Publication Archive

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    Ken Garland has long been one of our creative heroes here at It’s Nice That – he’a man who combines talent and charm with effervescent energy. So imagine our excitement when we found out that Pudkin Books – the publishers he started with wife Wanda in 2008 – were finally available online. The overarching theme of the series is “A Close Look At…” and most of them showcase Ken’s own photography, with subjects ranging from pebbles to street graphics, Mexican windows to Berlin’s Buddy Bears. But others feature John Laing’s watercolours, Lana Durovic’s photographs and most intriguing of all, utterly charming illustrations produced by Ken’s daughter Ruth when she was just a teenager (A Close Look At Playing Out).

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    The creative industry can be suspicious of the “business world” whose pin-stripe suits and baffling pie-charts often seem at odds with the values creatives hold dearest. But new publication The Challenger’s Almanac promises to break through the bullshit, via profiles of creatively-minded individuals who have achieved success with their own companies.

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    Robert Crumb fans (of which there are thousands) hold on to your seats because TASCHEN have just released another volume of the legendary cartoonist’s sketchbooks, and this collection precedes the last.The six volume edition encompasses 18 years of the artist’s career, edited by Crumb himself into what he considers to be his very best work from the period. There’s the usual glut of smut you’d expect from this uniquely perverse mind, but also studies for commercial work and hundreds of other pieces of extremely rare material. As ever the folks at TASCHEN have spared no expense on the release, and the hardcover, slip-cased set contains a total of 1,344 luxuriously printed pages. But that should be enough to satisfy the most die-hard fans out there. Although you really can’t have too much Crumb in your life.

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    There are different levels of commitment to design geekery, and the new book from Unit Editions is a reward for those who really put in the hard yards. Manuals 1 is billed as “the first comprehensive study of corporate identity design manuals” and features 20 examples of the guidelines given to designers in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. From NASA to Lufthansa and the NYC Transit Authority to British Steel, the book provides a masterclass in how institutions built their visual languages – and by extension defined themselves – in what has been called “the golden era of identity design.”

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    I don’t doubt that Alasdair McLellan has had his fill of being referred to in the context of his “Northernness,” but the photographer’s origin is a factor which continues to influence his work to such an extent that it would be foolish to ignore it. He captures an atmosphere which is arguably unmatched in fashion photography; both male and female models appear gritty and tough, but simultaneously romantic and sensual. It’s a uniquely Northern mood and a difficult juxtaposition to capture, but he continues to achieve it like no other in his field.

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    It’s amazing how one creative decision can elevate an interesting project into something really special, but that’s the power of the right idea executed in exactly the right way. This zine for Converse by our sister agency INT Works is a perfect example of this, with the sneaker brand looking for the right way to celebrate the launch of the new All Star Chuck ’70. Having commissioned superb illustrations from the likes of HORT, Leslie David, Santtu Mustonen, Katie Scott and Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, they designed a publication which told the story of the product in quite a straightforward way, until readers tore through the French-folded booklet to unleash the eye-catching imagery.

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    If you’re a regular reader of the site you’re probably pretty familiar with the above image by now. It’s a cheeky little photo of an orange and a white hen’s egg engaged in a tender embrace. It was shot for us by Italian photographer Maurizio Di Iorio, a creative we’d not had the pleasure of working with before. We’ve known his work for a long time though and have always been enamoured with his still life imagery – although he’s equally adept at capturing the female form with similarly striking results – and decided he was the man we needed to take on the challenge of our first ever photographic front cover.

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    For the Spring 2014 issue of Printed Pages we went out to six of London’s finest galleries and museums to interview their invigilation staff about the works of art and antiquity they take care of, and what they mean to them personally. We hit the Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, White Cube Bermondsey, The Saatchi Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery, and in this film we meet Neide Gentelini, a gallery assistant at the V&A, who explains her love for a piece of Renaissance sculpture.

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    Richard Turley is one of the most respected designers around, lauded by the industry and the design press for his funny, daring and creative approach in helping revive the fortunes of Bloomberg Businessweek. But when It’s Nice That approached him about an article for Printed Pages looking at this part of his career he was reticent. “To be honest with you,” he told us, “I have a slight anxiety that everyone must be bored shitless about me whining on about those covers.”

