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    This month’s Nicer Tuesdays event sees us bring together four photographers who approach the discipline in unique and inspiring ways.

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    At last month’s storytelling-themed Nicer Tuesdays, we were joined by actor and director Gabriel Bisset-Smith freshly arrived back in London from the Edinburgh Festival. He gave us an entertaining insight into how his approach “of picking up elements as you go along” plays out in practice. Inspired by a messy break-up but without “a video camera or any money..and depending on budget, cast and when people were available” he showed how the initial ideas evolved into an intriguing end-product; at times funny, at times unsettling and always perceptive about our relationship with photographs, and each other.

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    Last month our Nicer Tuesdays event focused on storytelling, with four speakers tackling how this much overused idea informs and inspires their work. Illustrator Kyle Platts, one of our absolutely favourite creatives, explained that life “is a sandwich filling between two baps of infinity” and so storytelling is our response to this, as a way of passing on experience from generation to generation.

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    It was only last month that Stefan Sagmeister called out the creative industries’ infatuation with the idea of storytelling as “bullshit.” But as a prevalent presence in many people’s work, we felt it was the perfect theme for last night’s Nicer Tuesdays in partnership with Park Communications.

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    Next up in out travel themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is Chris Coe, who founded Travel Photographer of the Year “after a day of frustration talking to commissioning editors who were only interested in bog-standard photography.” He explained how the award has grown massively over the past 12 years to the point that he now reviews around 20,000 annual submissions and nearly 50,000 people saw the exhibition in London last year. He also showed that travel photography is “not just pretty pictures” but rather a broad spectrum “limited only by the scope of the photographer’s imagination.”

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    This month we are joined by four creatives who are exploring the art of storytelling in unique and inspiring ways.

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    Next up in the talks from our travel-themed Nicer Tuesdays is reportage illustrator Olivier Kugler. Olivier was hooked on drawing since receiving a Tintin book when he was seven, although his dad’s attempts to encourage him to sketch outdoors came up against his desire “only to draw superheroes.” Now Olivier has established a practice for creating compelling visual narratives which use individuals’ lives to tell bigger stories. “I don’t draw spectacular things but I love little details,” Olivier said, and you could see that in the way his pen picked out the Pope calendar in the flat of a former Mafia boss, or the heartbreaking trivialities in a refugee camp.

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    First up in our travel themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is Chris Vickers from She Was Only, the studio that has just taken over the design of “nomadic travel and culture journal” boat magazine. Chris explained how previously “each issue felt like a different publication entirely to reflect the cities being featured” and so his team worked on creating something more consistent. Changing the masthead, the format, the type choices and the way photography was used, She Was Only wanted a look and feel that could bounce off the feature city (Lima in Issue 7) while retaining an overall elegance and clarity.

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    Last night’s travel-themed Nicer Tuesdays took us to the motorways of Iran and the beaches of northern Iceland, and from the Namibian desert to the streets of Lima all without leaving east London. Our four speakers all shared very different insights into how their work is shaped by changing geographical backdrops.

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    Next up in the talks from our outer-space themed Nicer Tuesdays is illustrator Ben Newman. Ben was inspired to create a space book after seeing the dull offerings in the bookshop where he once worked, and by “the sense of fascination and wonder” in the illustration-heavy books produced before man walked on the moon. Ben worked with his physicist friend Dominic Walliman to create Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, and spoke about the challenges of making something both scientifically robust and simple enough for his target audience. Borrowing the four-colour print process from the space books of old, his became a huge hit and has been translated into nine languages.

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    Our next Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications will explore a range of brilliant creative projects inspired by travel.

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    Next up in the talks from our space-themed Nicer Tuesdays is Hefin Jones, founder of The Welsh Space Campaign. Playing off “the tension between the domestic and the cosmic,” Hefin looks at how Welsh skills, trades and cultural artefacts can be recontextualised as part of an intergalactic future. From working with his brother, a plumber, on a space suit (“It’s pretty much like a heating system innit?”) to using traditional woollen mills to provide the fabrics, Hefin’s mission is an inspirational tribute to the potential of participation as a mass cultural force.

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    Next up in our space-themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is super/collider’s Chris Hatherhill, who told us that while we are familiar with a handful of iconic space photographs, there are thousands more that most of us have never seen. Super/collider’s Apollo 77 project (named partly in honour of the abandoned south London video store in which it was first exhibited!) brings this vast archive to a wider audience: “images that caught our eye in terms of their artistry, deliberate or not.” They vary from the sublime to the surreal and Chris is particularly drawn to the abstract, colour-streaked images created when astronauts fire off a few shots to end the rolls of Hasselblad film.

