Archive

  1. Studio-audience-3-list

    So two weeks have flown by and right on cue, as if pre-planned but actually (maybe) the result of some unknown cosmic dance, the It’s Nice That podcast is back. For our third outing we were joined by Alex Needham, culture editor of Guardian.co.uk and Matt Jones, principal of design consultancy BERG. We all enjoyed it, hope you will too…

  2. List

    When big disasters happen not only in far-flung climes but closer to home too, it bridges the distance that’s often been felt when we think of people from other cultures. This is exactly what Gideon Mendel’s photographs do in his series Drowning World which are currently showing at Somerset House.

  3. Alex-witjas-list

    Alex Witjas’ work over at Urban Outfitters as a designer for the last few years has plumped out her portfolio with applied design on everything from employee badges to product styling and set concepts. The smart typographic treatment, playful illustrative elements and near-edible colours work together in one of the most coherent and charming bodies of work I’ve seen for a long time. Staring at Alex’s work, the term “creative all-rounder” has never sounded so un-lame.

  4. Gglist

    It has been claimed that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s major contribution to literature was that by dint of The Great Gatsby nobody else could ever write a good party scene. While that is obviously a reductive theory, it’s certainly true that Gatsby’s sparkling soirees on his blue lawn stick long in the memory after reading his most iconic work, decadent, delicious and intoxicating in both senses of the word. With this in mind, it seems apt that Baz Luhrmann is taking on the tale – he proved in Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge that he does surreally-tinged glitz and glamour better than anyone. And he also showed with his much-heralded Shakespeare that he isn’t afraid to take on big, popular stories that people are hugely emotionally invested in. He’ll need that confidence for Gatsby, even with a cast including Leonardo di Caprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Macguire and Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.

  5. List

    Paper-cutting gets a lot of attention these days but it’s Bianca Chang’s work isthe first in a long time to actually make me say “oooh.” Uniform, slick and crisp white, she plays with shadows and letterforms in a beautifully striking way by somehow creating contrasts out of nothing more than changing how the paper is cut. Like a warm knife slicing cleanly through a vanilla cheesecake (only a lot more sophisticated), these paper sculptures are elegant and wonderful. It’s the small details in her work that really demonstrate her skill as well with a hoard of precise layers and smooth lines.

  6. Bblist

    The hardest time in anyone’s life is those few days before Christmas when you’re a kid and you know your present is sitting under the tree. Whenever you can you have a cheeky shake (“I was just moving it out the way of the dog man”) or rip off an imperceptible bit of wrapping paper to sneak a glimpse at what’s inside.

  7. Crackingeggs

    The latest music video for My Best Fiend, Cracking Eggs, brilliantly choreographs curious mini-performances with everyday materials in a totally non-cringe and experimental way. Behind the curiousness is one of our favourite photographers, Jeremy Liebman, who has more than an eye for the immediate and so it’s always interesting to see him working with such premeditated aesthetics. And he has been working closely with French creative duo JSBJ, Aurelien Arbet and Jeremie Egry, to realise this strange and super engaging few minutes in which actual smoke and mirrors are used to excellent effect. We caught up with Jeremy to hear a little more about play and fruitful collaboration.

  8. Listit_snicethat_graduates_listings2

    With only a week left to submit to The Graduates 2012 feature, we thought it might be good to give you the lowdown on the graduate shows happening across the UK this summer. We can almost smell the white emulsion, sticky fixers and sweaty brows quivering in anticipation so make sure check out the exciting work these bright young things have getting up to. Also, if you’d like to submit an undergraduate show for inclusion please send the name of your university, name of the exhibition, dates and location, as well as any relevant links (including Twitter and Facebook), to thegraduates@itsnicethat.com, using the term “listings” in the subject title.

  9. Smotion

    Well this is fairly major news, stop-motion may be over after Vincent Pianina and Lorenzo Papac (aka Le Petite Chomalade) released this mindbogglingly brilliant video for Odland’s single Østersøen. From a seafaring ship to the solar system, a run-away-train-rollercoaster-type-thing to a bed-bound chanteuse, the attention to detail is beyond belief, with the ocean liner’s pistons and the grain of wooden furniture all rendered to a ridiculous level of perfection. But as much as we can immerse ourselves in such terrific tiny touches, the overall effect is brilliant too and it hangs together with to create something more even than the sum of its marvellous parts. If you watch one thing today, make it this (you can also get some great making-of shots over on the guys’ site).

