Archive

  1. Main1

    Everyone wants the best for their offspring, so if you are lucky enough to have bred recently – treat your children to some of these publications by Montreal’s Gabrielle Lamontagne. Having cracked the technique of making incredibly cute graphic design without being in the least bit saccharine (Yes it’s cats, yes it’s nice bright colours) Gabrielle is experimenting with a range of print methods and mediums to create some absolutely beautiful pieces of work both for children and adults (phewf!). Part of the incredibly cool Charmant & Courtois collective, we hope to see some fantastic design collaborations very soon!

  2. Main1

    Whatever Nicolas Choyé calls himself (designer/director/illustrator/photographer) I think we can all agree that his skills are particularly strong in the nonchalant “dessins” section of his work. Using a scruffy linear approach reminiscent of an early David Shrigley, Nicolas creates one-off doodles that have the endearing, mixed qualities of children’s drawings and drawings which you may create after a few days in rehab. If you’re not into this sort of thing, fear not – Nicolas is no stranger to logo design and branding, with some music videos added in for good measure. Très Bon!

  3. Qjlist

    When you’re the go-to creative for a whole host of fashion brands and publications who are happy to give you the freedom to do what you do best, it’s safe to assume you’re at the top of your game. We’re not really sure how illustrator and filmmaker Quentin Jones finds any time to sleep given the amount of great work she’s been producing lately but our brain space is taken up with all the gawping.

  4. List

    The problem writhe watching the Olympics is that in comparison it can make you feel, well, a bit fat and lazy. It’s all very well holding forth on the competitors from the comfort of a bar stool but there’s always a nagging voice in your ear asking: “Yeah? What have you ever done.”

  5. 3d-printing-list-maybe

    Once upon a time for six months, I lived opposite a construction site, and enjoyed seeing a whole house go up bit by bit – the different levels, the roof-beams, the plastic-y material flapping around on the wind as roof-tiles were added on top. Anyway, the gradual process was interesting for an observer but must have been unpleasant and occasionally frustrating for the workers, scaling various heights and battling the elements. But that usual building scenario may be about to take a turn, if Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California has his way.

  6. Vaseslead

    Curiosity is a strange impulse, chiefly famous for alleged cat-killing. It’s also the name of the Mars Rover landed by NASA this week which is currently sending many of us into paroxysms of scientific awe (and Twitter into quip-overdrive).

  7. List

    Artiva’s exhibition identity for Radical City is as inherently modernist as they come; the choice of type, the monochrome colour palette, the overbearing grid all firmly grounded in the Swiss tradition of graphic design. As the visual identity for a show that deals with Italian radical architecture (specifically between 1963 and 1973) it’s a perfect fit, deftly summarising the gridded urban landscapes of geometric concrete that were the hallmark of Italian radicalism.

  8. Zoebarkerlist

    Why do we love illustration so? It’s a tough nut to crack really, especially when your days are spent hunting for brand new picture-making talent to show off to the world. Sometimes it’s the polished vectors of expertly layered digital work, at other times we get all hot under the collar for immaculate screen printed fades. But more often than not we get excited by drawings that look like things in the real world, because the primitive part of our brains simply cannot handle the idea that something flat on a page looks like you can reach out and touch it. It’s flipping magic.

  9. Ablist

    You know that mid Wednesday afternoon slump that’s threatening to get in between you and the weekend? Well here’s something sure to get you safely over – Adam Buxton’s Counting Song, a delightful-cum-dark guide to the perils of numeracy has been released online. Brought to life by illustrator Sarah Brown and director Cyriak Harris, the pair have created the perfect visual accompaniment for Adam’s bonkers, brilliant ditty. Crank it up, and then it’s full sped towards Friday!

  10. Wil-list

    In 2006 comedians Owen Powell and Alex Horne set themselves the gruelling task of finding and meeting a citizen from every country in the world currently living and working in London. At the time there were 192 countries officially recognised by the UN – sadly Owen and Alex failed in their task (only by a margin of three) but helped prove to the world that London is one of the most culturally diverse cities out there.

  11. Main

    Any photographer that uses film will have have, at some point, been struck by how much more beautiful the negatives can be than the photo themselves – particularly the medium format variety. Brea Souders, whose work you may remember from that iconic Creative Review cover of the girl with the sunburnt back, has noticed the beauty in these cast-off negatives and embarked on a new project, using them to make some very striking collages.

