1. Sacmagiquelist

    What on earth goes on inside Sac Magique’s head? Is it really all dancing mice and protesting owls or is there more to it than that? We’re not really sure how a man with such a bizarre imagination goes about his daily business. Can you picture the creator of the Secret Sipper filing out his tax returns? No. What about driving a car? We sincerely hope not, there’s no telling what flights of fancy might distract him from the task at hand. In fact really all we’d like Mr Magique to do is sit at a big desk with all his coloured pens and keep creating the magical worlds we love so much.

  2. List

    It can be hard to concentrate on the artistic side of things when you’ve got some of the world’s most amazing sports men and women doing things on your TV screen that you had never dreamt of before (did you see the rhythmic gymnastics?). But while all of the sporting triumph was going on, in the background lurked something that had been in the making since 2008 – The Cultural Olympiad.

  3. Mrlist

    If the sign of any good spoof is its ability to create uncertainty then this new spot for Mintacular is spot-on. So well-observed is Wieden + Kennedy’s piece that for quite a while I was not entirely sure if it even was a spoof, until things started to unravel. Clearly a fond homage to Apple’s advertising, the job titles are brilliant and there’s an excellent line in David Brent style apparently-impressive but utterly meaningless or trite sound-bites – “From the moment you pick it up you instinctively know how to use it,” is a particular favourite. Very nicely done.

  4. Rockthegardenlist

    Continuing their longstanding tradition of graphic excellence and spectacular events the Walker Art Center have recently produced this striking identity for Rock the Garden, a one-day festival within the centre’s grounds that featured the likes of Tune-Yards, The Hold Steady and Doomtree. The identity uses a monolithic abstract form as its centrepiece, created from overlaid lines and dots that form unique moire patterns when overlaid over pre-existing patterns and imagery.

  5. List

    We’ve always been taught it’s wrong to stare at those different to ourselves but Gustavo Lacerda’s Albinos project turns that aphorism on its head, inviting us to stare at his subjects as they stare right back. The Braziian’s series is a sensitive, muted affair, subverting any preconceptions about this well-known pigment condition into ethereal beauty, poise and grace. Quietly powerful and thought-provoking, it’s a real tour de force from a talented photographer.

  6. Linaforsgren-list

    In case you’re not aware we really love books here at It’s Nice That. We get sent loads each week by lovely people all over the world and sometimes, when the mood takes us, we even go out to a shop and hand over hard cash in exchange for printed matter. It’s the smell that does it for us (plus carrying a book around will make you look VERY intelligent); there’s literally nothing finer that the unique aroma of a freshly printed, newly-opened book.

  7. Screen-shot-2012-08-14-at-17.55

    Whilst having a nose through the Flickr favourites of some of my top illustrators, one girl’s work kept simaulatenously cropping up and catching my eye. So when it was revealed that the mystery “Meva Meva” was in fact the lady responsible for the “Books Change With You” project that we ogled over a few months back I knew I was onto something sweet. Josephin’s quietly excellent ability to tell stories in single images, or through perfectly put-together zines brings happiness to the brain, followed by an immediate pang of jealousy that you didn;t think of making an X Files comic first. This is certainly some of the best pencil work I’ve seen in a long time – not to mention the perspective! this girl is seriously good, and I bet she’s hilarious too.

  8. Main

    Those who say it’s impossible for animals to genuinely play up to the camera obviously haven’t witnessed these coquettish beauties captured by remarkably talented, tradition-hunting photographer Luke Stephenson at a bird show. Placed in impeccably chosen coloured backgrounds, these birds are simultaneously the sweetest and most fascinating creatures you could ever wish to capture on camera.

  9. List

    Now that the Olympics is all done and dusted we’re in danger of finding ourselves in an anti-climactic stupor, unsure of what to do with our spare time and hopelessly waiting for fresh results that will never come. The athletes are heading home, the Spice Girls have re-formed and performed to the delight (horror) of the world and there won’t be any more magnificent posturing from Usain Bolt for another four years. Get used to it. That’s all there is.

