Archive

  1. List

    It’s no mean feat condensing ten years into just two minutes, particularly if what you’re trying to capture is a decade of verve and swagger. But when no-nonsense Sailor Jerry rum wanted to reflect on its recent past, they raided their archive to piece together an adrenalin-fuelled, high intensity romp through ten years of tattoos, music and mayhem. Set to the 1979 punk anthem Where Eagles Dare by The Misfits – the first time the band have ever licensed their work for commercial use – it’s a high octane tribute to the man behind the rum, Norman ’Sailor Jerry’ Collins, a legendary, pioneering tattooist best known for inking his designs on Second World War sailors on Hawaii. His spirit (pun intended) is captured though fantastic Second World War footage of Honolulu taken from a documentary about his life and times, and runs through the more contemporary scenes as well.

  2. Bloomberglist

    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!

  3. Main

    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.

  5. Firstlookhome

    The other day we made an announcement that you had only 60 hours left to get your copy of the It’s Nice That Annual at the extra-special pre-order price of £35, including free shipping – in fact we were pretty insistent. But then we got the very first books through the door this afternoon (they look NICE!) and had a bit of a change of heart. So for the rest of the weekend we’ll be keeping the pre-orders flowing and the price at the same rate so you’ve got an extra two whole days to get your orders in.

  6. Weekender-list

    The secrets of The Weekender’s relentless energy and encyclopaedic knowledge of whimsical internet detritus have long been the subject of much debate, but have remained a closely guarded secret. Until now. You see, The Weekender exists in a state of perpetual hyperactivity, brought about by a regimented diet of caffeine pills, chocolate milk and Jammy Dodgers. In this heightened state of awareness it reclines in the centre of a multi-screen interface that bombards it with meme after meme of Paris Hilton photographs, Rick Astley and cats. You thought it was all fun and games over at The Weekender’s house right? Wrong, this is a serious business. Laugh with me!

  7. In_progress_2012_rupertgoodwins_list

    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…

  8. List

    Oh hi there. How nice of you to stop by. Have you lost weight? Your hair looks great. Just one thing I suppose, your ears look kind of depressed. No, no it’s a thing. Yeah don’t take it the wrong way. Anyway I’ve got just the thing – the It’s Nice That podcast Studio Audience. So kick back and enjoy a dose of art and design chat and listen out for the Alex dismissing maths in its entirety. Enjoy!

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    Melbourne’s Rubber House are one of those animation studios who, much like Kate Winslet (debatably) have not managed to do a single bad film to date. Predominantly making videos for, Gotye, the band responsible for bringing the general public out of a perilous auto-tune coma, Rubber House push music videos out of the club realm, and into the world of fun.

  10. List

    We come across miniature sculpture quite often but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like Nic Joly’s dark, sad little tableaux. The tiny works range from the fantastical to the metaphorical, but the ones that really stand out for me are the heartbreaking scenes of loneliness, awkwardness and regret. With titles like Stood Up and Lonely Lunch, Nic not only manages to capture tremendous pathos on a tiny scale but also communicates a great deal with minimum fuss. This skill is also apparent in works like Ex-pat where you can almost smell the country club scotch coming off the white-suited figure; but it’s not just dark humour he’s capable of, as demonstrated in the pleasingly simple Stuck and the tribute to Felix Baumgartner’s Red Bull space jump.

  11. Main

    I don’t know what happened yesterday afternoon, but the usually relatively fun vibes in the It’s Nice That headquarters dropped below five and everyone started getting a bit sleepy and quiet. That is until THESE guys showed up! Say hello to this friendly army of ceramic ghosts that just have something unbelievably amazing about them that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s their frightened eyes, maybe it’s their Flump-inspired colours, whatever it is — they’re great.

  12. List

    Usually in our weekly look at some top Spanish creatives we take the chance to showcase a cross-section of their portfolios to best give a flavour of their talents. We could easily have done this for photographer Argider Aparicio as well as he boasts both impressive commissioned work and interesting projects to his name, but we were so blown away by his Zubiak series we decided to give it centre stage to shine alone.

