Publication Archive

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    Did anyone catch that BBC Ladybird Book documentary that was on just before Christmas? It was a fascinating look into the creation and the artists behind the books most of us grew up with. Whether you wanted to read about how to tie knots, the difference between villages and towns, or just animals that hibernate, Ladybird Books had a publication dedicated to nearly every subject on the earth and beyond.

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    It was during the dying embers of 2013 (Remember that? How young we were…) when this little book dropped through our letterbox and it’s fair to say it’s had me engaged, engrossed and utterly charmed ever since. You Are The Friction is the latest release from Sing Statistics, the independent publishers run by illustrator Lizzy Stewart and designer Jez Burrows (once of this parish).

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    Every year, just before the AGI Open, the AGI’s members come together in the year’s host city to present to each other their national design history – the major players and events that have shaped the design landscape over the past half century. This year it was the UK’s turn, and behind the closed doors of the Barbican a cohort of prestigious british designers presented themselves to the AGI’s global community.

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    Did you know that after gaining independence in 1964, Zambia started a space programme to send the first African astronaut to the moon?! Nope, neither did we, which to be fair is not that surprising as a lack of financial resources meant the project was pretty much doomed to failure, becoming no more than a little-known occurrence in the history of the global Space Race.

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    There are many magazines which beg to become the first in a never-ending collection, but the universal and seemingly timeless draw of food makes it an especially tempting subject. I can think of no better example than FUET MAGAZINE, born of a love of food and cooking, of which the very first issue has just been let out into the world. Designed by Diego and Martí of Spanish studio Córdova – Canillas, FUET is a beautiful example of publication design with a strong visual identity, editorial consistency and photoshoots to rival any other foodie mag out there. Witchcraft, the art of slaughter and an endearing feature on modem food rituals are all in there, in a charming and inquisitive collection of content. We’re very eager to get our hands on it.

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    Because we’re a nice bunch of young twenty-somethings and we like nothing more than meeting people in person and sluicing back a few mid-week drinks we decided it might not be a bad idea to have a little bit of a party to celebrate the launch of the Winter issue of Printed Pages. So we had a word with our friends at the Goodhood store, put some beers on ice and piled the free magazines high for an evening of festive cheer.

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    Some artists struggle to convey the ideas behind their work and practice through words alone. Here to solve this predicament is nice creative man Braulio Amado who has put together one of the most simplistic, charming publications we’ve seen in a long while. Gathering together the best illustrators and graphic artists alive on the planet at this moment he began to piece together a book of interviews in which each artist could answer the question visually rather than through words. The results are an honest, funny glimpse into the minds of some of the artists we know so well through the candid doodles they use to answer Braulio’s questions. You can buy your own copy (which I highly recommend) through his site.

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    Annoyingly, somebody has already penned the quote that defines Prison Pit in the most succinct, accurate and brutal fashion so here it is: “Prison Pit is like someone making a comic strip out of Mayhem’s Live in Leipzig, played at half speed and double the volume your speakers can safely process. If you’ve never heard that album, then I’ll spell it out for you: this is a brutal fucking comic.” – Patrick Tobin, Multiversity Comics. Thanks Patrick, thanks a lot. What I can add is that if you’re even remotely, fleetingly interested in intergalactic ultra violence and repellant profanities coupled with crude penmanship then this comic is undoubtedly for you. If not, don’t even look at these pictures. Seriously, don’t.

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    Jonathan Zawada is the multi-talented Antipodean LEGEND responsible for the tropical cover of our winter magazine. A maker of things, painter of pictures and designer of rugs Jonathan’s work is hard to define specifically, but it’s characterised by its quality; you can guarantee if it’s come from his brain it’ll be real nice. In between flights from LA to Sydney we hounded him relentlessly until he answered some questions about his work and designing this cover in particular.

