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    If you ever played The Sims on PC and used that cheat to take away the hot tub while they were in there “playing” so you could see their weird computer bodies all naked, glitchy and writhing, then this video is for you. Keith Schofield, who recently cleaned up at the MVAs for his Duck Sauce video is back and ruder than ever in this short film depicting a man stuck at a party where he doesn’t know anyone. Surrounded by pretty unfriendly Sims/avatars, the party takes a turn for the weird towards the end when the poor man realises that this ain’t no ordinary housewarming. Keith, you dog, you’ve done it again.

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    Bike crashes, arguments and bustling crowds are just some of the slightly off-kilter subjects in this unbelievably amazing and varied portfolio from Yann Kebbi, a French illustrator recently signed to Heart Agency. Yann’s collection of sketchbook work, commissioned illustration, comic strips and prints are, at first glance, on the twee side of cheerful. A closer look however reveals a darker nature lurking below the candy-coloured exterior. Behold people fighting, begging, jumping through hoops, rammed on to trains and judging each other in strange competitions. These dark details are what helps this illustration make the leap from good to great, and a welcome relief from the all too regular “just plain nice.”

  3. Vrints-list

    Belgian designer Vincent Vrints has got colourful, bright (and pretty fashionable) graphic design nailed. His posters, identities and typographic works are full of experimentation, playing with legibility and form in truly engaging ways. Despite all this experimentation he definitely knows his stuff, with the occasional flourish of crisp, tight design rearing its head in his portfolio. We like the colourful stuff best though, designed, printed and displayed with remarkable flair.

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    It’s always nice to see when a young creative lives up to, nay surpasses, the praise we heap on them and that is certainly the case with Eamonn O’Neil. Back in August 2011, we came across this stunning talent and his trailer for I’m Fine Thanks. Just from the 21 second clip, his technical and creative brilliance was clear for all to see even though he still had a year remaining before graduating from The Royal College of Arts.

  5. Kengarland-list

    Ken Garland is probably one of the most important designers to come out of England in the last 50 years with his personal and professional work shaping the landscape of what we perceive to be “good design” to this day. Whether producing posters for CND marches or shaping the face of the Labour Party in more leftist times, designing the identity of Galt Toys and creating sleeves for RCA Records, Ken and his studio have consistently pushed the boundaries of graphic design and united the practice with ethical values at the same time. Quite an achievement in such a commercial industry.

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    There are just some things that can’t be done in an artist’s studio, and not surprisingly, wrapping enormous sheets of paper around trees is one of them. Dan Bradica has done just that, and upon taking piles and piles of paper to the nearest woodland area he has managed to create an absolutely incredible series of images that completely knock you off guard.

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    There are times when carrying any more than four bags back from a supermarket can induce an undeserved hulk-like feeling of strength. It’s normally better to skip over to the car, trolley partially full, and wedge all that milk and honey into the boot. Spare a thought then for the subjects of Alain Delorme’s photography project Totems.

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    We are on the home straight, heading towards In Progress this Friday with a line-up that could make any creative soul salivate. In the last of our In Progress profiles, we have Artangel’s Michael Morris and David Kohn. As you might know already, there are few places gracing London quite like A Room for London: "a ‘boat’ perched, as if by retreating floodwaters, on the very edge of the Queen Elizabeth hall at the Southbank centre.

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    New Zealand is going to be in the news a fair amount over the next few weeks as the release of Peter Jackson’s much anticipated Hobbit-fest will focus attention on the impossibly-beautiful island. But it’s not all about fantasy landscapes and Tim form The Office marauding round with hairy feet, and if there’s any justice in the world then there’ll be plenty of attention lavished on Pinokio as well. The brainchild of University of Wellington students Shanshan Zhou, Adam Ben-Dror and Joss Doggett this cheeky little chappie is seemingly aware of its surroundings, attention-seeking and determined not o be turned off. With the help of an Arduino circuit board, a webcam and some clever software the trio have produced a fun, interesting and charming piece of furniture that explores questions of sentience in a pleasingly Pixar-inspired way.

