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    This week Rob Alderson reflects on an interesting blog by Chloe Markowicz which suggests that people are ashamed to call what they do advertising. As ever you can join the debate and add your comments using the discussion thread below.

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    Wake up! Freshers’ Week is done – all that colourful IKEA kitchenware your mum got you is nowhere to be seen and you’ve gained 478 new friends on Facebook and an awkward conversation with your home friends about who you’re actually going to Glastonbury with next year. To be honest, being a fresher usually goes on for way longer than a week. After a month or so of partying and drinking Glenn’s Vodka and Robinson’s out of tupperware bowls you wake up with a whole load of briefs to tackle and studio space and equipment to fight over. This is the START of ART SCHOOL.

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    In recent months the question of so-called spec work has been raised with us over social media in light of various design competitions we have helped promote. Off the back of that we have spent a lot of time discussing this thorny issue with various people so as to formulate a consistent approach, although the nature of these things is that each is best analysed on a case by case basis.

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    This week Rob Alderson reflects on the launch of the new Design Museum website and the strange suggestion that the redesign should have been given to a British agency rather than Dutch studio Fabrique. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below…

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    In the wake of the launch of Printed Pages Autumn 2014, Editor James Cartwright wonders and worries about the secret of designing a great magazine cover and asks for any handy hints you might have. Do him a favour and add your thoughts in the comments section below.

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    In light of New York Fashion Week’s main event, a star-studded play put on by Opening Ceremony entitled 100% Lost Cotton, the It’s Nice That team began to ponder their own individual dream play, and what that would look like if they were given the chance to direct it. The results are pretty weird to be honest, but you can’t deny the appeal of each and every one in its own way.

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    This week Editor Liv Siddall addresses the world’s distraught reaction to the announcement that MSN Messenger will terminate after 15 years in operation, and wonders if we should get so nostalgic and wet-eyed over technology.

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    This week editorial assistant Amy Lewin ponders the cultural impact of the potential England/Scotland split. As ever, feel free to leave comments below.

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    We’ve been posting music-related art and design articles on It’s Nice That since the very beginning. In fact the first music video ever posted on It’s Nice That is this one by Koichiro Tsujikawa back in May 2007. Since then we’ve covered countless festival posters and identities, record sleeves, band logos, ad campaigns and tour photography amongst pretty much every other kind of music-related content you can think of, barring only reviewing music itself.

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    This week editor James Cartwright wonders whether it was right to remove the Chapman Brothers’ controversial sculpture Piggyback from a Roman gallery or whether it’s an affront to creative freedoms. As ever your comments are welcome below…

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    Last week we were duped into running a project on the site that turned out to be a hoax. Here Rob Alderson explains what happened and why it’s left an unsavoury taste, while James Cartwright disagrees and congratulates the artist on a spoof well done. As ever you can leave your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

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    Two weeks ago we featured DesignStudio’s Airbnb logo. One week ago copywriter Rob Mitchell of We All Need Words wrote an Opinion piece calling for an end to convoluted brand stories. His article was cheered by some people and incensed others; Sam Peskin and Liam Hamill of VentureThree want to have their say and defend brand strategy. Again you can add your views using the comment thread below…

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    We were pretty impressed with the new Airbnb logo when it launched last week, but for a different perspective, here’s Rob Mitchell from We All Need Words. He tells us why he’s had enough of “over-cooked brand stories masquerading as strategy” and as ever you can add your thoughts below…

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    In light of our recent changes and the launch of the new-look Design Observer, Rob Alderson reflects on design websites’ redesigns. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below, and we’re particularly keen to hear what you’re making of our new look!

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    This week James Cartwright wonders what the V&A is up to with its policy of “Rapid Response Collecting” and whether it really marks a shift in their curation policy. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

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    This week Rob Alderson considers the aftermath of the disastrous Robin Thicke Twitter Q&A and wonders how it was ever signed off when what was going to happen seemed entirely predictable. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

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    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what makes a good group show. Are they really all they’re cracked up to be, or are they poised for failure? Tell us what you think of them and which you’ve been to that were especially brilliant or terrible in the comments section below.

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    This week online editor Liv Siddall wonders if anyone actually enjoys the huge amount of wacky summertime events that are on offer in London. As always your comments and opinions are welcome below.

