Archive

  1. Sambrewsterlistimage

    A year or so ago we came across an exceptionally talented young illustrator with a beautiful portfolio. We proceeded, as we do when excited by such stunning work, to describe Sam Brewster as someone who had it all, even good looks (although for the record, we did mention this might not be true).

  2. Listimagemcdonalds

    To Have & To Hold is a reflective reminder of the objects that visually flow through our lives everyday. By presenting these seemingly insignificant consumer giveaways ranging from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, Tim Sumner allows us to revel in what feels like a more innocent design age, “an era of the logo type rather than the brand, the filo fax as opposed to the mobile, the fax machine instead of the internet and a time when the word virtual had not yet become a reality.” Prepare to lose some of your day on this….

  3. Pblist

    There’s an ongoing discussion here at It’s Nice That HQ about how well younger generations of creatives recognise and appreciate the work of those who have gone before and how well tracked art and design heritage is. One of the names who always crops up in these conversations is Sir Peter Blake, whose impact on the Young British Artists – and therefore like it or not on the contemporary art scene in the UK – was massive.

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    It’s been a while since we’ve seen some really scathing illustration work on It’s Nice That, so let’s go! Jack Felgate has provided us with some laughs today with his charming array of paintings featuring lovely anecdotes such as “TV isn’t bad for you, being stupid is” and “Touch me or else I shall curse you” (coming from a wooden plank wearing some spectacles).

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    Just like it’s only cool to call your own dad lame, it’s only really legit to photograph some of the stranger people of a city if you’re actually from there. Luckily in this case, Mark Alor Powell who, the more I research the more I realise is pretty prolific, is actually from Mexico which kind of cushions the blow for how weird he’s portrayed it to be in Mexico XXI part 1&2.

  6. Studiodumbar-list

    We’re enormous fans of Studio Dumbar, time and time again they demonstrate that they can turn their talents to any creative problem and come out on top with a clear, communicative design solution. Whether it’s signage for a global shipping giant or a new identity for an award-winning international orchestra you can be sure the results will be magnificent.

  7. List

    So two short weeks ago we announced the first ever It’s Nice That Annual but so far we’ve only revealed the cover – until now. After weeks of painstaking selection, writing and a great deal of design work we are delighted to unveil some of the spreads from our new 264-page baby.

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    We can’t be the only ones getting a bit tired of clipart pumpkins affixed to anything and everything in a desperate bid to cash in on Halloween and we were crying out for a genuinely interesting spooky surprise. Enter Marc Hagan-Guirey who makes kirigami (i.e. single-sheet) paper sculptures of the houses from famous scary films.

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    We love it when illustrators graduate from the world of drawing tea-cups and cats and move on to making their stylised characters just have full blown sex — it’s refreshing, and hilarious. Illustrator Santiago Salvador takes humans out of the drab real world and puts them into his own, much better canvas kingdom.

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    You know that bit in Ferris Bueller when there’s the parade and everyone’s jumping around grinning and kissing each other in a rainstorm of streamers and ticker tape? Well, that’s the vibe in It’s Nice That HQ when new Andy Rementer work is announced. Even though we are devout fans of Rementer’s notorious Techno Tuesday, to see him branch out into a new style is something we are willing to fully get to grips with and enjoy as soon as is physically possible.

  11. Davidchancellor-list

    If you’re an animal lover it’s highly likely you’ll find these images upsetting. The bloodied carcasses of slaughtered beasts have a habit of turning the stomachs of even the most committed carnivore, but David Chancellor’s portraits of hunters in various parts of Africa are also remarkably compelling, inviting us to witness a ritualistic and deeply personal pursuit that very few will ever have experienced.

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    After stumbling across Nina’s work in the latest copy of Art Review it became apparent that she is an illustrator who is going places, probably because of the depth and wit present in the comics she creates. In monochrome panels, shady characters far too reminiscent of the ones we encounter daily on the streets of the less desirable parts of the city interact with one another in dingy love affairs and family dramas. Her meticulous draughtsmanship is brought to life by her immense skill as a storyteller and her ability to create the narrative through conversations between characters alone.

  13. Neighborhoodstudio-list2

    Neighborhood Studio is the commercial trading arm of illustrator and designer Curtis Jinkins. The Austin-based creative has made a name for himself producing the kind of ultra-American imagery that us Brits just can’t seem to get the hang of. Drawing inspiration from traditional sign-writing, mid-century illustration and of course just good old-fashioned US culture (why is it that there’s so much vibrant design for hot dogs?) Curtis creates identities, posters and just-for-fun hand lettering that has earned him widespread respect amongst his design peers. Top stuff!

  14. Windmaplistimage

    Sitting in London, our thoughts are with all those suffering the devastating effects of Storm Sandy in the US and elsewhere. For those anxious to track its chaos, this fascinating live data visualisation created by Fernanda Vegas and Martin Wattenberg on HINT.FM represents the destructive force of nature in all its complexity. The Wind Map was created as a “living portrait of the wind currents over the U.S,” which artfully reflects the weather patterns and their emotional impact on our lives.

