Graphic Design Archive

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.”

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. Quimmarin-posters-int-list

    Barcelona-based designer and art director Quim Marin has a strong visual sensibility and a prolific work-rate if scrolling through his site is anything to go by. There’s a load of impressive poster and other print design on there, with particularly effective use of some trendy tropes which can often feel stale in less talented hands. “In such a visually polluted environment I try to come up with fresh and memorable designs with a clear aim at essential beauty and equilibrium that, at the same time, will ensure communicative effectiveness,“ Quim says by way of a mission statement, and it’s hard to sum up his work better than that.

  25. Chevalvert-int-list-2

    You wade into Chevalvert’s portfolio rubbing your hands across your eyes, unsure of what you’ve stumbled across. The Paris-based studio was founded in 2007 by Patrick Paleta and Stéphane Buellet and describes itself as being based on an “open, multidisciplinary approach,” which might go some way to explaining why it feels like a cave laden with treasures. So many treasures.

  26. Fantastic-man-list

    Fantastic Man magazine has been redesigned, as shown in its teaser image of its tenth anniversary issue. The magazine’s new issue cover star JW Anderson has shown the new cover on Instagram, which reveals a new design seeing the masthead run vertically and horizontally, instead of its previous preluder horizontal configuration. The cover image also runs to both sides, moving away from its previous white-edged format. We’re excited to see what changes might have been made to the inside of the mag…

  27. Dwp-bikestock-int-list

    This morning I had a puncture that I couldn’t fix and had to get the train to work, so it feels timely to be writing about Bikestock, a range of vending machines full of cycling essentials that can be found all over New York and Boston. The concept is a simple one; inner tubes, spanners, tyre levers tyres and any number of other little bits and pieces that make your wheels turn smoothly are boshed into a vending machine so you can grab them on the go and, more importantly, at any time of day!

  28. List

    Joost Bos is a recent graduate from the Academie Minerva Groningen in The Netherlands where he’s spent three years studying for his bachelor’s degree. Like many of his Dutch counterparts he’s a dab hand with typography both traditional and experimental and has a plethora of printed pieces in his portfolio. This one, Sequence 1, is an exhibition catalogue for a show of artist books at Joost’s alma mater, which perfectly demonstrates his design sensibilities. Immaculately set type is interspersed with hand-drawn elements and bright colours bring intrigue to an otherwise monochrome publication. Like what you’re seeing? He’s available for freelance work right now!

  29. Sam-coldy-penguin-int-list

    Is it just me or is Penguin killing it at the moment? The publishing house only recently celebrated its 80th birthday by launching a range of its classic titles for 80p each, accompanied by a slick website and a poster campaign which has reached even the furthest corners of London’s transport system. And right now, they’re in the midst of a new campaign called On the Page which celebrates women authors and characters in literary masterpieces.

  30. Karansingh-mop-int-list

    The glorious coming together of pattern, shape and colour makes for a joyous experience and that’s why print designers are held in such high regard. Last week we commissioned Animade to turn three eye-poppingly good Pucci x Orlebar Brown patterns into trippy GIFs, this week we’re turning our attention to profiling creatives we believe are among the best around when it comes to working in this area. We are proud to present these #mastersofprint.

  31. Gerard-marin-int-list

    There’s something of a trend going around at the moment for identities using 3D logo-marks, and with this one by Gerard Marin we can see why. Barcelona-based designer Gerard developed the branding, stationery and corporate materials for interior designer and visual merchandiser Neus Ortiz. Recognisability and malleability were at the forefront of his mind for this project, and the flexible “N,” which changes according to its application, prove a neat solution to both. His is an unfussy aesthetic which lends itself perfectly to branding projects – here’s hoping more make their way to him very soon.

  32. Nike-logo

    There’s a moment in this film where Michael Bierut comes over all Hayley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense as he declares: “ I can see things in typefaces that normal people can’t.” It’s part of his discussion about how “design can be a lonely thing” and that as you immerse yourself in that world “you’re actually making yourself less normal than regular people.” Filmed at Design Indaba in South Africa last month, this interesting short film moves onto to look at logos and why designers are so interested in them. Using famous examples like the Nike swoosh and the Target, um, target, Michael explains his theory that we’re drawn to them because they’re primitive and yet we invest them with so much meaning. “A lot of what we see when we’re looking at the logo isn’t really happening in the logo; it happens in our own mind,” he explains.