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    “When I was a junior junior at Pentagram in 1977, Alan Fletcher used to walk around his team, and without saying anything help himself to one of his assistant’s cigarettes, in front of them. No one said anything. After a while of this he came to my desk again. As his hand reached down to my cigarettes, I chirped up: ‘Either pay me money so I can buy more fags or f*** off and buy you own.’ A small smile crossed his mouth and ever since then we’ve got on very well together.”

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    For the Spring 2014 issue of Printed Pages we’re ringing in some changes, the first of which is our brand spanking new spine (just LOOK at it). Which is a direct result of the second big change; that we’ve upped the page count from 76 to 128. Kind of a big deal. We’ve also made our first foray into photographic front covers, inviting Maurizio Di Iorio to create a beautiful still life image that for him, is the epitome of spring. We’ve also used heavier paper stocks throughout, and even thrown in a coated section for good measure.

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    Ooooh this is nice! A beautifully crafted publication from one third of Nous Vous and illustrator and potter extraordinaire, Will Edmonds. Will’s been making us smile for years with his simple, colourful drawings that evoke a childish naivety in everyone who gazes upon them, and now he’s decided to encourage it further with a book of musings and poetry. Have a think, see what you think, let me know what you think – which may be the best book title I’ve ever read – is a scrapbook-like collection of his geometric drawings sitting alongside his friendly, philosophical writing. The book was published by Jack Scott of London-based independent publishers Corporeal.

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    There’s not a lot of independent magazines in existence in the Middle East. Fewer still that cross over into a global market (there’s that prohibitive language barrier that gets in the way). And when you look at the few that are on offer (I can actually only think of Brown Book ) it seems there’s only one that really deals with the realities of life in the Arab world.

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    Mossless is an independent photography publication started by Romke Hoogwaerts in 2009. His intention was to interview a photographer every other day and eventually compile a book once he’d amassed enough interviews.

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    We don’t often feature a single magazine cover on the site, but John Morgan Studio’s recent work for Art Review is so strong that we’re prepared to make an exception (also, it’s four different covers). The prolific designer, who undertook a wholesale redesign of the publication back in September 2013, has just commissioned these striking cover images, by excellent photographers Luke and Nik, that white out the faces of typically stylised head shots to introduce an issue that deals with the unknown artists of the future. The concept, photography and execution are all top notch, and it’s exciting to see a publication with such pedigree embrace an experimental cover that will undoubtedly set it apart on the newsstands. They are VERY unnerving though…

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    What an honour it is to be alive in the same century as talent such as Ollie Schrauwen. He flew into my life back in May 2013 and has resided in the penthouse of my brain ever since, evidently working hard on this majestic new book. My Boy follows a small, strange baby through his life spent with his exuberant, wealthy father and is a testament to Ollie’s talent in that from page one of this hardback treasure you are completely and irrevocably immersed in a different era and family. The fact that it’s split up into a series of chapter resembling life events makes it the perfect, readable book for anyone wary of the format of a graphic novel. In my opinion, this is the best kind of fantasy, fiction and illustration all rolled into one and will put the rest of your books to shame.

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    It’s not often you have the pleasure of settling down with a book and taking the time to properly read the introduction, but in this case I did, and was struck by what the publication’s curator Olivia Triggs and editor Antony Leyton had to say on Cat’s project. “Do not open this book expecting to find sample art, finished pieces, or examples of what each contributor is ‘most famous for.’ There are other books for that. Cat’s book is about the life, not the work.”

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    GraphicDesign& founders Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright are on a mission – to take the discipline out of its (sometimes self-imposed) cultural ghetto and prove how it relates to almost everything around us. Nearly two years ago they tackled literature, challenging 70 designers to reinvent the first page of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Now for their second book they have maths in their sights, working alongside Alex Bellos to set 55 leading creatives a mathematical design challenge; to respond to the famous golden ratio articulated by Euclid.

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    Cats have something of a monopoly (a meow-opoly? No…) when it comes to the online realm and last year they muscled their way into print as well with the publication of the inaugural Cat People magazine. Everyone knows that dogs tend to follow cats so it’s no great surprise that not to be outdone by their feline counterparts, our canine chums now boast their own magazine as well.