  15. Skindeeplistimage

    While we have seen similar photographic projects to the Skin Deep series by French photographer Julien Palast, there’s something about the execution of these vibrant images that lingers in our mind’s eye long after first viewing them. The beautiful silhouettes of male and female forms are created from a shrink-wrapped effect set on arrays of gradient colour that works to both reveal and conceal simultaneously. The series entices the viewer to gaze on human forms in fresh ways, perhaps inspiring budding photographers to get creative with shrink-wrap styles themselves- although at It’s Nice That HQ, we obviously don’t endorse any impromptu and spontaneous trips to the kitchen draw to wrap unsuspecting friends in cling film for that “perfect” shot!

  16. Photobot-list

    There’s literally nothing worse than having to take photos at a party – except maybe the people who enjoy taking them, push their cameras in your face and momentarily blind you. Nobody wants to be THAT person, herding their guests into forced lineups, making them smile unconvincingly for a group portrait. And yet you definitely want to be able to document your night, if for no other reason than to piece together some of the details the next morning.

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    When I first came across the pictures of Zaha Hadid’s new Beijng development Galaxy Soho this morning I have to confess I assumed they were architectural renderings. So fluid are the lines, so graceful and futuristic is her newest work that the obvious assumption was that these were the kind of surreally perfect artists’ impressions that have deceived me before. But it is testament to Zaha’s insane talents and to photographer Iwan Baan that this is in fact the real thing, a four building, 18-floor office and entertainment quarter connected via bridges which opened yesterday.

  18. Opinion-list

    This week James Cartwright questions the relevance of street art as an underground art form and, more importantly, we want to hear what you think in the comment thread below…

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    Nervous flyers look away now, because this time-lapse has the potential to make you meet your breakfast again. Filmed by what seems to be a group of plane fanatics (much cooler than trainspotters, no?) this short film documents the alarming amount of incoming air traffic to Heathrow. Time-lapse has the tendency to make things look strange at the best of times, and this is no exception — watch as these planes become almost toy-like before your eyes, and rattle around in the breeze like nobody’s business.

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    We love it when artists make a total u-turn and create a fairly huge project that is entirely different to the style for which we know and love them. Vaka Valo, whose fantastic air-safety manual-esque illustration work we posted about in April is back on the radar with this new collection of expressionist-inspired digital embroideries. “My projects begin with curiosity,” Vaka tells us “then a series of ongoing intensive experiments follow. If I like the results, a system is introduced and a project organically arises from that. I just stay very curious. Ideas are too limiting.”

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    Maybe I’m naive but I have a pretty set idea about what sweet shops should look like – a cavalcade of colour and chaos that taps into the excitement of the little fat boy I once was. But for the new Papabubble shop in Amsterdam, Yusuke Seki has gone in exactly the other direction with impressive results. Exposed brick work, muted colours and intriguing conical flasks rather than overstuffed jars are very much the order of the day and yet the whole things works really well. This is what a grown-up sweet shop should feel like, emphasising the craft and science of sweet-making rather than just playing to the gallery of greediness. I’m definitely going to check it out next time in Amsterdam, I owe my inner chubster that much at least.

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    Do big art institutions represent the here and now? Amber van den Eeden and Kalle Mattson didn’t think one of Amsterdam’s most famous institutions did: “The Stedelijk forgot the internet,” they say, “it overlooked the abundance of young and promising artists that the city itself has to offer. It’s as simple as that.”

  23. Ecologyofcolour-list

    We like it when people collaborate. There’s something pleasing about imagining a bunch of folks with unique interests and skills embracing their differences to do something they wouldn’t have been able to on their own. What’s even better is when those different people with different skills happen to be two of your favourite practitioners in architecture and illustration respectively, coming together to produce a huge, colourful shed in the middle of the woods.

  24. List

    Well 2012 has positively flown by here at It’s Nice That HQ, so much so that it’s time to introduce our final intern of 2012. But last certainly doesn’t mean least and we’re delighted to welcome Ross Bryant into our editorial team for the next eight weeks. He’s published his own magazines, written for many others and once had what sounds like quite a serious industrial accident. Read on to find out more about him…

  25. Damienconrad-list

    Swiss studio Demian Conrad Design have been operating for a mere five years but already have an incredibly impressive body of work to their name. Founded by Demian Conrad in 2007, the outfit predominantly produces work for the cultural and leisure industries, creating packaging, posters, identities and editorial work for a wide variety of high-end brands and creative events (they’ve even had the honour of producing work for TED conferences).

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    If you had a heavy weekend it’s possible that your spending Monday morning having a good old think about what you just put your body through and so this is the perfect time to talk about Sylvain Dumais’ new project. Inspired by the idea of the body as a temple, he has created these mandalas – circular artistic patterns used a lot in Buddhist and Hindu art – out of some of the things with which we subject our insides, including sweets, cigarettes and pills.