  10. Kettal-list

    Clase BCN are an international Barcelona-based design studio specialising in print, fashion, signage and web. Founded by Claret Serrahima in 1978 they have a pedigree that few small studios can match, with a team numbering only ten and an output that’s as polished as they come. Eschewing any specific style, the studio very much maintains a holistic approach to the design process and has amassed a crisp and communicative body of work throughout all areas of their practice.

  11. Opinion-list

    Liv Siddall talks about the Dandy’s recent switch to digital, and urges the public to stop moaning about the past and get on with downloading the future. Oh and why Desperate Dan might be a bit weird…

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    Of all human characteristics Schadenfruede – taking pleasure in the misfortune of others – is arguably one of the guiltiest. But the problem is sometimes it’s just so much fun as proved by exhibit a – Missed High Five. This wonderful collection of GIFs and videos captures both those excruciating moments when people ignore or don’t see a proffered high five as well as that terrible cross-cultural confusion that can arise when the fist bump/high five/handshake etiquette gets mixed up. It’s seeming the work of Les Others (cheers guys!) and so if you’re having a tough Wednesday, cheer yourself up by revelling in all the awkwardness via the link below.

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    Bedow is a graphic design studio run by Perniclas Bedow in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 2005, they have expanded to work on a range of business and cultural projects, bagging a shed load of awards in the process. You don’t have to spend much time looking through examples of their work to see why. Bedow’s approach always seems to offer fresh, creative thinking on projects that far too often are designed in humdrum ways, consequentially making whatever Perniclas and his team touch seem inviting, exciting and interesting.

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    A big pile of cheerful, foodie fun for you this morning courtesy of Grace Danico (who is "available for freelance, karaoke, and dates revolving around music, pizza, fried chicken, and ice cream) is a food-inspired illustrator hailing from across the pond in New York.

  15. Annual2012_list

    And so here’s The Annual, and what have you done, another year (nearly) over and a new one (nearly) begun! Now I don’t claim to speak for John Lennon (apparently his “estate” say I don’t have the “authority” to do that any more) but I think we ALL know what he’d make of our new publication. And of course I’m not DEFINITELY saying it’d achieve world peace but if you dropped a carton-load of these on a warzone there’d at least be some downtime while both sides flicked through this behemoth of a book, packed full of some of the most exciting and engaging work we’ve come across this year.

  16. Palladino-list

    If you think of watercolours as a weekend pastime for geriatric dandies or the novelty pursuit of wealthy ladies that lunch then think again. Californian artist Matthew Palladino is breathing much-needed life into this long overlooked medium. Where once there were subdued colour palettes and picturesque landscapes, Matthew has created luminous abstracts of gradient colour and richly detailed representations of strange and exotic fabrics. The scale at which he produces these works is also a far cry from the miniature watercolours of old, each one created on an enormous sheet of paper.

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    Ben Huff’s photographic series documents what can only be described as an epic journey of discovery. He travelled the frontier of Alaska’s Dalton Highway known locally as “the haul road,” sleeping in his truck and taking comfort in “the silence, open spaces and the generosity of strangers”.

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    For all the incessant heralding of the rise of the foodies and the Instagram-fuelled fetishisation of everything and anything that ends up on a plate, it’s still surprisingly rare to come across a real well-designed cook book. Bucking that disappointing trend however is Praline’s beautiful creation for Russell Norman’s Polpo empire which has been at the forefront of London’s recent restaurant revival.

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    If you’ve been to a paintball session, you’ll recognise the crazed, action-packed and normally freezing lark around in the mud that appeal to so many. As the inevitable dodging of bullets falters and your retaliation has sapped all ammunition, the place to be is behind cover, blending in with the unusual landscapes created to feed the frenzied Rambo fray.