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    Pentagram partner Emily Oberman and her husband were looking round her mother Arline’s attic when they came across a selection of illustrations they had never seen before. On further investigation they turned out to be a series of drawings Arline did in front of the television during the McCarthy Senate hearings of 1954. At the height of Cold War paranoia, Senator Joseph McCarthy spearheaded an ugly, aggressive campaign to root out Communist supporters and sympathisers from all areas of American public life, and when he turned his attention to the US Army, the nation sat transfixed as an extraordinary drama played out live in their living rooms (the hearings were the first non sports national event ever to be televised).

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    You’d be forgiven for suggesting that we post too much of Bureau Borsche’s work on the site, that we think they’re the bees knees and are blinded by the variety, quality and quantity of their work to the point that more or less every project produced has us gazing wide-eyed like small children on bonfire night, emitting hushed “Ooooohs” from our barely parted lips. But even if that’s true, we don’t care. We’re pleased as punch to be gazing at that display of fireworks and we’re pretty sure that each one is more dazzling than the last.

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    Who better than to give us a well-curated selection of some of the finest books around than KARMA books, one of New York’s most well-respected art bookstores. Founded by Brendan Dugan of An Art Service this little Aladdin’s cave of knowledge and aesthetic fudge collates some of the most difficult-to-find books in the world and publishes those that must exist. Their selection is, unsurprisingly, informative and beautiful in equal measure. Check out their site to get your hands on some of these publications for yourself.

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    Joe Sacco is not your average comic book artist. The Maltese-American illustrator began his career in journalism, and found himself drifting towards comics when the journalistic trend for detached storytelling left him feeling frustrated. His dissatisfaction led him to Palestine – and then Bosnia, Malta and a handful of others – from which he began the first-person war reportage in comic book form which would come to be seen as his characteristic style.

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    It’s a Christmas miracle! Two best friends, both alike in creative dignity, combine forces to produce one of the sweetest books we’ve seen in a long while. Colour Me Healthy is the brainchild of Dazed & Confused designer Claude d’Avoine and one of It’s Nice That’s favourite illustrators Tom Edwards and promotes healthy eating for children by way of a very nicely designed colouring book. We spoke to Claude about the ideas behind the project.

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    There’s no denying it, Winter’s arrived in force and sent a bitter chill across the land. It’s darker, colder and each day is just that tiny bit more depressing than the last. Until today. Because today the Winter edition of Printed Pages finally touches down with content specially engineered to stick two fingers up to the interminable doom and gloom of winter.

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    Remember when Dan Wilton went on that raucous tour with naughty duo The Bots and made his photos into a really funny zine? Well, he’s only bloody gone and done it again, this time with wild music makers, T-E-E-D. What’s so nice about Dan using this style again is that we’re starting to notice a pattern emerging in his work whereby he always seems to capture people when they are wet, about to be wet, or in water. Here’s Dan to tell us a bit more about that. “I’d been thinking of doing another fan/tour zine for a while following on from STOB EHT. Orlando (TEED) loved STOB EHT and it just fit with him finishing his current tour – so I went along for the ride documenting his final few shows at in Croatia.”

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    Viction:ary can always be relied upon to produce exciting compendia that identify the state of various factions of the design world. Their raison d’être is the production of easily digestible, visually led books that pick up on current trends in design and explore otherwise underexposed parts of a industry we all know and love – from design for kids and slick business cards to the use of neon colours and the application of infographics. This time though their subject is one that’s incredibly close to our hearts; the design studios of Great Britain.

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    There must be something in the water at the moment, because the amount of super sexy magazines unashamedly taking otherwise “ssshhh”-ed topics and placing them on double page spreads is eye-widening. Not many, on the other hand, are doing it as well as Folch Studio continue to.

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    This is exciting. If, like me, you’ve always fantasised about what the inside of issue 1 of i-D magazine looks like, and your wallet does not allow you to buy one off eBay then THIS IS FOR YOU. Since the new i-D site was unveiled a few weeks back by proud new owners Vice it has been providing the art and design and fashion community with the publication’s extensive archive of colourful, wild fashion content from the biggest names in the industry.

