Archive

  1. James-hines-list

    James Hines is someone who strikes me as creating a world in his work that he’d quite happily live in. Bold, bright (mercilessly so) and full of the sort of geometric-happy iterations that recall 1960s Penguin poetry books or jazzy records. All in all, it’s a confident and delightfully aesthetic body of work that uses his innate talent for a pattern in collections of poster, surface and experimental drawn works. James’ portfolio = a very positive start to the day.

  2. List

    When he was a kid, Kingston University alumnus Josh King painted a cow. This singular event, we are told, is to be held responsible for his artistic career to date; although we’d argue that he’s probably gone on to produce better work in the intervening years. Take for example his Par Fore project, a fully functioning mini-golf course on the roof of a derelict building – that’s better than a cow. Similarly his pun-fuelled Olympic poster is both aesthetically pleasing and hilariously funny – also better than a cow.

  3. Eckart-hahn-list

    Hyping up a perfect painting to the point of abstraction, Eckart Hahns has realistically unreal down to a tee. On one easy level, we can appreciate the extraordinary ability it takes to paint the tangible quality of folding fabric and (what appears to be) cascading, coloured plastics – painted to such vivid, dimensional effect. Simultaneously, Eckart affords us plenty to read into with deliberate hints at familiar, old-master motifs and symbolic compositions, albeit with what appears to be strategically arranged carrier bags, duvets, a white pony and a monkey.

  4. Day-one-list

    In the build up to a Summer of sport like no other, Nike has brought together a crop of super-talented University of the Arts London grads lead by artist and mentor, Dave White. Together with some of the world’s leading athletes, this singular group of exciting talent have visually interpreted the passion and emotion of sport in a unique design brief, Journey To Greatness.

  5. Luke-fenech-list

    Take a look at the consummate layout of London-based graphic designer, illustrator, and art director, Luke Fenech. There is a beautiful immediacy to his work – which involves clean, measured, and very appealing arrangements of text and pictorial content.

  6. List

    We’re no experts on the Chinese calendar and so, rather embarrassingly, were quite unaware of the recent dragon boat festivities that take place annually in remembrance of Qu Yan, Chinese poet and ancient political activist. To celebrate the event Nowness commissioned Dutch animator and art director Christian Borstlap to produce a moving image work that took the viewer on a journey though China’s pivotal industrial and cultural achievements, from gunpowder to Bruce Lee (is he a cultural achievement?) culminating in the Beijing Olympics.

  7. Krads_stodin-list

    For 65 years, Iceland played host to a large American army base and it’s this cultural influence that has influenced the Stöðin roadside stop, designed by Icelandic and Danish architects, KRADS.

  8. List

    It’s a fairly infrequent occurrence for us to write about straight-up fashion here on It’s Nice That but, when the clothes are beautiful and the shots are just right, it’s too good an opportunity to pass up. This stunning series of sartorial photographs come courtesy of Angelo Pennetta and the SS13 Pre-Collection from Givenchy. The garments themselves utilise intricate paisley prints combined with bold geometric shapes and dark block colours to great effect; amplified beautifully by a loose-fitting cut and square, tapering silhouette. Though perhaps not altogether practical, they’re definitely a stand-out set of items.

  9. Lorna-scobie-list

    Even if you don’t have children, or know any humanoid under the age of nine, you are no longer excused for your lack of interest in children’s book illustration. Lorna Scobie, one of Kingston University’s finest illustration graduates, will knock your jaded skulls together with her particularly acerbic knack for characterising animals in a style that frequently leaves her up to the elbows in ink and glue.

  10. Antony-zinonos

    Anthony Zinonos’ work – which we first came across after featuring Wicca who represent him – is whip-smart and great fun to boot. The Norwich-based collage illustrator uses found materials to great effect, arranging flat geometric colour planes, human figures, and all manner of other visual imagery to create images that immediately engage. His work also involves a considered and extremely effective use of negative space; different compositional elements relate to each other, certainly, but the page isn’t overwhelmed by visual data – each element is thereby granted freedom, and yet they all inter-relate to compose very successful bigger pictures.