  10. Matt-hass-list

    After an enjoyably long time in the personal chapter of Matt Hass’ portfolio it’s hard to tell what’s real or not in his images; they’ve got a bit of cinematic noir about them with their uncannily-lit visions of utter randomness that must be staged but are so effortless they just can’t be. Dirty snow falls off a dark building, mirrors reflect architecture but look like open windows, serendipitous colour matching, night photography in which light becomes solid, day photography in which light dissolves solids – all sorts of visual trickery teamed up with those inexplicable moments of aesthetic happenstance. Matt Hass’ work is good, very good, but then surely that is no accident.

  11. Faceslist

    It’s always a pleasure to drop in on old friends and see what they’ve been up to, and since we last featured him in 2010, Spanish designer Oscar de Castro has been a busy boy. It’s unsurprising that he expresses a will to turn “strong concepts” into final pieces with “strong visual power” and his bold style is confident without being brash, impactful but not in-your-face. From cool clothes stores to burger bars, posters to patterns, it’s not hard to see why he’s so in-demand.

  12. Pentagaramvideo

    How do you sum up 40 years of eclectic design excellence in just over three minutes? That was the challenge facing director Christian Carlsson and writers Naresh Ramchandani and Tom Edmonds tasked to produce the celebratory video to mark 40 years of super-agency Pentagram. Reimagining the group as a man, a rogue a legend, they look back at his previous four decades cramming in as many of the big-name campaigns Pentagram’s partners have undertaken in an almost unparalleled joint career.

  13. Globalchristianity_weblist2

    The best thing about sitting round discussing illustrator Michelle Thompson’s work was that everyone found something different in it they loved – the sparing but effective use of colour, the typographic touches and the relevant but not heavy-handed responses to briefs were among the qualities we flagged up.

  14. Woodkid

    It’s not often a monochrome stallion of a music video comes along that manages to mash together qualities of the best late 1980s/early 1990s children’s films such as Labyrinth, Time Bandits and The Neverending Story to a terrifying soundtrack. Sit back and watch as Woodkid (Yoann Lemoine, a casual music video director, graphic designer, and musician – no big deal) works his magic on his very own track in the run up to his much-anticipated album launch. Powerful man!

  15. Dotson

    Very cool paintings here from Michael Dotson, whose practice really lives up to his name. As well as creating bored-in-maths style graph paper drawings, he also paints some very impressive interiors and abstract landscapes. Not a fan of the white space, Dotson fills his canvases with moquette-esque tirades of acrylic paint resembling, among other things, trippy bachelor-pads and gateways to new universes (or both, simultaneously).

  16. Screen-shot-2012-05-22-at-09_52

    Sometimes it pays to be wary of lots of big names coming together (here’s looking at you The Expendables) but when it works it can be a treat. And so Exhibit A – for their new single Night and Day Hot Chip turned once again to Peter Serafinowicz (who also oversaw 2010’s I Feel Better) who roped in the inimitably super-cool Reggie Watts and supermodel Lara Stone for a nicely over-the-top effort featuring spaceships, dancing hoodies and a yin-yang collision over a country house. Nicely done sir.

  17. Ngdlist

    If you wanted to find out about the state of the pig farming industry you could feasibly get a load of pig farmers together, interview them and write an article about their porcine concerns and aspirations. But in a visual media like graphic design, state-of-the-industry hand-wringing seems oddly out of kilter in print – don’t tell me, show me.

  18. Robflowers

    Something about the gargoyle-like Bash Street Kids appealed to us at an early age, as did Desperate Dan’s disgusting and terrifying (seriously though, imagine him in real life) “cow pie” fetish. This is perhaps why illustrators like Rob Flowers continue to delight our senses, full of wide-eyed toothy characters, lurid colours and things we’re not supposed to eat anymore now that we’re grown-ups (yes, that’s you hotdogs). Rob’s huge collection of work speaks volumes about fast food, rockets, blue skies and McDonalds villains, but it’s not all fun and games; his pieces for The British Museum, Action Aid, Creative Review and countless others are insightful and charming, with just the right amount of cheeky gaudiness. Two thumbs up!

  19. Jasmine-deporta-list

    Jasmine Deporta has photographed a very nice fashion story for can you keep a secret? which is casual but very well-styled and shot from a number of views that play to a man-sat-in-chair-watching perspective; which of course is suggestive, but intelligently so. They have a quality of floating (sometimes literally) but in a totally non-lame way, just as suspended moments of impermanence that make you think “ah youth” right before you learn the title of the series Lolita and then they become something else entirely.