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    Creating “small and lovable” characters all day is probably the reason why Venice-based Jacopo Rosati’s illustrations stay so perpetually upbeat and cheerful (that and living in such a beautiful city). These collages are made of childhood-reminiscent felt of the fuzziest variety, a medium that is rarely used within the world of illustration — be that because Jacopo holds the torch for being best at it, or that no one’s been clever enough to think of it. Either way, we’re smitten, and our fingers are double-crossed under our desks for some animations from him in the future!

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    It always pays dividends to check in with a creative as versatile as Nathalie du Pasquier. You get a sense of the breadth of her skills with a quick glance across the top of the French-born, Milan-based artist’s website, where the headings “Paintings,” “Design,” “Constructions” and “Drawings” reflect the diversity of her practice. But with painting her main focus for a quarter of a century now, it makes sense that this is where her most interesting new work can be found.The pictures she’s done this year feature both recognisable household clutter or more abstract works that still bring to mind domesticity with playful, colourful juxtapositions. It’s hard to put your finger on just what makes these so pleasing to look at, but in their bright, calming way they stand out even amid her own strong portfolio as something special.

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    Hold on to your Union Jack caps, Daniel Stier has managed to capture the blank feeling of a service station, mixed with a touch of a Swindon roundabout, with a pinch of a British suburban summer in his magnificent, Martin Parr-esque photography. Utilising the garish signs of a ubiquitous DFS sale contrasted with the faux brick pastel of a British suburban house, Daniel’s portoflio is a reminder of everything you loathe and love about the British Isles.

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    It always baffles us when someone takes such a rudimentary tool and uses it to create something nothing short of spectacular. In the case of Martin Groß, his tool is a bleistift (for those of you that didn’t do German in school, that’s a lead pencil) and his visuals are like enormous, sci-fi architectural plans.

  24. Ls-list

    There’s no doubt in my mind that most people reading this aren’t in the market for expensive chromed bath ware from a specialist Italian retailer. But put that consideration aside for just a second while you enjoy the simple and effective graphics employed by LS Graphic Design in their enticing brochures for Mamoli – that aforementioned furniture retailer.

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    If I ever succeed in opening up a wormhole to another dimension (not something that exercises a lot of my time but a constant background interest) then I fully expect said portal to look like one of Jen Stark’s artworks. The Miami-born master of colour and form embraces complexity but in a fully inclusive way, creating pieces that are both immediately satisfying and infinitely intriguing. Her latest show in LA was called To The Power Of referencing both mathematical formulae and, more obliquely, religious incantation and the work on show proved that Jen’s never been more confident exploring her preoccupations. The eye-catching colours are just the start – prepare to be sucked in as far as your imagination will let you go.

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    We all love a bit of colour in our lives, right? It’s the spice that can turn the drabbest of life experience into a wealth of vivid wonder, taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. Carlos Cruz-Diez has been exploring the kinetic movement of colour in his celebrated works, creating interactive manufactured chambers that lures visitors to rethink their perceptions of colour in their everyday lives.

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    You’re probably used to seeing pin-up girls tattooed all over people’s arms, or emblazoned across over-priced, traffic-stained t shirts at Camden market. Nice, then, to see them being portrayed in a different, and much more aesthetically pleasing way. Frau Franz, who we’ve been a fan of since August this year has managed to depict pin-ups in an unexpected and charming deadpan manner. Lolling about on what look like rocks with really nice fades, these expressionless yet impeccably dressed ladies are having a great time, and they don’t care what you think.

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    “Rorschach Test. Noun. A type of projective test used in psychoanalysis, in which a standard set of different shapes and colours is presented to the subject, who is asked to describe what they suggest or resemble…” This is immediately what sprang to mind when I saw this new project from Lauren Francescone. We featured the Yale-educated designer back at the start of this year and checking back in my eye was immediately drawn to this work. Innocently titled Circles I was glad that my colleagues also noticed the similarity to prophylactics, although one of the more innocent suggested they could be sea creatures. Anyway they’re intriguing and undeniably beautiful, and prove that Lauren has the alchemist-like ability to turn the most unpromising base metal into visual gold.

