cut with obvious exhaustion.

  6. List-opener-for-the-new-night-shift-illustration-by-jan-buchczik-bloomberg-businessweek-etc-its-nice-that

    As far as editorial design is concerned, Bloomberg Businessweek has practically become a byword for brilliance. It’s long been celebrated for its innovative covers and spreads, shaped by the razor-sharp mind and smart eye of former creative director Richard Turley and Rob Vargas, who now holds the role. Each part of the magazine is so carefully considered, from layout to illustration to photography, and the ETC lifestyle section is no exception.

  7. Maddisongraphic-whowerethefallen-itsnicethat-list

    I’ve not been in touch with Maddison Graphic since I discussed their collaboration with the Methodist Church in Printed Pages Autumn 2014, but they’re carrying on their good work with religious establishments with this beautiful commemoration of the victims of World War One in Corpusty and Saxthorpe, two villages in Norfolk. Set in Albertus and Plantin it demonstrates tidy typesetting and a considered use of archival imagery. As ever it’s the rare marriage of great design and religious subject matter that makes Alfie and Edward’s work stand out from their peers.

  8. List-huiqian-wu-strip-its-nice-that

    Huiqian Wu is a New York-based, China-born designer whose site is a glorious, Technicolour wonderland. It looks like how we imagined the internet in the past – all bold abstractions and saccharine tones, set off with icons that move for no apparent reason. But aside from this all-singing-all-dancing feat, Huiqian has produced some pretty great work too. Having graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design she now freelances, creating work that she says is “influenced by internet culture and social networks” to “transmit the diverse and often abstract reflections of her mind to the real world.”

  9. Studiosmall-margarethowell-itsnicethat-list

    Studio Small has just celebrated its tenth year working with fashion brand Margaret Howell, which is cause for celebration. Over the years they’ve helped define the look and feel of the brand through store signage and packaging, digital platforms and all print collateral for their shows, producing pared-back designs for this revered brand. Of course ten years of visual output is pretty hard to sum up with a few words and a couple of images, but hopefully this gives you a sense of the scale of Small’s involvement.

  10. Mucho-bulo-itsnicethat-list

    If you’re based in the UK then today is a pretty big day for you. The General Election is finally here! And what better way to acknowledge that from a design perspective than to explore Mucho’s politically motivated work for type foundry Tipografies.

  11. Esquire-itsnicethat-list

    “Many of us – most of us, probably – fear change, even (perhaps especially) of the new-hairstyle variety. Change is scary, upsetting.” This is how Esquire editor-in-chief Alex Bilmes sets up the magazine’s redesign in his editor’s letter and with a new masthead on a bright coloured bar, a new colour palette focused on deep reds and blues, new supplementary typefaces and some structural changes to the culture and style sections, it’s fair to say creative director Nick Millington has overseen more than a “new-hairstyle” change.

  12. List-ecal-typefaces-its-nice-that

    The students of ECAL know a thing or two about typography. Shame then that designers or those of a typographically-discerning disposition can’t make use of their lettering, should the students wish them to. But wait! They can. ECAL Typefaces is an online type foundry selling fonts designed by students from the BA Graphic Design and MA Art Direction courses, set up in collaboration with Swiss Typefaces, the brainchild of three alumni of ECAL – Ian Party, Maxime Büchi and Emmanuel Rey.

  13. 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.

  14. Lit-my-name-is-wendy-byland-its-nice-that

    Many designers talk of the importance of play as a way to explore creativity and come up with solutions that rigorous hard-work might not unearth. Parisian studio My Name is Wendy has taken this to its logical conclusion, by creating a board game called Byland. As with the studio’s previous output, it looks stunning, and mixes gorgeous graphics with a strategy-based game combining cognition and aesthetics. We’re not sure we totally understand the rules, perhaps due to a combination of them being slightly lost in translation and our own inability to finish a game of Snap, let alone Risk, but boy does it look good.

  15. 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.