  11. Beg

    Many of London indie outfit Bombay Bicycle club’s previous videos have been beautifully, candidly shot by Mr. Dave Tree, so to see a change of direction for their latest Beg was always going to be interesting. The rough-round-the-edges feel remains, but the man behind the lens this time (Darcy Pendergast) has decided not to feature the band at all, but instead two dancers. The outcome is a beautiful combination of vivacity and friendship, which acts as a perfect visual accompaniment to the tune. Thanks Darcy!

  12. Dark-knight-rises

    We’re officially no stranger to the teaser/featurette style of cinematic promotion – just look at the wonderful David film by Johnny Hardstaff for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus or Alfred Hitchcock creeping out audiences on all levels with his jowly premonitions.

  13. Wayne-hemingway-design-list

    In a few weeks, Vintage Festival will be underway in Oxfordshire and its founder, Wayne Hemingway, will be presenting for purchase and perusal, an epic cross-section of fashion from the last century. No stranger to bold design initiatives, Wayne is the chair of Building for Life and founder of Red or Dead and HemingwayDesign and, if his accomplishments were not enough already, he’s only gone and contributed to our weekly Bookshelf…

  14. Things-list

    It’s been another mighty week for Things – we’ve been getting all manner of delightful post arriving each morning at the It’s Nice That headquarters. This week we’ve been indulging in 1990’s stickerbook nostalgia, a bit of bike-spotting, a freaking awesome piece of self-promo, a beautiful publication on food aaaaand a very nice illustrated book involving reindeer and the Greenland landscape.

  15. List

    Chelsea graduate Jack Haslehurst is a designer, filmmaker and all-round creative type with his foot already firmly in the door of the professional world. Before he’d even managed to get his degree in the bag, Jack was producing work for the likes of Oxjam, Animade, David Wilson and Agile Films, so he’s no stranger to long stints without sleep.

  16. Weekenderlist

    The Weekender is a pretty jazzy affair right? It’s that time of the week when we like to let our hair down a little and have some good old-fashioned fun. Sure sometimes it gets out of hand, people get hurt and occasionally there’s tears before the week is out. But that’s what it’s all about, taking the rough with the smooth, the ups with the downs, the spice of ruddy life. This week however we’ve decided to take things a bit more seriously, so we’ve got some existential poetry, an in-depth examination of the current economic climate and Proust’s entire works translated into latin…. Nah just kidding, on with this nonsense!

  17. Chengguo-list

    Up until now the mouth has merely been a cavity into which one places cake and, occasionally, mutter a sonnet. Finally, we can put it to good use with the various instruments from Cheng Guo’s Mouth Factory.

  18. List

    Masterful colour-wizard Matt Taylor has just updated his website with an overwhelming amount of new work. The Brighton-based illustrator has clearly been in high demand over recent months, completing projects for the likes of Computer Arts, Wired and Penguin US, where he’s been revamping the covers of John Le Carre’s much-loved thrillers. Matt’s crisp vector drawings and impeccable use of silhouettes provide a refreshingly engaging twist to a high-profile literary catalogue.

  19. Karel-martens

    “Evoking meaning rather than boldly presenting truth is the essence of typographer Karel Martens work” says the disembodied voice of this eight-and-a-half minute profile film following the Dutch pedagogic graphic designer, created by the Submarine Channel. What Martens has achieved in his extraordinary career would not fit into a film 100 times as long but what this short does do is shed a renewing light on the importance of play as a mode for thought.

  20. Letra

    Letra is the studio of Portuguese designer Marco Balesteros, who graduated from the ArtEZ Institute in the Netherlands in 2009, and has been producing eye-catching graphics ever since.