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    On first viewing this tasty selection of stools, my immediate reaction was one of “Wow, I really fancy a liquorice allsort”, then my pang of sweet need gave way to pure Wow!

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    This year’s US presidential elections may have lacked the iconic Shepard Fairey-type visual that summed it up in a single image, but Craig and Karl’s Obama portrait for the cover of New York magazine was among the cream of this year’s crop. We were reminded of the pair’s brilliance via the news that they have teamed up with Agent Pekka, joining the likes of Rami Niemi, Santtu Mustonen and Jack Hughes on the Finnish agency’s impressive roster. So what better time to delve into their new work, which also includes some amazing poster illsutartions for the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) and wonderfully dry 1960s scenes that throb with a barely concealed sexual tension. Their use of colour remains peerless and their aesthetic vernacular is consistent without getting repetitive – and for our money their Obama is as strong as they come.

  15. List

    Ralph Ellison is the kind of seminal author with which designers have to be pretty careful, and that might explain why many previous covers of his novels have tended to be fairly muted. But New York-based Cardon Webb’s new set of designs for Ellison’s books are inspired by the art and typography of mid 20th Century jazz records to bring out “the raucous, colourful energy of his (Ellison’s) prose.” There’s another link too, as Ellison was a massive music fan and the resulting covers are something else.

  16. Jonaslindstroem-list

    We’ve mentioned before that it must be pretty easy photographing beautiful people for a living. Those exquisite bone structures and piercing gazes basically do all the hard work for you, leaving you to just sit back and snap away. But when the beautiful people look THIS good, you have to put your hands up and admit that the photographer behind them has an impressive level of skill and vision.

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    Well this is ridiculously incredible. “Oh yeah I’ve just casually managed to turn some food into what looks like the seventh circle of hell.” Sure. Nadege’s absolutely one-of-a-kind artwork takes meticulous food photography to a whole new level as she transforms food and natural matter into strange grottos and dwellings. Almost resembling a John Martin painting of the underworld, Nadege’s camera takes us on a wild journey from the fruit and veg section of the supermarket to a sci-fi parallel universe.

  18. Helmut-smits-list

    Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and nobody knows this better than Helmut Smits. The Dutch artist has a gift for recontextualising everyday quirks and turning them into highly engaging, sharply entertaining art images and films. Whether he’s photoshopping in the real world or creating a makeshift sunset with some cardboard and a car the results are always wonderfully executed. We’re pretty damn pleased that Helmut’s website is now loaded with long-overdue updates for us all to enjoy. Truly excellent stuff!

  19. Putput-list

    Danish masters of aesthetic photography, Putput, have returned with fresh new updates to their website. As ever the content is unspeakably easy on the eye, the visual equivalent of hot milk and honey, and there’s really not much more to it than that. This time the content of the images are tupperware lids on assorted glassware – which sounds plain daft but looks surprisingly wonderful. Keep it up guys, it just never gets old!

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    It’s not often that our favourite creatives get to produce work for one of the biggest names in music – in fact this may well be the first time it’s happened – but Hugo and Marie’s work for Rihanna’s latest Unapologetic album bucks this trend nicely. Utilising not just one, but two of our favourite illustrators, Mario Hugo and MVM, the album is awash with hand-rendered type and MVM’s now ubiquitous illustration of Miss Fenty herself.

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    One of our favourite local illustrators, William Edmonds, has been quietly beavering away on collaboration-based project Colossal Space since mid-2011, when Supermundane kicked off proceedings. Nearly two years and seven collaborators later, William has recently enlisted his friend and NousVous collaborator Jay Cover to contribute to this clever and charming project.

  22. List

    There are certain times when dads come into their controlling own with BBQs, long car journeys and sandcastle-budiling among the most powerful transformations. But if you too were one of those youngsters who stood by hopelessly as your father lived out the twisted dreams of a megalomaniac architect during a day at the beach, then this one’s for you. Because your creations were good dad, but Calvin Siebert’s geometric sandcastles are brilliant. On his charmingly self-effacing Flickr page, Calvin laments the fact that he falls back on “old standby solutions” because of time pressures but let us stop you right there sir, because these are tremendous. Although the thought of you being given a six-week stretch to work your sandy magic makes us very excited. Kickstarter anyone?