  33. Emilyoberman-snl-int-hero

    One of the undoubted highlights of this year’s Design Indaba conference in Cape Town was hearing Pentagram partner Emily Oberman detail her long-running work on Saturday Night Live. Emily has worked with the programme for 20 years, creating three separate versions of its identity, various title sequences and even spoof adverts to run in the breaks (like this). Now Emily has teamed up with writer Alison Castle to produce Saturday Night Live: The Book, a 500-page paean to the show which coincides with its 40th anniversary this autumn.

  34. Studio-lin-stampa-int-list

    Sometimes a dead simple idea is all you need to create something really striking. In the case of Studio Lin’s branding of Stampa that simple idea was a rolled up poster. Stampa specialise in limited edition prints produced by some of the best illustrators around – shipped direct to your door. How do they do this? By rolling them up in a poster tube. So what does their logo look like? A pair of rolled-up prints joined at their edges to form an S. Studio Lin also commissioned an entire custom typeface for the brand, but for me it’s that swirling blue S that hits the nail on the head every time. Simple!

  35. Ines-cox-int-list

    Scrolling through what feels like an endless array of projects, it’s difficult to believe that Ines Cox only founded her studio last year. Since parting ways with former partner Lauren Grusenmeyer, co-founder of five-year endeavour Cox & Grusenmeyer, Ines has branched out on her own to establish an eponymous practice based in Antwerp. While she still includes much of her old work with Lauren in her portfolio, her new work demonstrates an exciting and playful approach to typography and innovative poster design.

  36. Dot-dash-flatpack-int-list

    Film festivals and great graphic design go together like Powell and Pressburger; as proven by the identity for Iceland’s Stockfish Film Festival, and Dot Dash’s designs for Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham.

  37. Two-int-list

    Italian studio Think Work Observe designed a pricelist for furniture design company Tacchini and it’s made an already delectable furniture collection even more appealing. Its use of close to fifty shades of grey and austere, considered layout of sofas and chairs gives the publication a lifespan and potential audience you wouldn’t otherwise expect for a brand’s pricelist. Every technical detail in Tacchini’s collection is covered and all on lovely Fedrigoni papers.

  38. Gaggero-ra-annual-report-int-list

    Proving that annual reports don’t have to be painfully dull, here’s a great example of a fab design studio working with a fab client to get all those tricky numbers and things down in a visually engaging, clear and rather beautiful way. Said client is the Royal Academy, and said studio is Gaggero Works, which created the designs around the concept that “the RA is a place where art happens; a place where art is made, exhibited and debated.” The report is split into two books, Accounts and Report, bound together using a bright yellow belly band which adds a much needed line of playfulness under the rather heavy-going subject matter.

  39. Jayme-spinks-int-list

    Frustratingly we’ve just put together a feature on Montreal for the Spring 2015 issue of Printed Pages and if we’d known of Jayme’s existence before yesterday we’d definitely have asked her to show us around. Hers is a diverse range of clients and projects that encompass everything from playful (award-winning) sexual health resources for queer women, to slick, sensual record sleeves for Canadian singer/songwriter Dinah Thorpe. In between there are artist books, posters and exhibition catalogues, all of which demonstrate Jayme’s tailored approach to design; never relying on stylistic tropes or trends of the moment.

  40. Kindlecoverdisasters-int-list

    This has been doing the rounds on social media for a few days now but we couldn’t not take the chance to celebrate magnificent blog Kindle Cover Disasters. It does what it says in the URL, collating some of the most eye-poppingly bizarre e-book covers its anonymous author can find and/or is sent by a network of contributors equally enthusiastic about unearthing some (reportedly) true graphic one-offs. Adorning books about sex, fantasy (the other kind) and who-the-heck knows what else, it’s a joyous celebration of the democratisation of design in the modern era. If rules are there to be broken, then these visuals take that as an extreme provocation.