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    As December begins, it’s a natural time for people to slow down and take stock of the past 12 months, but for Jordy van den Nieuwendijk that might take some time. The Dutch illustrator has had an extraordinarily prolific year smashing project after project out the park, and although time spent in his portfolio is a non-stop joy, it’s still his chromatic line work that really floats our boat. Created either with paint or on the computer, his work for Bloomberg, Neon Magazine and his Kiosk show in Hamburg positively bursts with fun and frivolity. He’s also just created a super-cool cover for the Grizzly Bear album Shields for Urban Outfitters’ annual project celebrating the best albums of the past year. Jordy, we love you, but take a break this Christmas man, you’ve earned it!

  30. Derekwelsh-list

    I’ll be honest, when I first started writing about art and design it never crossed my mind that the humble domino would be the subject of any of my articles. But the undeniably talented Derek Welsh has just produced not one, but two beautiful reimaginings of one of my favourite childhood pastimes, in collaboration with design studio Graphical House. Semaphor and Oblique both offer remarkably slick redesigns of the tabletop classic but with a rather more refined twist. So if you’re looking for a simple way of filling hours of festive downtime (yeah that’s right, it’s December already) then why not indulge in some designer-friendly dominos. After all, polkadots aren’t to everyone’s tastes.

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    Josh Cole’s whole life seems to have been a little bit of a roller-coaster, dodging a “bad crowd” when he was younger by taking up photography and getting a degree in the bag. After that, rather than turning to photographing landscapes and still life, Josh went back to the places he could relate to and began shooting the areas that less daring photographers managed to reach. Recognised predominantly for his time spent shooting hip hop artists and gypsy communities, these newer, personal shots of his time spent in Manila and Burundi are what we found most intriguing.

  32. Nordicenergy-list

    We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Swedish designers Lundgren Lindqvist know a thing or two about designing an identity. Tasked with creating fresh branding for the somewhat severe-sounding Nordic Energy Research (they shorten it to NER for good measure) the studio came up with a pretty nifty new vernacular with which the firm could identify itself.

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    I’ve always associated Flying Lotus’ output with an astute visual confidence since seeing Timothy Saccenti’s brilliant photographs for Cosmogramma pt.1 . So on seeing their latest video, directed by David Lewandowski I wasn’t surprised that it was easy on the eye. Having a lead star in Elijah Wood is never going to harm to profile of a video like this, but the promo’s aesthetic aptness that makes it so memorable. To start, the coming together of tiny fragments to make Elijah’s bionic arm instantly links beautifully to the music it accompanies and continues to keep you enthralled throughout. One to watch.

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    You may have seen the lovely fashion blogger Marie My popping up on all sorts of Tumblrs recently in some of her unbelievable outfit creations. But we were keen to find out what this Danish girl who’s just finished her A-Levels has on her shelves (apart from hundreds of pairs of carefully sourced vintage shoes). As it happens, Marie’s shelves are an absolute treat, boasting obscure visual reference books, informative fashion publications and some (tasteful) street art thrown in for good measure.

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    It only seems like two shakes of a lambs tail ago when Things was last here. Well, that lamb has been frantically shaking its time tail, suddenly thrusting us all into the weekend! If you’re currently completing a sofa hopping tour of London, you’ll probably have to start thinking about the Monday morning housing situation; if you wear a suit to work, you should probably think about ironing all those crisp white collars soon. In the meantime, stuff all of that and read this, go have a drink or three and dance like it’s the saviour of sanity. So, let’s get to it. Strap in ladies and gents, you know the drill.

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    In Progress is getting closer with every passing day, hour and minute ladies and gents – an event we’ve been organising and looking forward to with baited breath for months! Just like children yearning after a future Christmas, we too are looking beyond and out into a future with Rupert Goodwins and it’s a future we may not be entirely prepared for…

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