  21. A-thousand-reasons

    Now that graduate season has come back around, it’s interesting to consider what has become of those we featured way back when The Graduates, our annual showcase, started. Well, in 2009 animator Daniel Britt was one of our first ever – and since then, his career has gone from strength to strength. He has just completed this beautiful animation, A Thousand Reasons, for the WMD Awareness Programme, which raises issues surrounding the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The short film involves an arresting use of origami; the pace and progression are very smooth, while the fragility of the materials and the care taken in their construction provide a stirring counterpoint to the annihilation under discussion.

  22. On-creativity

    These genuinely inspiring and deftly handled films that feature the heavy-going likes of George Lois and Milton Glaser, do exactly what they say on the tin. On Creativity, a süperfad project, introduces/reintroduces us to some valuable creative doers whose refractive takes on the subject provide an illuminating spectrum of opinion.

  23. Michael-schoner

    Amsterdam-based architect and designer Michael Schoner is responsible for these pieces, and yep, they’re pretty damn great. They can store and display objects in all sorts of different configurations, and the furniture itself can be swapped and changed around – a bit like life-size lego blocks.

  24. Andrew-duncan-list

    “I enjoy baffling people to see how far I can abstract an idea while still delivering its message” says Andrew Duncan, and by both counts the University of the West of England graphics graduate can declare his work as a delight and a success. Using widely unfathomable scientific notions as his subject matter, this designer utilises a universal language of “fun” and “funny” to create bold, graphic pieces of communication that the take form of posters, book works and animations.

  25. List

    Jonas Wandeler first came to our attention back in 2009 with his wonderful Playlist Magazine, a physical publication and mix tape based on last.fm’s recommendations database. Since then he’s been honing his design skills at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and has subsequently joined forces with Martin Andereggen and Claudio Gasser to form Atlas Studio, a Zurich-based design consultancy specialising in all things print.

  26. List

    It’s no secret that we folks at It’s Nice That are pretty partial to a bit of cycling. If we’re not hammering out the miles of a daily commute we’re zipping between studios and meetings on our beloved velocipedes (but not in a smug way, we’ve no time for smug cyclists). As a result we were full-on bowled over upon witnessing NL Architects’ magnificent creation Bicycle Club, a stunning pavilion that serves as both an attractive public space and rooftop velodrome.

  27. Erin-fostel-list

    Do you remember when empty carboard boxes were basically the best thing ever? When they could be boats or cars or spaceships or televisions and you could shuffle around for hours in all their corrugated glory? Well, Erin Fostel does, and she throws a dress-up box into the mix and takes us off to lands inhabited by dinosaurs and fighter-robots. A graduate of drawing and art history, she makes incredibly photorealistic drawings using just charcoal and paper, and appears to be inspired by a nostalgic look at mid-twentieth century North American visual culture – with warplanes, fairy-tales, and the Wild Wild West all getting a beautifully rendered look in.

  28. Prix-pictet-list

    The Rencontres d’Arles festival, a definite stop-off place for those with an eye out for the truly new and extraordinary in the photographic world, has just announced the shortlist for the fourth Prix Pictet.

  29. Carl-kleiner-list

    Even if you live under bedrock, it’s very likely Carl Kleiner’s impossibly bright, sharply cast still-life’s have penetrated the darkness of your existence (and you are all the better for it). In the past few years, his eye for golden-ratio compositions that set inanimate objects in dramatic contrast to block colours, light and each other have elevated these random items to sculptural status.

  30. List

    There’s nothing more soothing than listening to the gentle tapping of rainfall on a cool summer’s evening (if you’re reading this in the UK, you’ll probably disagree). Something about its gentle rhythm naturally calms the soul. Sadly the sight of it seems to have quite the opposite effect, dampening your spirits as it does the same to your clothes. Until now that is.

  31. Jilly-ballistic

    “Who the hell is Jilly Ballistic?” the only question on the lips of New York subway users over the past few weeks (aside from the usual queries on where the powerful smell of pee comes from). In answer to this question we’re proud to say, we’re not too sure either. The only thing we know for certain is that he/she is making street art thought provoking again without using the heavy-handed slogans we’ve all become so accustomed to ignoring.