  12. Logolist

    “We don’t do bland. This is not a bland city. We weren’t going to come to you with a dull or dry corporate logo that will appear on a polo shirt and we’re all gardening in it, in a year’s time.” So said Seb Coe in a bid to stem the tide of criticism when the Wolff Olins Olympic logo was launched in 2007. What was extraordinary was not the level of criticism from within the design community but the frothing fury of the press as columnists queued up to rage against the LOCOG machine (almost always with mention of the reported £400,000 fee).

  13. Main

    What we can gather from Daniel Ciprian’s photography is A) He has the ability to photograph people in such a way that they almost become paintings, and B) he’s clearly a brave and charming man. Brave because he has no qualms about photographing some of the world’s spookiest graveyards, and charming because he’s managed to sneak into such guarded places such as autopsy rooms in order to complete one of his brilliant projects. With his signature grainy aesthetic (he’s a film stalwart) and his clear-cut projects which are pleasantly titled exactly what they are (see his collection of photographs entitled “cats”), Daniel is simply an absolutely fantastic photographer.

  14. Tang-yau-hoong-list

    Kuala Lumpur-based illustrator and graphic designer Tang Yau Hoong produces work that teases the boundaries between fiction and reality. His flat colour-fields and solid compositional skills ensure immediacy, but any initial understandings we have – that a certain form is “light”, for example – is playfully and cleverly torn away, as in his Controlled Efficiency illustration. The bright palettes and use of paint-streaks are reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein, and his calculated use of negative and positive space is very Noma Bar. There is also a preoccupation with structures and structuring – from the disintegrating cities of So Long, Old World to the alteration or eradication of important symbols, that perhaps evoke the conditions of “making” and producing graphic work.

  15. Lenamain

    To be perfectly honest, there’s almost no need for The New Yorker to make much of a fuss about their new app which bears “the full content of the magazine, with multimedia extras, on the iPhone” as it’s a pretty much a sure-fire hit. Judging by the countless interviews with creatives/brains over the years who have mentioned their overwhelming stack of New Yorkers towering above them in their place of work, it seems to be that the the magazine comes out far too often, and is simply too good not to read.

  16. List

    In the list of rousing film speeches one stands out above all others – better even than Mel Gibson in Braveheart, Bill Pullman as the president in Independence Day and John Candy in Cool Runnings. Al Pacino’s inches speech in enjoyably over-the-top American football film Any Given Sunday reflects on the small margins in sport, and in life, that make all the difference: " One half step too late or to early
you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us.
They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second."

  17. Real-or-virtual-columbia-list

    This is properly amazing. I was introduced to it when I started studying history of art and architecture, and was a tad daunted about all the incredible places I had yet to visit. But thanks to this wonderful resource, developed by Columbia University in 2000 and expanding ever since, I got to hop around the world and the ages taking in a feast pf extraordinary sights.

  18. List

    I came across the work of Phillip Dornbierer in the illustration issue of the Computer Arts Collection and had the same feeling I imagine Gold Rush pioneers had when the got the first glimpse of the telltale glint. Working under the pseudonym Yehteh, his beautiful colour-rich illustrations boast strong composition and clear, concise communication, a combination which has won him some top level clients including The New York Times and IBM. Repressing my fanboy urge I managed to ask him some questions for our Introducing… feature and he obliged by giving us an insight into his life and work…

  19. Office-list

    As you read this there’s a pretty good chance you’re seated in an office space or studio, looking out across a sea of focussed faces, or maybe staring out of the window onto a busy street. If you work at home perhaps you’re half in bed half out, barely able to distinguish between sleeping area and workspace (I’ve been there, it’s tricky). Whatever your current surroundings there’s one thing I can absolutely guarantee – they don’t look half as good as the stunning Soho offices Studio Swine have built.

  20. Olympic-opening-ceremony-list

    As with every Olympics in history one of the primary concerns facing organisers is where on earth to host everything. With 302 individual events in the Olympics and a massive 500 in the Paralympics it takes a vast amount of space to contain all of the athletes, spectators, coaches, families and friends – not to mention all the pitches, tracks and equipment – which is where the architecture comes in.

  21. List

    Sir Paul Smith is not like other fashion designers. Despite being one of the foremost creative figures of his generation, he retains a marvellous personal touch, answering all the letters he receives personally and happy to open up his process and personality with a tongue-in-cheek humour that jars with traditional ideas of haute couture.