  10. List

    Make no mistake, Korean artists Yun-Woo Choi makes eye-popping, jaw-dropping things – huge sculptures often made from newspaper and magazines painstakingly built into something ferociously intense and really beautiful. But this is a creative on a mission to make you think as well as marvel and there’s a richly-researched seam of theoretical physics behind his work, as well as Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. With a particular fascination with multiple dimensions, his work becomes even more intriguing as you realise that there’s a lot more going on here than initially meets the eye.

  11. Main3

    You know you’ve struck gold when you come across illustration work that’s basically the strange love-child of Micah Lidberg and Ren and Stimpy. You’re currently feasting your eyes on the greasy, mystical creations of Dieter Van der Ougstraete, an illustrator from Belgium whose collection of work reads like Grimm’s fairy tles told through the mouth of those pink elephants in Dumbo. Aside from his brilliant use of colour, it’s pretty safe to say that the real charm here is in the eyeballs – that level of panic in the quivering eye-juices is the mark of a true pillar of the comic book community, and someone to buy a print from immediately.

  12. List

    It’s always nice to check out a new typeface but it can be frustrating trying to picture it in context. That’s why it was such a pleasure to see Barcelona-based designer Alex Trochut’s new Trojan font for Wallpaper*’s fashion edition and flick through some spreads and see how the minimalist twist on Roman lettering bears up in the real world.

  13. Deanbrownlist

    I’ve not got much experience when it comes to furnishing a house or flat, as my accommodation arrangements thus far have never allowed much creative freedom to choose my own functional objects. If the landlord likes a fake leather sofa then I’ll put up with it, if she’s a huge fan of ornately patterned net curtains then heck, maybe I like them too (I don’t).

  14. List

    The legacy of London 2012 will be hotly debated over coming months but forget the UK’s new sense of identity, the embracing of volunteering or even world-class sporting facilities, for us there’s one clear winner. Grant Orchard’s Love Sport Game On animations have long been a great source of joy in their colourful, to-the-point celebrations of pursuits from ski-jumping to dominoes, but during the Olympics not only did Studio AKA re-release the original set but also four brand new films covering weightlifting, fencing, synchronised swimming and equestrian. Now even Seb Coe will admit that’s made it all worthwhile.

  15. List

    We’re big fans of Mr Richard Hogg. He’s got a charming way with line that never fails to please us here in the studio, whether he’s doing a lovely drawing of a breakneck mountain biker or decorating the walls of one of our favourite Lebanese restaurants. So we were delighted to find out (albeit slightly belatedly) that he’s turned his talented hand to the world of astronomy for the Royal Greenwich Observatory, teaching us space-ignorant folks all about the wonders of the universe and the planets that surround our Earth. It looks great, sounds ace and it’s got the added bonus of being chock full of useful astronomical information. Winner!

  16. Main

    Luckily for us, and the people photographed, these images really aren’t as creepy as the concept would imply. Gail Albert Halaban has done what many others in New York may well have done over the years (perhaps with different motives) and captured the humans living around her in the towering concrete jungle that is New York City. In this beautiful selection of voyeuristic images, we are taken not just on a secret journey into the quiet privacy of people’s homes, but also on a trip around the buildings at a height which you don’t often encounter, which she has managed to capture with absolute perfection. New York has never looked better and its inhabitants have got some seriously nice apartments.

  17. List

    There’s so much top-quality infographic work appearing all the time that it was anomy ever a matter of time before someone decided that this area of visual communication needed its own awards. Luckily for all of us it’s the excellent David McCandless and his Information is Beautiful agency that have stepped up to the plate so we could rest assured the process was going to have integrity, and the just-released shortlist for the inaugural gongs is a humdinger. There’s six categories – data visualisation, infographic infodesign, interactive visualisation, data journalism, motion infographic and tool or website – and from climate change and immigration to someone’s CV and this history of science fiction there’s a an eclectic wealth of great work on offer.

