Graphic Design Archive

  1. Annie-atkins-grand-budapest-hotel-list

    Anyone who’s seen Wes Anderson’s very pink, very stunning, and very, very meticulously created masterpiece The Grand Budapest Hotel will be aware of just how complex a setting it is. But until we heard from the movie’s graphic designer Annie Atkins at this year’s Offset festival about the painstaking processes the art department went through behind the scenes, the complexity we thought we understood turns out to be just the tip of a very, very deep graphic iceberg.

  2. Graphicmeans-int-main

    Ever stopped to think as you adjust text, step backwards and copy and paste at the speed of light on InDesign that once upon a time you would be doing all of that with GLUE and PAPER? It’s obvious, but when you really think about it, your respect for the graphic designers of yore increases tenfold. Briar Levit, an assistant professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University, decided to bring this to light via a film in which designers who never used computers are interviewed about the difficulties they had. It wasn’t all doom and gloom of course – you could easily argue that the hand-designed work they produced back then was much more considered than it tends to be now.

  3. Mattwilley-independent-int-list

    At this weekend’s Offset festival in Dublin, one of the highlights came from much-revered editorial designer Matt Willey. Now art director of The New York Times, Matt has a faultless portfolio of brilliantly considered work on a raft of top publications (and of course was one of the founders of PORT magazine). It was particularly interesting to hear him discuss his redesign of The Independent, which was the first newspaper project he ever worked on. As he doesn’t give too many talks, here’s some of the things we learned about that particular undertaking…

  4. Ke_screen_04_copy

    We’ve featured Neil Donnelly indirectly before, under the guise of collaborator with Rumors and Stefan Thorsteinsson. He is a graduate of Yale’s MFA graphic design programme and has since been designing very attractive books for Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, identities for discussions on New York’s mayoral transitions and a host of well-formed websites for biennials and architect Keller Easterling.

  5. Rubenfischer-main-int

    Aha, some “digitale malerei und grafiken von Ruben Fischer,” a new protégé of Eike König over at Hort in Berlin. It’s no secret that Eike has spectacular taste in who he hangs around with in terms of design talent, and Ruben is a prime example. His digital collages in fun, primary colours are all untitled, which suggests that he’s not yet doing work for clients and the like. But to see someone crack out posters, record sleeves, identities and illustrations just for the hell of it is fantastic and refreshing. Something tells us Ruben has a unique way of looking at the world, and some computer skills up his sleeve – some very important strengths in this day and age. You can see some of his more recent work on his very, very colourful Instagram feed.

  6. The-plant-art-central-4-int-list

    The white marquee walls and immaculate dressers within them at big art fairs feel at odds with anything “frenetic,” but it’s movement and dynamism that have driven the design concept for Art Central’s identity, and boy does it work. London agency The Plant is behind the energy-inspired identity, having worked on similar projects including creating the branding for Art Hong Kong and London Fair Art 15. Art Central is a new fair for Hong Kong launching this month, and cleverly takes the Chinese character for “Central” ( 中 ) as its, well, centre.

  7. Jenniferdaniel-portfolio-6-int_copy

    San Francisco-based designer, editor and illustrator Jennifer Daniel manages to combine the difficult beasts of quality and variety, making infographics for Bloomberg, children’s books about space and drawing hot dogs jumping into swimming pools.

  8. Colline-new-list-int

    Tonight sees the launch of a new book by photographer Annie Collinge at Ti Pi Tin bookstore up on Stoke Newington High Street in London. Some of you should get down there, but we appreciate that others of you are perhaps thousands of miles away. So here for your delectation are some spreads from the book and some close-ups of the images within.

  9. Zoo-art-and-music-int-list

    “Each project is an adventure,” says French design agency Zoo. And their enthusiasm shows – the work on their site is fresh, dynamic and brilliantly executed. The visual identity for Musique en Ville, a multi-venue event run by Rosny-sous-bois city council, manages to be hip without losing all-ages appeal, and is adaptable across any season or touchpoint. “We aimed to express ideas of a party and a travelling stage while leaving room for imagination,” says Zoo. “The images show one area with several spots of light; each word is the central point.”

  10. Grilli-type-int-list

    It wasn’t long ago that we were singing the praises of Grilli Type, a foundry looking into new and innovative ways to show off the new typefaces that their designers produce, and coming up with fun and playful mini-sites in the process. Now we’re back to let you know that it has done it again for GT Cinetype, a font designed by Mauro Paolozzi and Rafael Koch, which was inspired by cinematic subtitles.