  23. List

    It’s been YEARS since we caught up with Matthew The Horse so it was great to hear by the Twitter-vine that he had just updated his website; and sure enough heading over to those parts did not disappoint. To be honest with a name like Matthew The Horse (‘The Horse’ isn’t his actual surname) it wouldn’t matter if the work of Matthew The Horse wasn’t that exciting because we love the name Matthew the Horse (see, I can’t stop typing it). But in a bumper bonanza of illustrative goodness his work is great – often bold, bright and busy but he’s versatile enough to capture more muted moments as well. Top name, top work, top man. Matthew The Horse everybody!

  24. Main

    People used to paint photographs before the luxury of colour processing became an option, partly to convey the colours as they were as the shot was snapped, and partly because it’s a really fun thing to do, and they end up looking really cool. Shae Detar has cottoned on to this, and as a fan of experimenting in the darkroom, has made painting her photographs kind of her “thing”, with marvellous results. In these haunting images of girls — usually hanging out in some kind of canyon or sporting brilliant vintage-wear — Shae speaks of femininity and the reincarnation of dying camera techniques that are currently being lost to the Instagram generation.

  25. Grandpeople-list

    Ever since we featured Anish Kapoor and Brighten the Corners’ annual report for lighting giant Zumtobel, we’ve been on the hunt for more vivid, engaging presentations of hard-line factual and statistical data in a yearly round-up – and by god I think we’ve found one thanks to scandinavian studio Grandpeople.

  26. In_progress_2012_danbrooke_list

    Ahead of this summer’s sporting spectacular, most would have assumed the Paralympics would play second fiddle to the Olympics. That they didn’t is down in no small part to Channel 4’s extraordinarily successful way of repositioning the Paralympics based around the Meet the Superhumans campaign. Billing the achievements of disabled athletes as something over and above their able-bodied counterparts, it captured the public’s imagination and seems to have irrevocably changed attitudes to disability in the UK.

  27. Speerlist

    I don’t know what you associate with Kentucky (the derby? chicken?) but from now on, you must only associate this American state with illustrator Jordan Speer. Jordan is currently driving a band around America on their tour, but in his spare time manages to create these wonderful images of…well, we’re not sure what they’re of. Toys? Toys from Jordan’s imagination? Who knows.

  28. List

    And so to South Korea where Universal Everything were commissioned to create a series of videos for the hyundai Vision Hall. Utilising the 24 metre wide and 36 channel surround sound, Matt Pyke and his team produced an interesting set of works that ranged from the fun to the fearsome with everything from bubbling lava and crashing waves to mysterious coloured trees and strange frolicking creatures taking over the space. Mighty impressive individually they also make up a nice set, showing off Universal Everything’s idea generation and technical skill in equal measure.

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    What would the world of football look like if Rooney and Balotelli stopped denying their hearts desires, put aside their differences and got down and dirty on the turf of Old Trafford? The fans bemused, astounded; the referee flourishing his red as he loses control while the managers of rival clubs rest their bitter arguments to gaze upon their star players’ tackles of love primed to score!

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    It’s obviously the nature of departure areas for us to depart, onwards through the transition onto a new destination. Unfortunately, the departure area also signifies a blind rush and frantic, speedy march, continually frisking yourself for tickets or a passport you’re sure could have slipped off planet Earth through a zipped portal!

  31. List

    60 hours. That’s all we have until the hour of reckoning. 60 hours and the window of opportunity slams shut. And what then comrades?! What then?! Will you be able to say, yes, I heeded the call. Yes I stood toe-to-toe with destiny. Yes I decided that a quality hard-back digest of some of the best art and design posted on It’s Nice That this year was for me.

  32. Petronio-list

    For those of us that don’t rank highly enough on the fashion VIP radar, this is probably as close as we’ll ever get to seeing a fashion week invite in the flesh. Looks good doesn’t it? All shiny, foiled and exclusive. Makes me want to put my glad rags on and hit the catwalk’s front row. But for now I’m happy just to enjoy the design in photographs, largely due to the wonderfully crisp execution of Petronio Associates.