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    The elderly don’t really get enough credit from us young upstarts. For some reason we forget that they ran the world perfectly well before we were even born – probably even better than our generation ever will – so we should sit down, shut up and listen to the wisdom that flows from their geriatric lips. Better still we should all spend time with our grandparents and record their biographies for posterity just in case all that worldly wisdom is lost to history.

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    Just over a year on from his debut comics anthology, Joe Kessler is back with the second edition of Windowpane, another surreal foray into a world of sexual exploration, existential crisis and the speed-carving of chess pieces. Just like last time Joe’s been generous with the number of stories on offer and the richness of imagery too; you’re as likely to get lost in the detail of each panel as you are in the overall narratives.

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    On a school trip to a show dedicated to the work of Tomi Ungerer, Philippe Apeloig remembers being thrilled by poster showing an elephant from behind, dipping its trunk into a tin of green paint. From that simple starting point we can trace the development of a designer who went onto produce an extraordinary body of work; who worked for the Musée d’Orsay producing posters for their exhibitions, studied under Wim Crouwel at Total Design and now ranks as one of the most interesting and important graphic designers working today.

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    “This booklet explores visual and conceptual analogies between ice-cream and geology” begins the latest instalment in Studio Fludd’s Ephemera & Miscellanea series, this one entitled Gelatology. And woe betide any naive so-and-so ready to argue that everybody’s favourite sweet frozen snack has nothing in common with the geological composition of the earth; Fludd’s delightful project is ready and raring to prove you wrong with their mouth-watering collection of riso-printed illustrations, mixed-media images and flashes of candy pink and blue.

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    Legendary designer Neville Brody has often stated that he would use his presidency of D&AD to focus on promoting up-and-coming talent. Of course talking the talk is all well and good, but Neville has made good on his promises, not least in his selection of the designer for the organisation’s 51st Annual. Eschewing big, established names, Neville instead plumped for Fleur Isbell, a recent member of the D&AD Graduate Academy now at Wolff Olins.

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    Blackpool has a certain place in the British psyche that is probably quite mystifying to outsiders, The seaside town is associated with a very particular type of UK holiday experience; smutty but silly, sleazy but in a charming way. It has nostalgic connotations of the resort golden age but also a contemporary cache too, a hedonistic enclave in an increasingly homogenised country.

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    Increasingly graphic design is evolving from a creative service industry into something more conceptually motivated. Artists have appropriated the vernacular of the designer and used it outside of the context of clear communication to provoke critical thought from the viewer, challenging them with their arrangement of symbols on paper instead of aiding them with it. When tis type of design lacks a concept entirely we drift into the world of graphic design as trend but in the case of Lauren Thorson these beautful abstract works are driven by process and data instead of pure aesthetics.

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    We’re very late in the day introducing you to this particular project, but with the Sochi Olympics very much on the horizon we’re prepared to make a concession. Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra has been documenting the sub-tropical region of Sochi in Russia since 2009, after it was named as the 2014 Winter Olympic host city. His interest in the area is born from a long and complicated history of political and military unrest and the ongoing insurgency hanging over from the Second Chechen War.

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    If you’re after a book about UK garage with an intro by Mike Skinner entitled ‘Brandy & Coke’ – then this baby pink banger of a publication is the one for you. It’s a compilation of images by subculture snapper Ewen Spencer who, after graduating Brighton in 1997, went on to document UK music in all its glory.

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    You’d be forgiven for assuming that designer Darius Ou Dahao was much older and more established than his tender age suggests. We first featured him in May, when his unusual and brilliantly executed identity for Singapore’s Qian Hu Fish Farm won him much coveted spot as one of our students of the month. He’s back now with two publications to follow up that first corker of a project; one entitled The Atlas of Singapore Arowanas which will tell you everything you ever dreamt of knowing about those fishy fellows and their hangouts, and the other, The Qian Hu Aquarium Guide which is just what its name suggests.