  18. Hildreylist

    Dirty grey chewing gum? Complex concrete structure? Stretched Polyfiller? No, none of these things are the subject of the pictures you see before you. In fact these striking images are digital renders of imaginary landscapes created by the hugely talented Chris Hildrey. The Bartlett-trained CAD whizz can usually be found planning complex architectural structures for Jestico + Whiles and has previously worked for the legendary Foster and Partners and ZHA Architects. But here we see him in his free time, away from the world of corporate architecture, flexing his creative muscles and exploring the artistic potential of software usually used to model the preliminary stages of giant tower blocks. A lesson to us all that spare time can be used for so much more than slobbing in front of the telly.

  19. Ogilvylist

    A year on from the riots and the Olympic jamboree we’ve all been so consumed with has rather overshadowed this uncomfortable anniversary. But if you know where to look there are still communities struggling to come to terms with and move on from the events of 12 months ago. As you’d hope and expect, various artistic endeavours (such as the Peckham Peace Wall) have been launched to try and help make sense of the riots and perhaps one of the most interesting is happening in Woolwich, southeast London.

  20. Main1

    Hats off to Leo Karhunen for boldly designing an advert for Artek using only his bare hands and no computer aid whatsoever. This is just one of his brilliant projects in which he gets involved in every aspect possible, (see his about section, you’ll see what I mean) rendering him one hell of a multi-faceted designer. An ideas man as well as an aesthetics-wizard, Leo was behind the successful Heineken Open Source stage at Flow Festival last year, where he helped in allowing the public to suggest what kind of artist they wanted to see on the stage beforehand and then made their dreams come true – “The final lineup included up-and-coming acts and one-offs, ballerinas, a street drummer, freestyle rap and some classic re-union action.” Amazing!

  21. List

    If Shigeo Fukuda was the king of Japanese graphic design then consider Ikko Tanaka the monarch Fukuda usurped. Two years Fukuda’s senior, Tanaka never quite gained the universal acclaim afforded his peer, but was equally instrumental in the development of Japanese graphic design, evolving it into a powerful visual language still widely referenced today.

  22. Main

    It only takes a visit to the V&A or some quality time (days) spent in front of period drama box-sets to make you realise just how bonkers old English traditions and costumes are. To someone like Chan Hyo-Bae, who was born in Korea and moved to this small island at a young age, he became fascinated with the idea of costume and hidden identity. The stiff, choreographed poses of the upper classes reveal so much of the traditions of the time, yet so little of the minds and personalities behind the rich fabrics. This notion is part of the reason why Chan chooses to dress up in these elaborate costumes to create his own art – in order to fit into into this country and tap the surface of understanding it’s culture, Chan puts himself on show, but at the same time gives nothing away. The result? A beautiful and mildly unsettling series of photographs.

  23. List

    It’s more difficult than it looks to successfully capitalise on the massive feelgood factor generated by the Olympics (ask the organisers of the closing ceremony) but hats off to Adidas who kept it nice and simple. Take their roster of medallists including Sir Chris Hoy, Louis Smith, Jessica Ennis and Victoria Pendleton (dressed as a tiger no less) and get them to lip synch to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and you’ve got yourself a pretty nailed on viral success. Kudos to for putting together the backing band from Olympic volunteer Gamesmakers, which shows they’re in tune with the public mood Silly, cheesy and fun in a good way.

  24. Jackhugheslist

    There are a number of things we can surmise about Jack Hughes from his portfolio without ever actually having met him. Number one, he’s a stylish fellow of unparalleled sartorial taste. Number two, his personal hygiene is of the utmost importance. Number three, he’s read at least a handful (probably a shelf-full) of spy novels, most likely John le Carré. Number four, he’s watched every episode of Mad Men at least twice – but only so he can scope out the groovy furniture and period sets. And finally he enjoys fine scotch and hand-rolled cigars in the same way that the rest of us enjoy water and air.