  16. Radimpesko-fugue-itsnicethat-list

    Since we launched the new issue of Printed Pages a number of people have been in touch to ask what font we’ve been using on the promotional materials surrounding the mag – the lovely serif that’s been featured on our banner ads and Instagram. Rather than just get back to those people we thought it would be better to let everyone know, and blow the trumpet for the designer who created it too.

  17. Madethought-gfsmith-collection-itsnicethat-list

    If you’re the kind of person whose blood pumps a little faster when perusing beautiful paper, I suggest you sit down before going any further. G . F Smith has just released an extraordinary 400-page book which shows off every paper in its repertoire and it’s a thing of awe. Created with longtime collaborators Made Thought, The Collection shows off 45 paper ranges created over the company’s 130-year history.

  18. List-blank-editions-its-nice-thatchris-petit

    Collector’s editions, luxurious foils and sculptural, perspex packages are all well and good; and one of the reasons that vinyl continues to flourish in the digital age. But the real joy in music for many of us is in a sense of community, of doing, of making friends and persuading existing ones to be as excited about a band as we are. It’s those very visceral, social aspects of music that make it such a wonderfully emotive medium, and they’re the reason that graphic designer David Blanco decided to turn the skills of his day job to his out-of-hours passion: seeing great bands, talking to them, telling other people about them and forcing their sounds into the earholes of others.

  19. 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.”

  20. Mobydigg-aandp-itsnicethat-list

    Say the words “management consultancy” and you’re likely to see the colour drain from the face of whatever poor unfortunate you’re talking to. The same’s probably true when a management consultancy calls up and requests that you take care of their branding. Aside from the packets of cash there’s unlikely to be many perks to the work ahead. Refreshing then that Moby Digg’s approach to the branding of M&P management consultants turns this idea of creative tedium on its head. Aside from the simple serif word mark and logotype they’ve given each member of staff their own painterly mark and accent colour by which they can be distinguished. It’s uncomplicated conceptually but brushes off the stuffiness with which this particular profession is typically associated.

  21. List-jon-bland-its-nice-that-50-things-1

    Graphic design has a lot of power: to persuade, to delight, to foster recognition. It also has the power to help make the scariest years of a school career that little bit easier, as a few recent projects have shown. One, which we featured last year, was the playful Studio Hato-designed tool for year six kids to express themselves, and now we’ve got the equally charming 50 Things to do before the end of Year 7. Created by designer Jon Bland and teacher Sophie Farrar’ the sweet little tome sets out tasks to complete during that terrifying first year into big school, and aims to help the kids – many of whom barely speak English – feel more comfortable within their school and their communities. The booklets were kept pared-back in design and printed on yellow school paper sourced directly from the good people at Manchester Academy, “a secondary school facing many challenges,” according to Jon.

  22. Mattwilley-avaunt-itsnicethat-list

    Back in March I was on a panel discussing magazine publishing with Matt Willey. We spoke in some detail about the challenges of making magazines work; something Matt is perfectly positioned to pontificate on seeing as he’s worked at a whole host of titles and even started his own in Port (although he’s no longer involved). Now based in the States as part of Gail Bichler’s design team at The New York Times Magazine, he seemed to have found the ideal fit for his prodigious editorial talents, but a few weeks ago news reached us confirming that Matt was starting a new magazine with longtime collaborator (and Port co-founder) Dan Crowe, and the explorer Ben Saunders. Why throw himself into these choppy, challenging waters again?

  23. 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.

  24. Narcsville-itsnicethat-main

    Have you seen the mental health series that Vice is running at the moment? It’s brilliant. As well as pulling together witty, intelligent and truly necessary articles by a bunch of great writers, the artistic commissioning is bang on too. One of the artists they asked to create imagery to accompany these pieces – not an easy thing to do, I may add – is a guy who goes by the name of Narcsville.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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).

  30. 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?”

  31. 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.”

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.”

  39. 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.

  40. 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!