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    Kate Moross is one of a kind in the creative industry, as we discovered when she spoke about her working process at Here 2013; her DIY approach to her craft, which advises “if you don’t know how to do something, YouTube it” leaves her both limitless scope to execute her ideas and a diverse series of job titles to match, counting graphic designer, fashion designer, illustrator and art director among them. Evidently not one to sit back and count her chickens though, Kate has now added author to her list, publishing her first book Make Your Own Luck, a kind of memoir-come-guide book aimed at similarly-minded creatives looking for advice on how to survive art school, how to deal with copycats and how to go about directing music videos when you have bucket-loads of ideas but not a lot of know-how.

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    Malin Gabriella Nordin is a Swedish artist who creates colourful, sculptural works of art which, rather than skirting unconventionality, embrace childlike playfulness with arms wide open. So much so in fact that she invited a group of children to interpret her ambiguously-shaped sculptures, adding to her collection with their own drawings and giving her their thoughts on what she had made.

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    When it comes to mural painting there’s no image too big or too daunting for Stephen Powers to broach; giant Post-It notes splayed across several stories, roller-coasters, stair-sets climbing the entire length of buildings. His work adorns structures all over the world, and always with an unrelenting palette of vibrant colours, strong type and joyous messages, making it immediately recognisable whether or not you know his name.

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    It’s not uncommon for design agencies to upload a host of new work at around the same time, giving us several occasions to remind ourselves of their creative brilliance. So it is that only weeks after drooling over Build’s identity refresh for Generation Press we’re here to celebrate their limited-edition book to accompany the Barber Osgerby In the Making exhibition at the Design Museum (for which Build also did the design).

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    Last week we sang the praises of the terrific new Martin Creed show at London’s Hayward Gallery, provocatively titled What’s The Point Of It? Such a splendid exhibition requires a splendid monograph to accompany it, and Hayward Publishing have not disappointed.

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    In the era we grew up in we’d sadly missed the golden age of music magazines. The NME had long since lost the relevance it once prized so highly, Rolling Stone was similarly falling from grace and we had to battle with a slew of dubiously-written metal titles like Rock Sound and Kerrang! who championed some truly terrible bands (though maybe as an ex-goth that’s a problem specific to me). But then we found Pitchfork at just the right time, pointing its fingers in the direction of excellent new music and embracing the kind of critique that most had abandoned in favour of indie celeb-spotting and Smash Hits-style boot-licking. And it was all available for free on the new-fangled internet.

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    I’m going to let you in on a bit of a secret; most artist books are incredibly tedious. For one reason or another artists and designers can’t seem to get their act together to collaborate on printed works that are formally beautiful and rigorously conceptually communicative. Either the artist is too precious, the designer too zealous or the whole thing gets lost in a web of conceptual nonsense that renders the reading experience hopeless. And so good ones don’t come along very often.

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    Acid magazine describes itself as “a surf-inspired publication for the beauty of ideas and images,” a write-off which would have many readers assuming that there are only so many photographs of gnarly dudes on surfboards that you could see before you got bored and pushed it to one side. They’d be wrong, though.

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    At the moment there’s a trial going on in the UK that seemingly reflects the British press’ darkest hour. Various figures are accused of alleged mass hacking of phones and it has led to a lot of soul-searching about how low our once proud media has fallen.

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    There are few things that get us as excited in the studio as a brilliant comic book by somebody we’ve never heard of, and this week the superb debut offering from illustrator, graphic designer and typographer Jeremy Perrodeau ticked that box very neatly. Isles is a quietly brilliant publication, centred around the journey of three protagonists on a desert island, each taking their own route and overcoming obstacles and dangers on the way. Rendered only in black and white and described by the publisher as “an invitation to discover the obsession this geometric artist has with the universe” the narrative is intense, poignant and beautifully composed.

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    Tal R is an artist usually recognisable for his vibrant use of colour. He’s built his reputation on packing every degree of the spectrum into a single canvas. So long-term fans might be surprised to discover that his latest book, The Moon , is much more chromatically restrained than usual, printed in muted blues and reds. Don’t worry though, inside you’ll find that Tal’s sense of mischief is still very much intact, the characters within engaging in all sorts of lewd acts and deviant behaviour. They’re all smiling too, so what’s not to enjoy?

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    We’ve become accustomed to German publisher Lubok Verlag producing beautifully crafted lino-cut books by a selection of relatively obscure international artists. It’s for this output that we’ve grown to love them; the laborious volumes of print, offering a sense of depth and discovery while simultaneously being aesthetically delightful.