  33. Arianeprin-list

    We’re all for taking time over creative projects, but Ariane Prin has to be congratulated for taking slow production to a whole new level. Inspired by public fountains around Polish cities, Ariane’s Water Cups Fountain is a generative kinetic sculpture that disperses ceramic over plaster moulds, slowly layering up a spontaneous structure as it spins. The results are certainly eye-catching, but it’s the process that excites us the most; the sheer technical ingenuity behind such a simple creation.

  34. Main

    For someone who draws pictures that you wouldn’t be surprised to find underneath a nine-year-old boy’s bed, Michael Sadler is doing incredibly well. Maybe it’s because what he does looks so simple but is, in fact, almost impossible. To be able to draw with such little inhibition and make images that are like snapshots of a boy’s dream after a school trip to a castle is kind of an amazing skill. So expect turrets, lakes, battle axes and helmets, all illustrated in glorious watercolour and commissioned by the greats. We’re talking The Believer, Kramer’s Ergot, Mould Map and even Nike! Jealous of Michael’s life? I know I am.

  35. Listimage

    Having first established themselves in Rotterdam in 2002, Toko have been permanently working out of Sydney since 2006, developing a portfolio of creative work for national and international clients. Their approach to design is informed by the rich heritage found in a Dutch-European culture of design and branding; exemplified by Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture. The publication, that features first-rate design and dazzling visuals, was produced as part of the visual identity for the Australian exhibition at the 13th Venice International Biennale – the world’s most important architectural event.

  36. Vicelist

    It’s gone from being the magazine your mum hated you bringing into the house to an innovative addition to the way news and pop culture is covered in this country. But as the UK version of Vice celebrates turning ten is the enfant terrible of the mag world still discernible in say, the recent sober and thought-provoking Syria issue?

  37. Makgill-9

    If you know anything about paper you’ll know that GFSmith are at the very top of the pile, producing an incredible variety of stocks in mind-blowing colours, textures and even just in plain old white. But what you might not be aware of is that until recently they’ve specialised in uncoated stocks; a side to their business that’s recently developed with the addition of a small and exclusive range of coated papers.

  38. In_progress_2012_ruthmackenzie_list

    Remember that day last summer when everyone got up early to ring bells in what was one of the most heart-warming, unifying events of the last decade? Did you travel across the country just to get a bounce on Jeremy Deller’s Stone Henge? Well, involved with the cultural Olympiad or not, one thing is true, and that is it was bloody hard to miss.

  39. List

    Now if you’re a Christmas traditionalist, best to look away now, but if you’re not precious about such things then you might be in for a treat. For their seasonal campaign, Adidas have launched The Cautionary Tale of Ebenezer Snoop, which retells Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol with Mr Lion in the main role. And with cameos from David Beckham, Stan Smith and Rita Ora among many others, JJ Sedelmaier clearly had a great deal of fun with it. Yes it’s bonkers, yes it’s mindboggling at times but it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s refreshing to see a leftfield Christmas ad which isn’t desperately trying to pull on the heart strings. Although like most Christmas stories, there’s a moral in there if you’re willing to look for it…

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    We’re all familiar with the boldness of Manhattan – a bright, fast, vivid and relentless metropolis that never sleeps. Constantly bathed in artificial light originating from its transport, advertising, entertainment, housing and sidewalks scattered with street lamps. But as hurricane Sandy delivered its devastating blow, sending a vast water surge towards the city and submerging all power sources, the city wasn’t just flooded in water, but in an eerie silence under the cloak of complete darkness. Romain Laurent has captured these moments where the greatest, richest city on earth fell victim to nature, exposing a vulnerability against which it can never be completely defended.

    There was no street life, very few cars, and in this obscurity the few people Romain crossed “were unidentifiable shadows punctuated by flashlights.” This collection of images exposes this unusual environment that was left stranded for several nights, evoking a sense of fear alongside the natural curiosity of the unknown. Overall, Shadows communicates these surreal impressions experienced by residents as they roamed the streets isolated in the pitch black.