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    This week, editor Liv Siddall gets excited about the upcoming ELCAF festival in London, and tells you all sternly why YES it is very important that we keep going to live events surrounding graphic arts and comics.

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    This week Nat Hunter, director of design at The Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (RSA) and a trustee of D&AD, welcomes awards being given to projects that make a real difference. It might mark, she believes, a fundamental shift in the design world. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below.

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    This week our Editorial Assistant Madeleine Morley reflects on her four weeks at It’s Nice That but wonders if the fast turnover of creative content online is really a good thing. Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to join in the conversation below.

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    This week Apple turned down an application for an app that promotes female masturbation on the grounds that it’s inappropriate. Liv Siddall wonders whether, despite the criticism over the design of the app, that was really the issue here. As always, get involved with your own comments below.

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    This week Rob Alderson looks at actors who were too good-looking for the roles they played and asks Hollywood to give viewers a bit more credit. As ever you can join the discussion below.

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    Two years ago when this Opinion feature started, Rob Alderson wrote a piece about the rampant rise of the “must-see” culture; shows which the media’s frenzy makes you feel like you have to go and see. Hands up who found themselves queuing for the Bowie show at the V&A without knowing much more about him than just the chorus to Life on Mars? Me. Who queued bottom-to-crotch in the rain with about 1,000 grumpy pensioners to catch a glimpse of Hockney’s A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy? Also me.

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    We really enjoyed this year’s Pick Me Up festival (as you can see from our glowing review) but others were not so convinced. Here Lawrence Zeegen, dean of design at the London College of Communications, argues that the graphic art world needs a wake-up call.

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    This week we are privileged to reprint some of the thoughts of branding legend Wally Olins, who died recently aged 83. Tributes poured in from across the creative industries after his death, made all the more poignant by the introduction to his book Brand New : The Shape of Brands To Come which was published only last month. He rounds off the book’s foreword saying: “I am writing about it all now, because I won’t be here to see it and listen to people telling me how wrong I was.”

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    This week, assistant editor Maisie Skidmore ponders the design eminence of stamps, and how dull the communication world might be without them. Are you an avid collector? Do you hate the sight of that mini Queen’s head every time you go to the post office? We want to hear all about it in the comment section below!

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    This week, editor Liv Siddall wonders why you don’t see that many autobiographies from creatives. Seen any? Disagree? Throw in your two cents in our comments section at the bottom.

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    This week James Cartwright wonders whether it’s possible for the yakuza to rebrand themselves overnight after the recent revelation that they’ve launched their own website. As ever your comments are encouraged below…

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    This week Rob Alderson poses a few questions in a bid to get to the bottom of what makes an inspirational and unforgettable creative conference. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

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    This week, editorial assistant Maisie Skidmore questions whether the iPhone is killing those high-brow cultural outlets labelled toilet literature. As ever, you can join discussion in the comments section below!

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    This week Rob Alderson reflects on his trip to Design Indaba in Cape Town and the increasing importance of designers keeping it local. As ever you can add your thoughts using the thread below.

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    This week James Cartwright pleads with everyone to shut up about the death of print for good, and urges print and digital to just bury the hatchet and get along. As ever if you think he’s wrong (or right) you can dissect his argument below below…

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    This week editorial assistant Maisie Skidmore is considering the growing influence of the emoji on the art and design community. As ever, you can let us know your favourite examples of emoji-based-creativity or just voice your eternal hatred of the tiny yellow faces and miniature fruits in the comments section below.

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    This week Rob Alderson looks at a design awards scheme with a difference and wonders if there’s too much of a divide between certain sections of the creative industries. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

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    This week editor Liv Siddall discusses why the huge amount of films remade using only LEGO are getting very boring, very quickly. As usual, all comments welcome in the box below.

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    This week ahead of his trip to South Africa for Design Indaba, Rob Alderson looks at Cape Town’s growing creative reputation and its status as this year’s World Design Capital. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below, plus any hints and tips for seeing the South African design community close-up!

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    This week creative director Craig Oldham looks at getting your foot in the door of the creative industries and makes the case for the D&AD New Blood scheme as the perfect place to start. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

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    This week editor James Cartwright laments the loss of ham-fisted cinema and urges us to let Kickstarter revive it. As always, you comments are encouraged below.

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    This week editor Liv Siddall looks at the BBFC’s announcement that they are cracking down on explicit music videos and wonders if that’s really a good idea after all. As always, all comments welcome below.