1. Main

    Here we are, the bloody top ten. Before you ask, yes, the Sushi Cats made it. Phew! It’s an unexpected top ten, but nevertheless an incredibly powerful one. These are the guys that you clicked on so much that they beat every single other post on It’s Nice That into the most read work of the year. Popular/best, tomato/tomato. You get the picture.

  2. List

    Teenage years might be little more than a series of impassioned hobbies, angry Nirvana anthems and clumsy snogs to some, but the penultimate instalment of our top 100 means more than that to us. It’s packed full of art and design greatness! We’re like the advent calendar that you get to enjoy ten chocolate reindeer at a time! Without further ado, then, here are ten more metaphorical cardboard doors for you to rip off, you lucky sons of guns…

  3. Wildcards-list

    I had no idea I’d written quite so many posts over the last seven months, so trying to choose five of my favourite was something like placing a small child in the toy section at the Argos warehouse and telling them they would only have five things, and they couldn’t even have a look through the catalogue before choosing. Still, you asked for it, so here they are, in all of their flowery, miniature pastel-coloured glory.

  4. 30-21-list

    This is where things get really bloody serious. The hallowed top 30 (is that even a thing?) is where the real cream of the cream (or creme de la creme to coin a new phrase that borrows from French) hang out. What delights are in store in this treasure trove of creative excellence? Who knows. Read on before I mix any more metaphors.

  5. Exhibitions-list

    Trying to summarise the best of this year’s exhibitions is such a tall order that we’re really only prepared to do it once. We’ve already had a crack in this year’s Annual, so if you’d like to see what we really reckoned then you know where you can get your hands on one. Instead, here’s a bunch of brilliant shows that probably didn’t get the attention they deserved in Time Out and the papers and that. Enjoy them, they’re lovely.

  6. List

    Next year I turn 30, a milestone I am ignoring while all around seem hellbent on reminding me. So it is with some personal resonance that we come to the 30s, 10 posts ranging from naughty bags to not one but two Wes Anderson videos. So eyes down, and get ready to marvel at another selection of creative belters…

  7. Wildcards-list

    While Rob will use his wildcard post to turn the year into a witty personal creative narrative and Liv will undoubtedly dazzle you with her eclectic tastes, I just want to use this opportunity to bore you all to death with a bunch of comics that have made my year. Half of you probably think comics are a load of old toss, but I’ve got carte blanche to do what I want in this post, and what I want to do is force a hard-line agenda of graphic novels on the lot of you, like a Kim Jong-Un of comic art. Don’t forget to smile and clap in all the appropriate places…

  8. Main1

    Everyone loves the middle. Middle of a meal (main course), middle of a film (happy montage) and middle of a relationship (you’re not annoying each other yet). Welcome to the middle of our countdown of the best articles of 2013 and, like every other middle, it’s full of blissful joy and happiness. Read on, dear reader, read on….

  9. List

    Arguably the most exciting creative projects of 2013 can’t be pinned down to just one frame, so we’ve allowed them to overflow into a Review of the Year post all of their own, compiling some of the very best film, animation and moving image clips of the year. Where else would you find puppets pleasuring themselves, a crazy glimpse into the future by the Layzell Brothers (say no more) and a guide to tricky social situations narrated by Jason Schwartzman? As we thought! You need us.

  10. 60-list

    I’ve heard great things from people claiming that your fifties are the best years of your life. I’m not quite there yet, but I fully intend to fill mine with copious holidays, throwing fabulous parties and flicking my silver hair over one shoulder while swigging champagne by the bottle. In celebration of that glorious vision, here are OUR fifties, from our yearly review of the top 100 posts of 2013, and my are they good. Read on…

  11. Publications-list

    It’s been a big year for independent publishing; either it was dying a terrible death or giving birth to incredible new titles, falling under the pressure of a global financial crisis or turning into another industry that’s somehow managed to survive. The only thing that was clear was that nobody understood what the hell was going on –especially so-called experts – and so we all had to just grit our teeth and hope that people would buy our magazines. To celebrate the sort-of-survival of ink on paper here’s some of our favourite titles to spring up anew or weather the storm of 2013.