  22. List

    As a culture surfing is synonymous with the carefree and fun-loving but there can be some serious sides too. The Surfers Against Sewage movement have launched a Protect our Waves campaign which aims to raise awareness of the increasing threat to some of the UK’s best-loved surf spots due to coastal developments, pollution, erosion and restricted access. To help get the message across they turned to photographer Spencer Murphy who created a really powerful invocation of the potential death of this much-loved sport. Not just aesthetically stunning, the images are also hugely immediate which is a huge boon to a cause that needs a little bit of explanation.

  23. Lemanski-list

    We’re pretty big fans of Mike Lemanski. The man’s just got a knack for making things that look seriously good, whether they’re paintings, illustrations or just nice bits of graphic design. Oddly we’ve not sung Mike’s praises for over a year, which seems ridiculous as he’s been shooting out great work the whole time. So to right that wrong here are some snapshots of his recent creations to remind us, and you, why we love him so much. Be sure to check out Mike’s website to see the full extent of his talents.

  24. Swimming-1

    So, we’re fairly inundated with sporty visuals these days, as all manner of superhero-esque London antics are projected across the globe. But they’ve been absolutely captivating, so here are some more!

  25. Fakepubslist

    Deutsche & Japaner are a four-man studio based in Manheim, Germany who specialise in all things design – graphic, product and even a spot of interior. We first picked up on them via About’s Flags project but have since found them to be hiding an assortment of design gems up their talented sleeves. Whether designing polished on-screen graphics or beautifully haptic printed matter, their commitment to visual communication is abundantly clear; and for a studio of such limited proportions they’ve certainly been prolific during their three-year lifespan.

  26. Cut-the-world-list-again

    TYesterday saw the release of Cut the World, the latest single from Antony and the Johnsons, which is accompanied by an absorbing, thought-provoking video. Directed by NABIL, it features mesmerising music, sleek, claustrophobic office environments, shadowed spaces, and – seriously, take heed – a fairly gruesome scene.

  27. Foxall-list

    The brothers Foxall have been designing together since 2006, launching the first incarnation of their studio from a disused Ottoman Jail in Istanbul. They’ve since upped sticks and moved back to London where they create and consult for leading fashion brands including Aquascutum, GQ, Bora Aksu and PPQ. Between them they manage a whole host of creative endeavours whether redesigning the layout of a magazine or consulting on music for a retail space.

  28. List

    Greece has long been famous for its ruins, attracting history buffs from across the world eager to see what once was. But a new show from Jamie McGregor Smith raises the intriguing idea that the country’s well-documented economic problems could create a new generation of shrines to the contemporary crisis. Jamie travelled round the sites used for the 2004 Athens Olympics documenting their alarmingly rapid descent into dilapidation and his photographs perfectly capture a haunting sense of loss (although it is worth noting that some commentators in Greece have been quick to defend the Olympic legacy). Given the socio-political context of modern Greece, each picture is rich with narrative but it is testament to Jamie’s talent that he lets the camera tell the stories without chasing heavy-handed poignancy and symbolism. We caught up with him to find out a little more…

  29. Main2

    There is definitely an otherworldly and entirely unique feeling that is evoked when stepping into a room that has been utterly transformed by an installation piece. In this case, the magical feeling is all thanks to Motoi Yamamoto, a Japanese artist who works exclusively with salt to create enormous patterns on to the floor of beautiful spaces. As well as intricate labyrinths of salt leading up to entire mountain ranges of the stuff, Motoi’s most impressive works are those that replicate the aesthetic of a foaming, whirlpooled ocean or a satellite’s view of a raging storm. The use of a medium so raw and connected with the earth and the human body yet also something we interact with on a daily basis makes for some truly powerful sculpture. If you live in LA catch his work in the flesh at Laband Art Gallery until December.

  30. List

    Now you know we love typography and we also love murals so Bread’s new project, a 100 metre long typographic mural, is manna from heaven for us. The piece in Hackney Wick lines one of the roads to the Olympic Park and features words and phrases suggested by the local community rendered in glorious old-school lettering. For an area in such a state of flux this is a classy connection between past, present and future and a beautiful addition to the cityscape.

  31. List

    Now you may feel after all the weekend’s excitement that you’re a bit over the Olympics and the idea of a new show featuring cool creatives responding to the games may not float your boat. But Protein’s new show has assembled exactly the right sorts of people and the results are excellent.

  32. List

    There are far, far too many aspects of the Olympic games to even begin to get your head around, but perhaps try imaging it as a a very big dinner party. A lot of guests are coming – some more VIP than others – and everything is riding on the main dish being as magnificent as possible. Well, it’s a little more complicated than a mere dinner party – but we can pretty much agree that the Olympic Park is the centrepiece of the games, and something that almost all lasting opinion of London’s year of glory rides on.