  20. Saramaragotto-list

    Sara Maragotto is one interesting image maker. With a portfolio full of quiet but brilliantly variegated colours and a process that I can’t tell you a whole lot about (only that it looks a lot like very hands on print techniques like lithography or mono printing) hers is a body of images with ambiguous arrangements, strangely diagrammatic qualities and not a little intrigue.

  21. List

    Now, if you were paying very close attention, you would have seen that Alexander Lis was recently featured on the site for his After School Club collaborative project with Hort but, the German-based designer definitely deserves a post all of his own. A skilful visual communicator, his solid portfolio of graphic design entices with its blend of playful media, bright colours and a strong aesthetic style. It’s bold, experimental and feels contemporary without trying to be too trendy.

  22. Voidwreck-list

    Now in its fifth draft, Birmingham’s Eastside Projects have published their own user’s manual as to how one might engage with them and their space. Providing the suitably schematic renderings of the space’s potential is Voidwreck, the Amsterdam-based duo Karl Nawrot and Walter Warton.

  23. List

    I’ve found the taste of avocado a difficult one to master. The weird fatty fruit with buttery, soap-like texture forms a strange the consistency in my mouth that I’m not sure I’m okay with, yet I find myself always returning for more. It’s an intriguing, exotic and odd thing that I want to be a part of, so I think deep down I have a love for the avocado – it just isn’t a conventional one.

  24. Adimg_0227list

    Some equations are simple. Very cool bikes + very cool artists = very very cool collaboration. To mark the opening of their new east London store, Tokyo Bike commissioned six creatives to customise one of their bikes and safe to say the results are tres jolie. Great to see last one of last year’s Grads Mike Guppy’s contribution and really into Soju Tanaka’s illustrated effort and Simon Memel’s stripped-back typographic turn, but in truth they’re all worth a gander.

  25. Main

    Going by her other projects, which range from fairly conservative fashion editorial to photo shoots so weird that I doubt you’d even be able to dream them up, Estelle Hanania is making a big impact on the photography and editorial world. In her recent shoot for Leslie David and Monsieur L’Agent’s beautiful Stadium Paris magazine for Nike, Estelle works her magic on some magnificent models and immediately makes the minimal NSW logo (literally just ‘NSW’ on a t shirt) seem like the coolest thing you’ve ever seen.

  26. Adambainbridge

    Funny how the small, italic quote at the bottom of a caption can entirely change your perception of the artwork itself. In Adam Bainbridge’s case, the fact that it reads ‘pencil on paper’ is enough to make your brain hurt and your fingers itch, due primarily to the fact that it is nothing short of exquisite. In images that, at first glance, may seem like a peek inside some sort of Vatican tomb of a ceramicist, these drawings actually represent the suburban environment that Bainbridge grew up in, with a splash of surrealist art thrown in there for good measure. Now, enough reading, take a closer look at the pictures.

  27. List

    In the morning if I’m having toast, I pop the bread in the toaster and then race to get the plate, knife, butter plus other topping of choice and arrange them beautifully next to the toaster. There is absolutely no point in me doing this, not at such speed anyway – but I continue to do so. This is sort of how I feel about hyperreal painting. It’s a strange notion to want to reproduce things we see everyday in 2D form but in immaculate detail because really there’s no real reason.

  28. Frlist

    There’s some simple things in life that make us inordinately happy. Finding some delicious cheese you forgot you had in the fridge say, or seeing someone walk into a lamppost while trying to text. Up there with fromage-finding and street-level slapstick is hearing that a well-respected graphic design agency has a new website, and today has been well and truly made by Graphic Thought Facility’s beautiful new portal.

  29. Iglist

    Much to my immense frustration I’ve never had a cool nickname. My colleagues seem immune to my attempts to instigate The Big Dog around the studio and my friends don’t understand who I’m talking about when I casually drop The Robmeister Gerneral into conversation. It’s not a problem Ian Gabb, letter press technicnian at the Royal College of Art has,having been dubbed The Letterpress Monster by his students, a monocle that has endured for 12 years.

  30. Magnum

    The word ‘magnum’ is such a loaded and powerful word, I think it’s even been used as a team name in The Apprentice (UK version) although to less impressive effect. The word is also synonymous (partly because it uses it in its name) with Magnum the photographic agency that’s a world famous heavyweight in the biz and has been since 1947.