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    Next up in our footie themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is graphic designer Rick Banks who talked us through his 2013 book Football Type. As a ten-year-old boy he was left in floods of tears when the Manchester United goalie top his mum bought him had the name Schmeichel in the wrong font; from here grew a lifelong obsession with football typography. He explained how it took two years to get the brands and clubs on board for the book and shared some interesting back stories; for example the Barcelona typeface is based on Gaudi’s chimneys. His talk encapsulated the highs and lows of self-publishing from the militant attention-to-detail required to filling your flat with the packaged books ahead of sending them out.

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    Last night’s Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications was an exhilarating joy-ride into galaxies far, far away with four speakers talking us through their space-inspired projects.

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    Next up from our night of football-themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is Alice Devine, co-founder of blog The Illustrated Game. She explained how they learned about the “necessary immediacy” for satirical illustrations and showed how the work was boiled down “to one concept, with no need of an explanation” – Arsene Wenger in a weirdly massive Arsenal duffle coat for example. From the blog has grown a podcast, a Pick Me Up show and various publications amongst other projects; an inspiring example of the potential of finding a rich creative furrow to plough.

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    Our next Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications is going where no monthly art and design talks event has ever gone before, with an outer space themed evening now ready for lift-off.

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    First up in our football-themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is self-confessed “stats nerd” Christoph Lorenzi of Sennep who became frustrated with the limited opportunities for football sticker trading he encountered as an adult: “Once you leave school it gets really hard to find people to swap with!” So the studio built an online sticker swapping website, after working out that it would otherwise take on average 824 packs to achieve the coveted completed album. The original site was built in just one week and has now been improved ahead of the World Cup next month; proof that if something geeky’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

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    Next up in our talks from the fashion-themed Nicer Tuesdays is fashion designer Kit Neale. From the Vikings to the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, Kit celebrated the eccentricity and sense of humour on which our sense of national identity is built. Why does Guy Fawkes Day (a commemoration of a failed terrorist plot don’t forget) unleash such creativity and imagination? Why is dressing up such an integral part of stag parties and hen-dos, where usual rules of dress and gender can be transgressed with impunity?

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    Our latest Nicer Tuesdays with Park Communications went football crazy (football mad) with four speakers whose creative endeavours had engaged with the beautiful game in some way or another.

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    With the World Cup now just weeks away our next Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications will explore the intersection between football and creativity! Even if you don’t know anything about the beautiful game, our superb line-up of speakers are very much rooted in the art and design world.

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    Next up in our Nicer Tuesdays fashion-themed talks is set designer Sarah Parker who gave us a great rule for life: “Once I got over the fear of making something that might look crap, I was ok.” She talked of her love for optical illusions and the creative buzz of creating uncertainty in a visual culture wherein we are exposed to images of objects almost incessantly. Sarah also touched on the challenges of working with clients whose parameters (either budgetary or creative) pose problems. The best kind of project, she admitted, are those where she has “total control.”

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    First up in our talks from last week’s fashion themed Nicer Tuesdays is Charlie Porter, who bills himself as “kind of a fashion journalist.” Describing it as a “super alpha, super murky, super strange and really fascinating world,” Charlie explored what it means to be a fashion critic in 2014. With platforms like Instagram becoming increasingly prominent as a means to show off and talk about clothes, Charlie explained that his own interests are much more in “the way people wear clothes rather than how they’re made.” This approach leads him down some innovative editorial avenues such as what the men who come up on Tinder choose to wear.

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    Last night we dressed up to the nines for our fashion-themed Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications. Our four speakers boasted a significant sartorial pedigree and gave us four very different perspectives on the fashion world.

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    Next up from our prank-themed Nicer Tuesdays is London based designer John King talking about the power and possibility of seemingly silly ideas. Josh began his talk by showing both good and horrendous examples of brands trying to piggyback on current news events before moving onto a prank he and his creative partner Andy Dawes played last year.

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    This month we’ve invited four speakers who are working in exciting ways within contemporary fashion. Joining us is London based fashion designer Kit Neale to tell us how how his colourful clothing and playfully animated graphic prints explore themes of British life and humour, and mens fashion critic for the Financial Times Charlie Porter will discuss his journalistic approach for leading fashion publications and his own personal blog.

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    Next up in our talks from the prank-themed Nicer Tuesdays is Rebecca Broomfield of Bray Leino, an integrated communications group who worked on a massive April Fools’ stunt for Virgin Atlantic last year. Admitting that 1 April was a time for brands either “to express their personality, or pretend they have one,” she gave us a potted history of Virgin’s weird and wonderful offerings over the years. She then explained how the glass-bottomed plane stunt came about, and how simplicity, visual appeal and letting one newspaper in on the secret was the key to its success.