  11. Currency-post-4-int_copy

    The Royal Mint has unveiled a new coinage portrait of the Queen, only the fifth during her 63-year reign. The new coins, which will go into circulation later this year, feature a portrait designed by engraver Jody Clark selected in a competition hosted by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee. In light of this, we thought we’d have a look at some proposed and actual redesigns of currencies around the world, from age old gold standards to Bitcoins, and abstract pixels to odes to scientific discovery.

  12. Paul-schoemaker-eventburo-int-list

    If nominative determinism had been a stronger force in German designer Paul Schoemaker’s life, perhaps we’d have a cordwainer on our hands. Or feet. Instead, Paul chose a graphic design route, and we’re glad he did.

  13. Paulinelepape-int-main

    Exciting new student alert! Meet Pauline, currently working on her advanced degree in type design at École Estienne in Paris – how glamorous does that sound? It’s rare to find a student with as much consistently fantastic work on their site, and for a while I didn’t actually twig that Pauline was still studying. She’s designed typefaces, had a bash at letter pressing for her business cards, and made some publications that I’d actually buy. The way she represented a bunch of Stéphane Monnot short stories is well-designed without overshadowing the writing, and that publication about the concept of an ornament just looks fantastic. Remember this name: Pauline Le Pape, she’s got big things ahead of her.

  14. Gabriela-maskrey-lapulperia-int-list

    In the two years since we first featured nomadic designer Gabriela Maskrey she’s taken on a lot of new projects and pushed her skills in all sorts of new directions. Originally she was all about editorial design – which it has to be said, she was great at – but she’s recently branched out into branding for Peruvian luxury food company La Pulperia. Her bold serif rendering of the company name coupled with historic imagery referencing Peru’s gastronomic culture combines to satisfying effect, and the addition of hand-drawn icons is a great touch too. All in all a great first foray away from the world of books and magazines.

  15. Freytaganderson-fraher-int-list

    Often the most interesting branding work hinges on a simple twist, and such is the case in this work by Freytag Anderson for Fraher architects. The Scottish studio’s concept revolves around the neat idea of the “F” in the logo doubling up as an architectural floorpan.

    “The intersecting compartments or rooms create a simple graphic device for containing text, images and texture,” the designers say. “A vibrant red accent colour supports the minimal yet functional aesthetic.” Rolled out across stationery, a soon-to-be-launched website and internal presentation documents, it’s a really impressive idea executed to perfection.

  16. Karl-anders-vitra-int-list

    Designing for a design fair must be as much of a dream brief as a terrifying one. But one agency more than up to the task is Hamburg-based Karl Anders, which is behind this brilliant campaign for Vitra’s presence at the Maison et Objet fair in Paris. We can’t get enough of the bright colours, playful art direction and unusual way of presenting the Swiss furniture brand’s products. The concept behind the campaign, Home Complements, is based around the idea of “unexpected outcomes,” hence the gloriously haphazard feel to the display of the products in the photographs, which are shot by Nicolas Haeni and Thomas Rousset. It looks brilliant, and marks a nice departure from the more serious look interiors brands often go for.

  17. Bdb-portfolio-7-int

    Amsterdam-based designer Bart de Baets has been making great work for ages, and 2014 was no exception. There are conference posters for the Goethe Institute, brochures for architecture pavilions and a really nice record sleeve for Melbourne-based band Total Control. Bart manages to combine minimal line work and graphic humour with a vast frame of reference and really great colour-ways. There are also slugs kissing.

  18. Michaelbierut-nyt-signage

    Michael Bierut is a designer, Pentagram partner, writer, lecturer and self-confessed nerd. Taking the stage at the Design Indaba festival in Cape Town yesterday, he announced his new book, pithily titled How to: Use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, and (every once in a while) change the world. Published by Thames & Hudson it won’t come out until later in the year, but we felt it was a good excuse to look at some of Michael’s most interesting work from across the years.

  19. List

    You’re 25 years old and Richard Turley calls you up out of the blue and says; “Hey, I’ve just got this sweet job at MTV and I’d like you to come on board as my senior designer, are you interested?” Of course you’re interested! You’d be a fool not to be interested, even if it means leaving your current (also awesome) job as an art director at The New York Times. Sounds nice right? Well this isn’t some fictional story I’ve just concocted in my head, this is the soon-to-be legendary tale of Erik Carter, a Virginia native turned New York City creative powerhouse who’s filling our (music) televisions with choice tidbits of witty animation and humorous asides from the world of the web.