  33. Hhlist

    Here’s a recipe for aesthetic success – take a Russian (Dimitri Scheblanov) and a Dane (Jesper Carlsen) put them in New York City, sit back and set your mouth/eyes to wow. Going under the studio name Herring & Herring the pair create sublime scenes full of retina-indelible imagery and suggestive possibility. Broken down into Men, Women and Advertising, their portfolio of fashion photography and art direction is an endless cascade of excitement with an uncommon percentage of slamming hotties. They say their aim is to: “continuously oust the boundaries of storytelling through an ever-expanding visual vernacular” and we’d say they’re right on message, as exemplified in this Janine Antoni-style shoot for Kurv magazine. Extra marks too for the most wonderfully camp photo on their homepage.

  34. Guys

    One look at this photo and I bet you’ll be on the phone/email to your closest friends (providing you have some, and that they’re willing) and persuading them to do the same thing as these guys. In 1982 these five champs posed for a photo by Copko Lake in California and continued doing so in the same ritual every 5 years for the next 30 years. “For some reason, we all chose to have dark and mysterious expressions on our faces,” said one of them, “I’m sure we all thought we were being really cool.”

  35. Dtslist

    Catching up with old friends is always a pleasure, particularly when said friend is a stratospheric creative talent whose career is on an ever-upwards trajectory. Dan Tobin Smith was first posted on the site in 2008 and ever since then we have followed his work with delight. So when DTS updates his site it’s well worth a peruse and there’s the predictable appearance of killer projects showing off his uncanny ability to capture atmosphere across a versatile sweep of amazing projects. Not only that, but with the help of Studio Output Dan has created a dedicated site for his alphabet series which gives us a happy excuse to reacquaint ourselves with this superb set of still-lifes.

  36. Pp-list

    Present Perfect are a London-based design studio with an outright passion for print. They create works of masterful construction, with a clear understanding of a book’s ability to be both a useful, informative piece of collateral and also a more lasting object of beauty – a unique piece of literary furniture. With this in mind they’ve predominantly been approached to design exhibition catalogues, a publication usually afforded a great amount of time and effort in its construction. Given the quality of their work however, we’re excited to see what they might come up with given the chance to get their teeth stuck into a magazine, a novel or a scientific journal. Somebody give them a call so we can find out!

  37. Pond

    In an age where the term ‘lo-fi’ all too often gives a reputable excuse to produce a below-par piece of work, (especially when it comes to bands making their own music videos) you are about to be graced by an absolute blinder. So, before tuning into Aussie band Pond’s single Moth Wings I wasn’t paying much attention, expecting the usual rump through fuzzy iPhone hipsters at cooler-than-me parties. How wrong could I have been?

  38. Hattie

    Greek mythology, groupies and and unbridled vampire smut (it was bound to appear in Bookshelf sooner or later) – a pretty wild and romantic selection of books by prolific queen of the neon doodlers Hattie Stewart. Kingston-educated Hattie is a lot of people’s favourite illustrator with her almost hypnotic, kind of mental drawings which are a straight up no to anyone that says white space is key to aesthetic brilliance. Thankfully, Hattie’s garishly beautiful style is mirrored in her taste for books, read on to find out more…

  39. Things-list-aug

    This week has brought us SPORTS – pub-goers have been positively glued to diving, gymnastics, and handball, and I’ve even spotted Olympians frantically searching for ginger-ale in Tesco (apparently it calms down upset/nerve-addled stomachs?). What’s more, as I write this it’s “Sports Day” here at It’s Nice That, and we have table-tennis bats at the ready to battle it out. Regardless of who wins, the week has also brought us a glorious amassing of Things; from tote bags and literary magazines to thought-provoking photography and absorbing pocket-sized city guides, it’s the perfect mix for an August holiday – which reminds me, happy August everyone; here you are!

  40. Weekenderlist

    Something odd is happening in London. After weeks of frothing at the mouth about transport meltdown and everyone being sued for doing anything marginally Olympics related (“I heard their going to sue frogs for JUMPING!!”) the British media has had to grudgingly concede that it’s actually been kind of great. The transport seems ok, frogs are legally unmolested and we’re winning a few medals (admittedly in sports where you sit down but still..). So, happy to jump on the passing bandwagon of Games-based bliss, The Weekender is, like Sanka in Cool Runnings, feeling very Olympic today…