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    First up in our prank-themed Nicer Tuesdays talks is Katrin Baumgarten, senior interaction designer at Hirsch & Mann. Katrin spoke to us about the agency’s work for Red Stripe tripping out an east London corner shop to become a full-blown musical instrument. She explained that although it was an amazing brief both time and money were tight, and the challenge came in creating the magic, which meant “hiding as much of the technology as you possibly can.” She also revealed that because of various practical and legal considerations the special effects could not be automatically triggered, and so she and her team holed-up hidden away in the shop for the duration to help create the experience.

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    Held just a week before April Fools’ Day, last night’s Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications was all about pranks and hoaxes. Four speakers with very different stories to tell took to the stage at our new venue the Protein Space to regale us with tales of tomfoolery.

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    Next up in our Nicer Tuesdays magazine-themed talks is editor of The Independent Magazine Will Dean. Will spoke to us about the titles which have influenced his approach to the all-important cover decisions, referencing Bloomberg Businessweek‘s creative director Richard Turley for his wholly unique approach. He showed the audience some of his favourite covers, one of which was for the royal christening. “I managed to convince them that the best way for us to cover the royal christening was to hire the country’s best Kate Middleton lookalike, get a baby, and put them both in haute couture dresses…” The resulting image is impressive, to say the least. “I mean, I think we got away with it” he laughed. Will also revealed the dissatisfaction that comes from working on a weekly supplement – “the very fast turnaround means that arguably you’re never really happy with what you end up with” – and suggested that it’s this dissatisfaction which drives the progression of any publication.

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    Next up in our Nicer Tuesdays magazine-themed talks is founder and editor-in-chief of Riposte Danielle Pender. Danielle told us how she wanted to provide an alternative to the one-sided, image-obsessed focus of mainstream women’s media. “Even the more reputable magazine portray images of womanhood that are entirely unrealistic” she said, referencing the heavy-handed Photoshop applied to most cover stars. She explained how this content-over-image approach influenced the brilliant design of the magazine, of which the front cover is dominated by text, while the back features the image. “Apparently we missed out a big opportunity for advertising by putting a photo on the back. If you can’t play around with format on your first venture into publishing, though, when can you?”

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    At last month’s Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications we were celebrating all things print and were delighted to be joined by Bruno Bayley of Vice who talked us through the title’s history and examined why the publication remains a core part of an expanding media empire. You can watch his talk above to get some real insights into the way this much talked-about but often misunderstood publication operates.

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    The first in our talks from February’s magazine themed Nicer Tuesdays is longtime art director of Wired UK Andrew Diprose, who gave a fascinating insight into the process of designing for the world’s leading science, culture and technology magazine, with their diverse range of content and inimitable covers. He also spoke brilliantly about the importance of commissioning, and the role a magazine plays for the illustrators and photographers featured in it.

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    Last night we were at Mother London for this year’s second instalment of Nicer Tuesdays, with four fantastic creatives from the publishing industry speaking to us about the charms and challenges of the printed page. As ever, our fantastic event sponsors Park Communications were showing off their wares with a whole array of their own printed works – Printed Pages and Riposte among them!

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    The next in our talks from January’s music-themed Nicer Tuesdays with Park Communications comes from Luke Taylor of directorial duo Us. Shorn of his partner Chris Barrett (with whom he usually appears at these kinds of events) Luke nonetheless provided us with brilliant step-by-step insights into the making-of two of Us’ most impressive offerings. From working with Wiley to chopping up vinyl, Luke’s talk was the perfect combination of humour and honesty, touching on both the great and the more challenging aspects of working in this area.

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    In the second of our videos filmed at January’s music-themed Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications, Micachu shares some inspirations about how and why she went about creating ten videos for her album Never. She spoke about how the series was inspired by the weird and wonderful goings-on in the house she was living in at the time and explained why lo-fi improvisation was very much the order of the day.

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    At last month’s Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications, we heard from four speakers who work in various ways in and around the music industry, But when it came to being immersed in that world, photographer Dan Wilton took the biscuit. He spoke about his experiences on tour with Californian band (and brothers) The Bots, whose European tour he tagged along on and created a brilliant zine documenting what he saw. From the world’s biggest pig museum to hiding cuddly toys in trees as a means of taunting the brother’s mum, Dan spoke with wit and passion about how he gently manipulates situations to get the most interesting and unusual shots possible.

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    Nicer Tuesdays is back and this month we’ve invited four speakers who have been instrumental in keeping the world of printed magazines a dynamic and exciting place. With our sponsors Park Communications we are excited to return to Downstairs at Mother London for an evening of insights, inspiration and a few beers!

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    Last night we returned to Mother London for the first Nicer Tuesdays of 2014. Not only were we delighted to welcome four very different speakers who work in and around the music industry, we were also proud to unveil Park Communications – who print both our Annual and our magazine – as the event’s new sponsors.

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    Whether it’s a new diet, a gruelling exercise regime or dry January, we know the first month of a new year can be tough. But help is at hand with the first Nicer Tuesdays of 2014!