  20. Rawcolor-febrik-4-int_copy

    Eindhoven-based graphic design and photography studio Raw Color has created a great multi-platform identity for interior textiles brand Febrik, using horizontal, laser-cut lines as a reference to archiving methods in textile sample books. They are utilised both for this purpose and as decorative details on business cards, stationary items and online.

  21. No_rocket_asinello_press_1_1160-int-list

    We often discuss the importance of a decent-looking site in presenting creative work, but until we received Francesco Zorzi’s latest missive, we didn’t realise just how much we were into well-presented emails. A lovely GIF and an irresistible typeface led us to the Italy-born, Amsterdam-based designer’s site, No Rocket, which further cemented his reputation as a man with a very discerning eye indeed. The project we admired the most is this logo for Genoan publisher Asinello Press, taking an illustration of a hoof as its motif.

  22. Untitled-paris-ad-int-list

    They say that one good turn deserves another. And one good project leads to another, as Untitled Paris has shown us. Last year, the agency was commissioned to create a new identity for interior design company Laplace, creating a slick monochrome look that uses the name as the logo mark. Untitled says: “The entire identity rests on a simple type system and contemporary but sober look, as the work of Laplace is full of colour and feeling.”

  23. Dyakova-list-mcm_gagosian_back-cover_905

    Earlier this week Sonya Dyakova revealed that she “like[s] to wear a uniform that [she] can just hide in and work.” And while her clothes may want to slink into the background, the work of her agency Atelier Dyakova begs to be in the spotlight.

  24. List

    Hot Chip are one of those bands that have always had a fantastic visual sensibility. Illustrator Wallzo has been at the helm of it, bringing us glorious Michael Craig Martin-esque block colours and shapes to decapitated statues. Now, the band is moving into the world of bespoke printing, with the artwork for new album Why Make Sense by Nick Relph using an algorithm that means each copy’s design will be unique.

  25. Kurppa-hosk-korshags-int-list

    It’s not often I get to write about my two great loves in a single article, but sometimes the stars align and I’m covering smoked fish and graphic design all in the space of 300 words. Today I feel blessed! This strange combination of subjects has come together thanks to Swedish agency Kurppa Hosk undertaking a wholesale rebrand for Falkenbergs Lax, a small, family-owned smoked salmon specialist. Charged with turning the small-scale brand into an international major player in the fish industry, Kurrppa Hosk renamed it Korshags, and have came up with a sleek new visual identity to accompany the new name.

  26. George-primo-louw-1

    As a rule we profile Jorge Primo on the site once a year; first due to posters for a shoe brand, then a carpenter’s identity and last year it was just for his personal work. This time round Jorge has been hard at it making graphics for skateboarding brand Louw. He’s done designs for their decks, exuberant posters and even knocked up a hand-drawn version of their logo. Choice!

  27. Francesco-del-russo-bologna-int-list

    Graphic designer Francesco Delrosso has spent the past few years making his way through undergraduate study and out into the big wide world of Fabrica, Benetton’s communications research centre. There he’s honed his skills in research-based design, putting them to use in the creation of all manner of print publications. Since leaving Fabrica he’s settled in Urbino where he’s specialising in communication and editorial design at Isia.

  28. Eloisa-perez-book-int-list

    Early school days weren’t so bad: the odd bit of colouring in, keeping up with the adventures of Billy Blue Hat, playing that game where you have to sit in a curled up in a ball being quiet when the teacher wants a rest. But they could have been even brighter, especially in the learning to write department – and graphic designer Éloïsa Pérez’ Apprendre à écrire offers a perfect solution.

  29. Mariohugo-recentlyrejected-int-list

    There was an interesting discussion on our podcast recently about why anyone would really want to watch the creative process taking place. Off the back of our visit to see what was essentially P J Harvey in a box, we’ve spent a lot of time chatting about how the creative process is slow and messy and frustrating, littered with wrong turns and dead-ends.

  30. List-la-direction_le-sucre_1-int

    A sweet, sweet identity project for you today, in the shape of Lyon-based studio La Direction’s work for venue Le Sucre. The studio is helmed by Aurélien Arnaud and Elsa Audouin, who set it up two years ago and have since worked across print, web, and interior graphic design for clients ranging from adidas to Born Bad Records to Grolsch. The one that most neatly presents the breadth of their capabilities, though, is the aforementioned Le Sucre project. The venue is a late-night party joint in Lyon, and the graphics subtly reflect its hip vibe while remaining resolutely timeless and simple. We love the restraint of the interior graphics, letting the strange architecture speak out, and the gorgeous blue of the printed materials. Elsewhere on La Direction’s site are some excellent poster designs, so we’ve popped a couple of our favourites on here for you. What’s not to love about the blue erotic market woman?