  25. Mblist

    When it comes to dealing with hangovers, there’s two broad approaches – softly softly with an aspirin and a cuddle or the take-no-prisoners full English breakfast blow it out the water route. As London wakes up this morning in post-Olympics grog, memories already fading and TV schedules bewilderingly bereft of judo and beach volleyball, we needed a pick-me-up and Brooklyn-based Morgan Blair’s work is just the thing. On first glance it’s the kind of technicolour blast we need, but look closer and you’ll see the delicacy in her composition and faultless skill in her execution. So it’s kind of like the big breakfast followed by a hug, which is perfect. In danger of murdering any more metaphors, we decided to find out a little more from the woman herself…

  26. Radiohead

    It’s always a big deal when Radiohead decide to put something new onto the internet, so on hearing (via Vice’s excellent noisey) there was a chance to hear their exclusive rendition of The Daily Mail as performed at Tennessee festival Bonaroo earlier in the year, we jumped at it. Seen from the POV of director Matt Ornstein, we’re stop-framed through the festival site to the main event; Thom at the piano, and when was that ever going to disappoint?

  27. Palefroi-list-maybe

    Hand-made books are slightly difficult to showcase online, but do your absolute best to browse through Palefroi’s beautiful projects, screenprinted and produced in limited editions by the Berlin-based art collective. Made up of artists Damien Tran, Marion Jdanoff, and Susann Pönnisch, Palefroi’s work is clever, bold, and consistently engaging – the illustrations feature stark geometric shapes alongside looser, free-flowing elements, and the palette always appears extremely considered. There is also an excellent use of negative space and a keen awareness of “the page” as a scene within a wider progression. Subject matter ranges from mountain peaks and battles to ghostly, mythological creatures, often evoking the sinister and the surreal. Wonderfully done.

  28. Cpmain

    Seeing as this man is considered by many to be one of the most important fashion journalists in the world, it was amazing the wonderful Charlie Porter was still willing to share his books with us despite being mid-way through having his flat decorated – what a guy! Perhaps this attitude, along with a healthy dose of purely natural fashion instinct, are what have secured his involvement in some of the most influential fashion bases on earth, including the reputable Fantastic Man and i–D.

  29. Thingsmain

    Saturday morning means one thing in this here parish – it’s time to upend our postbag and present to you the most lovely items that we were lucky enough to receive this week. And my goodness it’s a cracker, with tarot cards, zines and bird bingo. Do not adjust your computer screen you read that right – Bird. Bingo. Let’s do this…

  30. Weekenderlist

    How awesome are NASA? They seem to have been quite quiet over the past few years and then all of a sudden they pop up and tell us that they’ve landed a little camera-explorer thing (technical term) on Mars. The photos they beamed back were pretty cool but it strikes me that someone in Team Curiosity missed an absolute belter of a prank opportunity (prankortunity) by not superimposing a tiny Welsh flag or a box of Pringles in one corner. Hang on, what if Mars sees this as an invasion? What if this is seen as Earth’s hubristic highpoint after which we are all enslaved by Martian overlords? The Weekender is taking no chances. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  31. List

    Last night Team GB’s gold-medal-winning boxer Nicola Evans said the main thing she wanted to do after her triumph was “to go to Nando’s.” The quote spread like wildfire and bastion of British conservatism The Daily Telegraph even carried it on their front page this morning. One commentator suggested it was worth as much as McDonald’s multi-million pound sponsorship of the games and it brought into sharp relief the commercial competition being waged alongside the sporting action.