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    New Yorkers have been battening down the hatches in preparation for the imminent arrival of Hurricane Sandy but we hope that it didn’t stop at least a few of them from enjoying this charming project over the weekend.

  28. Hoverstates-list

    It’s not often that we celebrate truly innovative web design. Rightly or wrongly (probably wrongly) the craft and functionality of the myriad websites we traverse each day goes largely unacknowledged. But that’s not to say there aren’t some magnificent pieces of online creativity out there, it’s just nobody’s thought to bring them together, to be explored in one place. Until now that is…

  29. List

    There’s something unnerving about tennis. In its relentlessly middle-class microcosm – a world of scarily starched whites and passive aggressive line calls (“It looked on the line to me Rosemary”) – the usual rules of society tend to get somewhat skewed but it takes an insider to get underneath the outwardly respectable veneer.

  30. Frosty

    As the frost sets in, I know we’ve all been thinking what on earth could provide the perfect bridge between ghoulish Halloween and chilly Yuletide? But wonder no more! Sufjan Stevens and animator Lee Hardcastle have presented us with the perfect remedy – a gruesome, bloody claymation horror story accompanied by his latest track Mr Frosty Man. It’s only two minutes long so I won’t tell you the full, sordid plot, but if you’re a Christmas purist I urge you to look away now.

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    Obama’s in the news a lot, partly because he’s kind of in charge of the world, and partly because he’s outrageously photogenic. Bear in mind it takes a lot more than good-looks to be photogenic — being completely comfortable in your own skin, having great style and being in interesting places helps a lot too, which in Obama’s case is not difficult.

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    I’m not afraid to admit that I was a little startstruck when Joe agreed to do this. Joe Dunthorne, one of Britain’s most energetic and engaging writers of cult novels and game-changing poetry has kindly let us have a sneaky peek at his bookshelf. Of course, it’s a brilliant collection chosen by someone with very good taste, his description of Austerlitz alone is enough to make you go out and buy three copies immediately. No more time wasting, take it away, Joe!

  33. List

    It’s been 10 weeks, 70 days, and 1,680 hours since me and Things first laid eyes upon each other. Champagne picnics in the park, Marvin Gaye by the open fire… It has been a whirlwind. But as they say, all good things must come to an end and as I leave Things behind as she continues to wow you all each and every week on the day we must part, she’s looking better than ever before! Earwax, animal posters magazine galore and Frieze family guides looking fancy, sit back and prepare to be wowed…

  34. Weekender-list

    The Weekender likes to think of itself as a cosmopolitan kind of weekly culture round-up, attending all sorts of trendy parties and hobnobbing with young, attractive folks. It reckons it’s the life and soul of the party, the teller of the best jokes and the mixer of the best cocktails around (it calls itself a mixologist). But the truth is The Weekender is the loudmouth in the corner that nobody actually invited, recounting garbled, bitter anecdotes about how handsome it used to be with its mouth full of Special Brew and its beard full of crumbs. But whatever, who cares. The Weekender’s throwing its own party right here, right now and you’re all ruddy invited. So come on in and have some fun – the Special Brew’s on us!

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    Dan Wilton’s one of those photographers whose job just seems like a whole bag of constant and varied fun. The Bots – two brothers aged 18 and 14 – like Dan also have an enviable day job consisting of playing in a primarily Arcade Fire-influenced band. Dan had the pleasure of following them around on a seemingly quite weird European tour and made it his business to document their constant grinning and mischief in zine form (naturally).

  36. List

    There’s something really about coming across a creative talent who has a discernible visual style but is also flexible enough to work across a host of briefs and that’s a description that certainly applies to Rafafans.

  37. Alexisvasilikos-list

    It’s tricky to find an enormous amount to say about Alexis Vasilikos apart from that he’s very, very good at what he does. His website is loaded with literally hundreds of images detailing little snippets of narrative and colourful abstractions that seem to bear no relation to each other, despite being branded with ambiguous titles like Swimming in the Wind and Back to Nothing. One thing is abundantly clear though – Alexis probably couldn’t take a bad photo if you paid him to, but more people should be paying him to take great photos.

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    Oof Friday you fiery, flirty crossroads of the week, will we ever get truly used to you? Probably not, but we’re here to help with the new episode of our Studio Audience podcast so why not tune in to hear us talk about all things art and design, and look out in particular for the world’s clunkiest James Bond pun and Liv’s feeble attempt to pose as a football fan. Enjoy!

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    You know which sector isn’t known for playful, colourful and communicative graphic design? The money management world, but that may be about to change thanks to those terrifically talented chaps and chapesses over at Isobel. On Trees is a tool designed to " help people review and plan their finances all in one place.." no wake up, because isobel have created two wonderfully simple teaser visuals using wool and plasticine under the strapline “Your money life neat and tidy.”

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    “Things were better in the olden days” – yep it’s that phrase again but with the flurry of the techie world taking pretty much everything by storm the traditional craft of sign painting has most definitely fallen victim to the tired cliche. I mean when was the last time you saw somebody on their hands and knees lovingly painting a sign with a paint brush?