  31. Braulio-amado-nyt-int-list

    Braulio’s been a busy boy lately since he took up his full-time post art directing over at Bloomberg Businessweek. You’d think a job at one of the world’s most respected bi-weeklies would keep his time pretty well occupied, but the restless designer still finds plenty of spare hours to horse around with personal projects, sell weird ouija boards online and hand-letter for The New York Times Magazine. We wonder how he ever gets any rest? “I should indeed sleep more,” he says.

  32. Fontanel-dutch-design-talents-int-list

    Here at It’s Nice That we love discovering young creative talent – and feel a responsibility to identify and promote new artists and designers – but the challenge can sometimes feel daunting. So anything that can help point us in the right direction is hugely appreciated, such as this new book from Dutch creative site Fontanel. It has run a feature called The Fontanel Finals for the past five years, a scheme which showcases graduation shows and identifies the most interesting practitioners it finds each summer.

  33. Two-points-aamodt-plumb-int-list

    I always imagine that rebranding an architectural consultancy must be the dream gig for a design agency. There’s so much to work with in terms of structural materials, geometric forms, textures, type and slick photography. Even so it’s not every day you see an architectural rebrand executed with the kind of flair with which Two Points has created Aamodt/Plumb’s new corporate materials.

  34. Gentlewoman-bjork-list

    Whenever a new issue of The Gentlewoman is announced two questions spring to mind: what colour is it, and who’s the cover star? For the upcoming Issue 11 those all-important answers are cream, and Bjork, and it looks absolutely tantalising. Björk’s been shot by longtime Gentlewoman collaborator Alasdair McLellan and is pictured looking windswept and enigmatic (two of her strongest vibes). It’s hard to move without bumping into Björk at the moment – with a trailer just having been released for her upcoming show at MoMA in New York – but that won’t stop us counting the days until we can delve into this interview.

  35. Riposte

    The fearless mixing of disciplines in one show is one reason the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year show is so intriguing – offering up links between fields as seemingly diverse as transport and editorial design. However, sifting through more than 70 entires can be an exhausting task, so before we immerse ourselves in the multidisciplinary nature of the show when it opens next month, we thought we’d give you a run-down of the category closest to It’s Nice That’s heart, graphics.

  36. Nytmagazine-redesign-list

    While magazine redesigns often receive a great deal of attention, few are likely to be more scrutinised than the new-look New York Times Magazine which debuts on Sunday. The Times is the leading newspaper in the US and its magazine is read by nearly four million people every week. When listed, the changes design director Gail Bichler and her new art director Matt Willey have implemented sound exhaustive – redrawn fonts, a redrawn logo, a new approach to lay-outs, a new-look version of the online magazine. Add to this a raft of new features and editorial changes (such as a new weekly poem, a column that rotates between four critics and a dispatch from the frontline of internet culture) and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the new magazine will be unrecognisable.

  37. Maximleurentop-work-3-int

    Maxim Leurentop’s work balances clarity with an off-beat and knowing aesthetic. Often taking on multi-platform projects designing, art directing and photographing for brand look-books and exhibition identities, Maxim’s production values have a nice humour to them while maintaining a good dose of gloss.

  38. Metaflop-int-list

    I’d forgotten that I once described typography as “the least sexy design discipline” until I discovered that not only did I say it, but that Sarah Hyndman has recorded it for posterity in her excellent Type Tasting book that we featured on the site yesterday. Anyway I may have to reassess this glib pronouncement after spending some time on Metaflop, “an easy to use web application for modulating your own fonts.” Designed and developed by Swiss designers Marco Müller and Alexis Reigel, it’s a delightfully simple tool that allows you to customise fonts using a series of sliders that alter different characteristics such as cap height, aperture and contrast.

  39. Tavo-adc-int-lisst

    It’s high time we introduced the work of Tavo, a Madrid-based studio working for a broad range of agencies which specialises in digital and motion. But by specialise, we don’t mean that it can knock together a collage by editing a bunch of ready-made footage into one full-length clip, oh no. Rather, it responds to complex briefs with elaborate and aesthetically challenging concepts which it then proceeds to execute to higher standards than we might even have imagined possible.

  40. Come-de-bouchony-7-years-int-list

    We bang on a fair bit about how good documentation of creative work can be almost as important as the work itself. You might have produced the most typographically brilliant piece of print but if you’ve photographed it badly the outcome will inevitably be shit. But what about if you’ve got seven years’ worth of creative work to document; almost a decade of prolific visual communication? Well then you’re in trouble.