  12. 70-61

    In human ageing 61-70 are the years in which everyone you know who’s younger decides that you’ve peaked physically and mentally, meaning they speak slowly and loudly whenever they address you, ensure you’ve got a cushion at all times lest your brittle bones fracture from sitting on any hard surfaces and dismiss everything you say due to your imminent senility. So let’s hear it for these ageing has-beens. We still think they’re terrific, just remember to speak up and try to indulge their stories about the war.

  13. List

    Another 12 months gone by and hundreds of articles later, picking five was nigh on impossible. In fact it was impossible; as you’’ll see I’ve abused my position and to sneak in references to two extra posts as I just couldn’t whittle it down. So sue me yeah? (Please don’t sue me.) Anyway enough of my prattling on here are my picks of 2013…

  14. List

    As we reach the 70s, there’s a true geographical smorgasbord for you to feast on, taking in Seoul and South Africa, Scandinavia and the States alongside an advert for a quintessentially British foodstuff. What unites these disparate projects is of course their excellence and their places in our top 100 articles of the year.

  15. Things-list

    We know what you’ve all been waiting for – our top five Things! Right? Right?!! Things is the weekly feature where we take all of the most exciting stuff that we get sent throughout the year and share it with you, like a mouthpiece for the under-represented artists and designers masquerading as a rowdy show-off. Without further ado, then, here’s our favourites of the year.

  16. List-90

    We may have only just brought you the first instalment of our top articles of 2013 but you know us, dear reader, and we’re moving along swifter than a cartoon train with its gearstick stuck in forward. Without further ado then here are entries number 90-81 of our most read articles this year, in all of their art and designy glory!

  17. Main

    As part of our look back on 2013, each of the four editorial staff were asked to pick five posts which didn’t make out Top 100 cut but which they felt passionately should be given a second life in the end-of-year celebrations. After some discussion it was decided that each of the four of us would only choose posts they had written themselves and with that in mind we got down to the serious business of selection. Editor Liv Siddall wrote nearly 600 articles this year and her intro reflects how difficult she found the process. In fact she submitted just three words: “THIS WAS HARD.” (RA)

  18. List

    Cripes! Here we are again with a look back at 12 months of curated creativity and we’re thrilled to once again countdown 100 of the most popular articles of 2013 as well as a whole host of the year’s highlights. They’ll run a couple of day from now until January 1 and so we hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed putting them together. See you on the other side you sexy things!

  19. 100-list

    It was only a few weeks ago that we made a list about the highs and lows of the end of the year lists which we were being bombarded with from all sides. Now in true It’s Nice That style, we’re here to bring you ours, which is not only (probably) longer but also (I imagine) much sillier and nicer to look at than any of the other end of year lists you’ve read. Welcome to our Review of the Year 2013! And kicking off our Top 100 most popular posts from the past 52 weeks, we have numbers 100-91 for you to recall, sigh over and then revel in all over again. Enjoy!

  20. List

    What a year for music videos! And before you think we’ve just put all of Beyonce’s 14 music videos in one list, think again. We didn’t even include Pharrell’s 24 hour masterpiece (we did put in the Kanye parody though, sorry). This list is a pick of the most graceful, interesting, intricate, watchable moving image pieces that have accompanied songs this year. This’ll kill a good half an hour while you’re bored to tears at home this Christmas. Enjoy!

  21. Wemin

    What’s the point of giving you boring old articles about boring old art and design when you can have YouTube clips and funny pictures about Christmas? Hmm? Exactly. Here’s a selection of festive crap for you to gawp at, like a stocking packed by the internet itself. Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the It’s Nice That Christmas Special Weekender! Let’s start with this.