  32. Taviscoburnlist

    If you like Russian Constructivism, 1940s all-American advertising and vintage comic books and have a sideline interest in muscle cars, superheroes and team sports then allow me to present your new favourite illustrator, Tavis Coburn. Tavis graduated from the legendary Art Centre Pasadena many years ago and immediately launched himself into a fiercely prolific illustration career, working for all of the major players in editorial, music and sportswear. He doesn’t just do still images either, regularly producing slick motion graphics for similarly big-name clients. Most recently Londoners, and probably a large number of tourists, will have seen his handiwork draped across the front page of Metro depicting the mighty Chris Hoy as a masked crusader for Adidas’ record-breaking ad campaign. Powerful stuff!

  33. List

    Imagine you heard about a photo portrait project that focussed on people who were “lost.” You’d imagine all sorts of intense gazing and existential crises and an overwrought statement from the artist describing how they felt the lens was like a liferaft for them. Wouldn’t you? I would, but in the case of Caroll Taveras’ new show at Mother London we’d be dead wrong because this features subjects who aren’t metaphorically lost, they actually don’t know where they are.

  34. Splist

    Hold the phone, Sarah Parker has just updated her website with some stunning projects that have made us go all giddy. What’s that? You don’t have a phone. Well hold your email, Sarah Parker’s just…What now? It’s not impossible. Change the settings. Oh whatever, anyway Sarah Parker’s new work is properly ace.

  35. Lisa-kereszi-list

    Photographer Lisa Kereszi’s work appears to be part of that interesting and ever-growing genre, whereby environments originally designed to entertain (theme parks, amusement arcades, and so on) are captured, often in states of decay, and reconfigured to reveal their artifice. They often evoke strange, dystopian spaces, where the attempts to control the audience’s mindset are exposed in starkly composed shots that juxtapose reality with those attempted fictions. Now, such settings have always had the ability to stir the imagination – Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, and, much more recently, Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, use fairground settings to great effect. Kereszi’s work likewise provokes interesting questions about “space” and “meaning”, but in the context of an ever-morphing, commercialised, consumerist society.

  36. List

    How often do artists get commissioned to create pieces of work that can be, well, as big as they want? The answer is not often. But Alan Gibb, founder of Gibb’s Farm sculpture park in New Zealand, has taken matters into his own hands and making sure that his favourite artists are getting the brief they deserve.

  37. List

    We all know not to judge a book by its cover, but we’re all guilty of judging people by the cover of the book they are reading. This is especially true on public transport where confined for a set period of time our minds are free to run wild – how often have you mentally mapped out a possible love affair based on spotting a much-loved title among the armpits of fellow commuters.

  38. Sergiolist

    Valencian illustrator Sergio Membrillas is skilfully treading the line between saccharine sweet and genuinely communicative illustration, taking these two oft-opposing qualities and combining them to magnificent effect. His vast portfolio of work showcases an understanding of colur and composition that should make him the envy of his peers; opting for subtle, layered tones instead of the brash palettes currently in vogue.

  39. Main

    Our home says a lot about us, perhaps sometimes too much. It takes a good photographer to realise that to get the most natural and revealing shot of someone, the best setting will be the place the subject returns to for comfort, food and a sense of wellbeing. Take the case of Brazilian fashion photographer Gil Inoue, who somehow found his way into the home of super-mega-famous David Byrne, and then later Marina Abramovic to shoot their portraits. Using a technique of first capturing the atmosphere of the house via the private rooms of the subject and then slowly introducing the person themselves brings a personal vulnerability to them that would otherwise not be present. On another note, how cool does David Byrne’s house look?

  40. Olympiclist

    “Oh no, they’ve turned the Union flag blue!” went the Daily Mail headline, plunging us once again into Olympic design controversy. This time it wasn’t the use of garish colours or inaccessible design provoking a reaction but the simple omission of a bright red cross on the Team GB kit. Despite the inclusion of crimson trim and various other red accessories across the range, die-hard patriots found themselves outraged by the designs, and took to any comment section available to vent their spleen. “Whoever gave Stella this contract needs a good kicking!!” read one comment and “GAH!…IT BURNS MY EYES!” went another. Others deemed it to be “more Scottish than British.”