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    It’s a long acknowledged online truth that cats mean clicks. But if you were drawn in by Tom Edwards’ cute kitties above then prepare to be shocked; Tom’s drawing is a representation of the fact that Egyptian pharaohs were buried with 38 cats. This grisly feline tidbit is one of many such morsels collated by the creators of a new publishing service The Book Of Everyone, a website and app whereby you can order a personalised book for someone you love (or hate. But that’d be weird).

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    Pretty hard not to want to peer inside a book of cartoons that “reference both philosophy (Descartes, Hegel, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer) and pop culture (Conan the Barbarian, Peanuts, Suicidal Tendencies.)” One of our favourite artists James Jarvis is back with an absolute whopper of a comic, presented to the world by publishing heroes, Nieves. This 380 page book contains 365 drawings by James, made daily in 2012. Follow his know well-known characters as they grapple with everyday life and contemplate life’s meanings as they skateboard around the place. A must-read for anyone whose life has a Calvin and Hobbes-shaped hole that needs filling.

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    Born in 1942 in Buenos Aires, José Muñoz has been making extraordinary illustrations and comic books since his early twenties, when he began assisting Francisco Solano López, a contemporary master of Argentine comics. Since that time he’s moved across Europe, living in London, Barcelona and finally settling in Italy where he still resides today, writing and illustrating his own stories and those of long-time collaborators for international publication.

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    Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s latest publication isn’t a cheerful undertaking, I would go as far as to say it looks the darkest side of humanity square in the eye. Guided by philosopher Adi Ophir’s central tenet that God reveals himself predominantly through catastrophe, and that power structures within the Bible correlate with those within modern systems of governance, the artists have created an exact replica of the King James Bible and inserted photographs from the Archive of Modern Conflict alongside a selection of underlined passages.

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    The Guardian has long been feted for its pioneering digital offering which has seen it become one of the most visited news websites in the world. But tomorrow sees it launch a new monthly supplement Do Something which “offers hundreds of ways to get out there, stretch your horizons – be creative, active, social, smart and so much more besides.” After launching it with a terrific advert yesterday we can now reveal what the first issue will look like, and we’re pleased to say that it appears art director Chris Clarke and his team have smashed it out the park. Form the Owen Gildersleeve designed cover to the interesting and engaging layouts – graced with illustrations by the likes of Owen Gatley,Yann Le Bec and Hattie Newman – it seems to be a considered and personality-packed publication. Yet more proof there’s life in the old print dog yet!

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    When it comes to interesting and unusual publications, Visual Editions can be relied upon to pioneer the kind of titles that turn a lot of heads. For four years now Anna Gerber and Britt Iversen have been exploring the ways in which content and form can be manipulated, subverted and toyed with to create something very special. After huge acclaim for their latest work Where You Are the time was ripe to sit down with Anna and Britt and find out a bit more…

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    If, when flicking through a small book, you come across golden nuggets such as this: “Idea for a show: Fill the holes in the wall from the previous exhibition with plaster mixed with different pigment colours. This is now the exhibition.” It’s pretty hard to not keep reading. Ideas and Thoughts is a published sketchbook from cheerful ideas man, nay inventor, Helmut Smits who is sort of Holland’s answer to Daniel Eatock. Each page of this little book of his brain vomit is enough to make you want to get going on your own simple little projects immediately, especially when he’s presenting you with wickedly tempting ideas such as emptying a can of spray paint from a great height. Buy this book and start coming up with great little ideas, stat.

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    There’s something peculiarly haunting about abandoned buildings, particularly when they were once inhabited as the headquarters of sprawling corporate organisations. It’s this strange ghostliness that German photographer Andreas Gehrke like to play on. He has spent years photographing the now dormant modernist headquarters of companies such as IBM, German newspaper Der Spiegel and department store Quelle Versand, which he describes as “playing a significant role in shaping the political, social and economic face of post-war Germany.” His oddly beautiful images have now been compiled into lovely, simple publications, published by Drittel Book, and they’re a real treat.

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    For a man with only 20 paintings and eight drawings surviving as testament to his talents, Hieronymous Bosch has had a phenomenal influence over the world of fine art. Looking back on his works today it’s almost unthinkable that the Dutch painter produced his masterpieces over half a millennium ago – his canvases are so rich both in technical detail and narrative vision. But Bosch predates the Renaissance pioneers upon whom western culture has lavished extraordinary reverence and arguably outshines with the violent brilliance of his imagination.