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    Ever-innovative Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin have just launched their annual art special which sees the Glaswegian master of silliness David Shrigley follow in the likes of Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer and Anselm Kiefer.

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    Could somebody pass me my exciting new magazine klaxon because new title Riposte has landed and it looks like a bobby-dazzler (maybe betty-dazzler?). Billed as “a smart magazine for women,”it’s the brainchild of KK outlet curator and longtime friend of It’s Nice That Danielle Pender. Several months in the offing, it’s now finally dropped like a really phat beat in a ruddy good dance song (simile for the kids there) and lo and behold it was certainly worth the wait.

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    In his work for Bloomberg Businessweek designer and art director Richard Turley has long been feted for his interesting and unusual graphic treatments. But when it came to commissioning the cover for the new American Illustration Annual Richard decided that the best thing he could do was print it as a plan white affair and then: “get loads of artists, illustrators and designers to hand draw paint, print, scribble and generally deface and generally violate the books.”

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    If Little White Lies were a clichéd male it’d be trading in its five-door hatchback for a Harley, trying on a lot of leather jackets and giving more than a passing thought to a fling with a co-worker/secretary. But rather than doing anything tragic to celebrate its 50th, our favourite movie mag has released a bumper issue that takes us through the very finest films of the last half-century and are running a weekend takeover at the ICA in December – a much better way to celebrate mid-life than an office affair!

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    That fashion photographers often have favourite models to work with is no secret, but it’s not so common that they pay tribute to them with a beautifully designed 200 page tome by mammoth publishing house Rizzoli, and then plonk their names on the cover. But then Craig McDean has always been an exception.

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    I think I’m quite funny. Most people think they’re quite funny. But there’s a cavernous leap between making your mates titter in the pub with that Sea World anecdote and being funny every day, making a living out of being funny and having to be funny to a deadline. That’s why my respect for cartoonists is so high, and some of the best are collected together in this brilliant new book, Private Eye: A Cartoon History.

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    Did you ever see a copy of Mould Map 2? That glossy, odd-sized publication blew my little brains out when it popped into my life back in 2011. Unexpected colours, comics like you’ve never seen before and some of the weirdest story lines you’ll maybe ever see adorn it’s fat, juicy pages, probably because it’s pretty much the Who’s Who of young, lo-fi cartoonists and illustrators working today.

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    Many people will be familiar with Rob Ryan’s work with his whimsical paper-cuts and charming single-scene narratives much-heralded over the years. But with his new book The Invisible Kingdom – the first in a trilogy– Rob is breaking new ground in terms of the scope and ambition of his practice.

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    When it comes to editorial design in the newspaper world, The Guardian’s overhaul overseen by Mark Porter tends to be the most talked about example. But that may change in light of the new look for The Independent which was unveiled today. With top talent Matt Willey working alongside the paper’s in-house design team, the new design sees the masthead move to run vertically up the left-hand side, stripped-back layouts and new type treatments.

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    The role of big names in the art world has been a point of contention for some time; in particular how the process of engaging with art is affected by us knowing who is behind it. Explorations into this thorny issue have been particularly prevalent at London’s Royal College of Art through both the Secret Postcard show and now, the welcome return of Monika magazine.

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    I really like it when creatives from foreign climes get in touch to say they’re in London and fancy shooting the breeze; so it was that last Friday I sat down with Sascha Rust to discuss his new food magazine Scrag End. The new title is the brainchild of two Melbourne-based brothers; Sashca a trained chef and Björn a graphic designer. The proliferation of foodie magazines means it takes something pretty special to stand out from the crowd but from the sleek, understated design to the genuinely engaging content this is a publication you want to spend some quality time with. I actually learned a lot reading it too, whether that was about the state of the Australian seafood scene or the problem of “arrogant specialty coffee barristas.” This is the first ever issue and they’ve set a high standard for themselves, let’s hope there’s more where this came from.