  31. Main2

    Graphic design comes in many forms, we all know that by now, but the simple poster still reigns supreme as the canvas to beat all canvases. Márcia Novais knows this, and she’s got the skill of filling a page absolutely down. After a huge selection of large format posters there could be a danger of monotony, but not for Márcia who chooses to collaborate with a whole host of talented friends on a regular basis to keep her work fresh, fresh, fresh. She is currently practicing her well-honed graphic design skills at the Portugal Faculty of Fine Arts where she runs the office and organises even more well-thought-out collaborations.

  32. Mmmv

    Relax already! I know it’s seven minutes long, I know you’ve got loads to be getting on with this week, but believe me you won’t regret finding some time before the madness begins to watch this. Directors Annie Gunn and Peter Simonite have produced a sublime piece of moving image for Explosions in the Sky that really rewards the patient viewer. Based on vintage imagery but shot in a fiercely modern way it’s one of those that has the ability to make you both laugh and cry.

  33. Chris-floydlist

    Chris Floyd is a busy guy, with his supreme skill at capturing both still and moving images ramping up the demand for his services. When he’s not creating innovative and imaginative photographic series’, he’s shooting short films for brands like Mr Porter with his trademark combination of colour, composition and craft. We managed to slow him down long enough to guide us round the five books that mean the most to him, and it’s particulalry apt as his new book is about to be published. Take it away Chris.

  34. Things-list

    Things is unintentionally feeling a bit British this week, acting like a tall glass of Pimm’s on a sunny afternoon. We’ve got the new issue of Granta giving it that infamous reddish tea stain colour, an illustrator providing the sprig of mint, and two creative newspapers giving that spicy gin-based zing. And not forgetting an exotic appearance from a Brazillian studio that becomes the juicy, tropical fruits that dress our heavenly cocktail of innovative imagination. So come on, it’s time to put down that milky cup of tea and take a big (responsible) swig of delicious Things!

  35. Weekenderlist

    Do you think Adele gets bored of winning things? She gets so many awards I can’t work out what she does with them all. Maybe if you trick and treat Adele you get given a Grammy or something. Or she wraps them up and doles them out at Christmas to her unimpressed cousins. I’ve had a think and maybe Adele should make her next album a bit worse so she doens’t have to go through all this rigmarole again? Just a thought. Thank me later Adele (not with a Brit)…. And so here we are again…

  36. Acmain

    Not by any means the newest project on the scene (this collection was exhibited in 2008) but nevertheless entirely worthy of merit, especially on a Friday afternoon. Perceptive, conceptual photographer Audrey Corregan chose to photograph majestic, stuffed birds from behind; perhaps in an attempt to get to the bottom of the issues of taxidermy and the transition from living animal to anonymous object. The nature of these beautiful photographs transforms the taxidermic birds into merely pleasing patterns and shapes, now unrecognisable as beasts and curiously challenging aesthetically.

  37. Nikead

    Nike’s summer football adverts are always a big deal and they’ve done it again with the just-released My Time Is Now promo. Produced by Wieden + Kennedy it’s a quick, slick, high-energy narrative with tongue nicely in cheek. The basic premise sees thousands of wannabe footballers invading the pitches where their heroes are playing in a sporting swarm whose potential is released by a combination of self-belief and Nike boots. There’s plenty of big names (Guardiola, Ronaldo, and Neymar for example) a beast of a soundtrack and a scene where some langoustines get trampled. What more could you want?

  38. Tsmain

    It’s hard to try and describe something that’s so painstakingly epic that it’s hard to digest, but I’ll give it a go. This morning, outside the It’s Nice That offices by the Nike 1948 space, a queue of very cold, determined people sat in deck chairs wrapped in sleeping bags. What were they waiting for? Some shoes. Which shoes? Tom Sach’s collaboration with Nike, released to mark the opening of his super-hyped show Space Program: Mars happening at this moment in New York.

  39. List

    There’s a regulated format for a lot of things in life where there’s little room to experiment. For instance ties go around your neck, not on your head, queueing is the only way to get anywhere and a five-day weekend with a two-day work week will never catch on. The same goes for most gig/music posters, many of which are formulaic and literally just the communication of information to a lot of people. But Minneapolis-based Landland (the studio so nice, they named it twice), have been cranking some great looking gig posters for various artists and bands with a signature style that I can’t help be fond of. With a line drawn style and nostalgic colours, their work feels really homegrown and with definite personality and clear care for what they’re actually creating.

  40. List

    When you’re younger you never want to be called “weird,” you want to blend in, laughing at the right jokes, talking about the right TV shows and liking very ordinary things. Now we’ve left our uniform, Nokia 3210 days behind us, the weird and the wonderful couldn’t be more encouraged. Normal is out man so bring on the madness.