  32. Ben-woodeson

    The monopoly “controversial” art holds on being the most reactionary and evocative is well over, just look at the extraordinarily tense artworks of Ben Woodeson and tell me your hands don’t start to claw and your neck itch or however it is you unconsciously react to some impending doom.

  33. Kiji

    Immerse yourself in Keiji Shinohara’s work and breathe in the calm, beautifully rendered views. The printmaking artist is originally from Osaka, and trained for ten years in the traditional Ukiyo-e style of printmaking in Kyoto before moving to the United States – where he is currently based. The mesmerising colourisation, precise compositions, and beautifully measured textures and gradations are all the more startling when we realise that Shinohara works primarily with woodblocks and is fully responsible for every stage of the printing process. The abstracted landscapes convey his keen interest in the natural environment, and are printed on handmade kozo paper with water-based inks. Very impressive indeed.

  34. Grace-helmer-list

    There is nothing “still life” about Grace Helmer’s paintings. The Camberwell College of Arts illustrator adopted oil paints over traditional drawing modes as her narrative vehicle of impossibly rich, dimensional scenes and abstractions. The permanence of the paint compliments the nature of text – especially the likes of Primo Levi – whose stories frequently reach beyond literal interpretation but are wonderfully figurative nonetheless.

  35. List

    Todd Selby has been in your home, studio, restaurant, bar (and any other interior space you could possibly inhabit) for going on four years. In that time he’s seen the daily comings and goings of pretty much everyone, from world-class creatives to part-time taco vendors. Now, however he’s extending his voyeuristic gaze to mealtimes, watching with hawk-like concentration as Ignacio Mattos prepares, eats and shares a home-cooked meal in the company of friends and family, giving you a little bit of insight into a fairly unusual recipe along the way.

  36. Luc-melanson-other-list-possibly

    Quebec-based illustrator Luc Melanson caught our eye yesterday, when one of his works accompanied this piece in the New York Times about Olympic poetry. His visual track record gives us every reason to cheer – his work is consistently lively, immediate, and extremely engaging. Along with contributing clever, to-the-point editorial work to the New York Times Book Review, Reader’s Digest US, No Brow, and L’actualité, he also produces personal work and illustrations for children’s books. His use of limited palettes, as well as the highly effective colour gradations and use of texture within, ensure that the images engage immediately and linger afterwards. A true champion, we say!

  37. List

    Trying to showcase the work of Lotta Niemenen in a single article is giving me a headache. I’ve started writing this piece about three times now, each time attempting to summarise the extent of Lotta’s capabilities in a single introductory sentence; which is foolish because as an illustrator, designer and art director who clearly excels in all three of her professional disciplines, one sentence isn’t going to cut it. But then neither is a few paragraphs.

  38. List

    Sport is probably one of the most distinctly human quirks; an inherently competitive and, in many ways, aggressive pastime that somehow manages to bring large communities of people together to revel in spectacle and, on a simpler level, just enjoy each other’s company. Given the imminent arrival of the Olympics on our home turf it’s becoming increasingly easy to forget about the convivial side to competitive events, what with the growing length of journeys to work and the constant references to the games in conjunction with riots in the media.

  39. Ikhoor-list

    If you say you design things then the level of ambiguity and intuitiveness fine artists enjoy doesn’t apply to you, right? In the case of Daniel Kent, aka Ikhoor, you’d be wrong. Embarrassingly so, and I can prove it. Aside from some well-conceived, content-led graphic design full of high cultural stuff, just rest your eyeballs on his abstract graphic poster-like illustrations which play with elemental forms and graphic gestures in an intriguing, somehow tribal way, and ask yourself: What is a designer? Joke, don’t do that – just look at more of this Pennsylvania-based creatives work which relies on the “importance of process, art and reason,” it’s great.

  40. Bevis-charlie

    I like to think that the future of education lies in the clay-stained hands of Bevis Martin and Charlie Youle – two folk on a heroic quest to take what we consider concrete ideas (namely maths and bodily organs) and reinvent them as something similar but slightly off-kilter.