  22. Main

    Don’t you find that most Christmas mixtapes are grating, antisocial and depressing? We’ve gone out of our way this year to make a lovely festive mixtape that you can play in a room without anyone being forced to reach for the booze to kill the pain. Yep, we’ve got Charlie Brown, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and Nat King Cole in this merry assortment of loving songs. Let this be the soundtrack to the best Christmas of your lives. Take it away Charlie Brown…

  23. List

    And so here we are again; post Christmas party hangovers throbbing, a sense of end of year ennui mixed with regret and a side order of shame. Never fear though we have just the thing for you; a Studio Audience Christmas special with nine guests a guesting, loads of creative highlights of 2013 and a whole bundle of in jokes. Enjoy.

  24. List

    Did you know that if your home lacks a fireplace – and that can be a real problem at this festive time of year – then you can get a realistic-looking film of one courtesy of online video platform Netflix? You didn’t did you? No you’re right it’s a bit weird, but the Netflix chaps have embraced this absurdity with this terrifically tongue-in-cheek trailer for said fireplace. Over-the-top voice-over? Check! Silly quotes that make little sense? Check! An inflated sense of its own importance? Check! Clearly these guys see a lot of trailers, which allows them to lampoon the genre with consummate skill. Well played Netflix, well played indeed.

  25. List

    As far as we can tell, we need no excuse to bring you excellent book design, so we’re taking the end of the year slow down (what’s that? Oh no, no slow down over here, no sir!) as an opportunity to do just that. Art director and designer Darren Haggar knows a thing or two about book cover design; his simple, powerful, images have been dominating shelves in bookstores for years and his current role as art director of Penguin Press in New York means we can expect even more graphic greatness in 2014 and beyond.

  26. List

    Just over five years ago James Houston graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a project that blew minds across the country, programming a range of analogue gadgets to perform Radiohead’s Nude. Now he’s back with a rewritten christmas carol to warm the cockles of our stone-cold robotic hearts and a video with much higher production values than his debut. It’s still absolutely dumbfounding though. Sing with me! “Hail the machines, sweet old machines, blow off the dust, wipe off the rust…”

  27. Wayne-list

    Wayne Hemingway is a designer in the truest sense of the word, as we discovered when he spoke about his career in his insightful and uplifting talk at Here 2013. Intuitive and discerning, the Lancashire-born designer has built a career upon what he believes to be the central pillar to his craft; finding out about the problems afflicting society, and doing everything necessary to solve them.

  28. Main1

    After years spent working in notorious Berlin nightclubs, photographer Sarah Schoenfeld is the first person to admit an astute awareness of the unique effects of recreational drugs. After observing first-hand the hedonistic behaviour of hardened ravers, she decided to bypass her voyeuristic gaze by taking a range of mind-altering substances and placing them directly onto developed photo negatives.

  29. Main1

    Trust Saiman Chow to make light of the dark, bleak reality that is the cheerfully-named Black Sunday and make a colourful homage to it. Saiman’s Black Sunday shows a chapel made of escalators, with logos embedded in the stained glass, and is one of three new pictures he has added to his portfolio that address the subject of over-consumption. Saiman’s new style is super exciting and is a step away from his preferred pencil and ink approach that has gotten him a lot of success thus far. Let’s hope there’s much more of this ilk to come in 2014.

  30. Main1

    Sure this isn’t the most conventional kind of graphic design, but when you’re creating pupil-warbling posters and vinyl artwork for bands with names like Salvia Plath then it’s probably a good thing. Robert Beatty is flying the ripped, stained flag of classic, mindbending album artwork of yore. Soft fades, strange creatures, mystic doorways, incoming clouds – you name it, Robert’s work is like the locker door of a 1970s YES fan. With new work featured in the latest Mould Map and a whole bunch of amazing artwork made for bands including his own, Robert seems to be hacking away at this niche nicely. Hack away, friend. Hack away.

  31. List

    Graphic designer Yehrin Tong has a smart new website which gives free rein to her fantastic maximalist creations. The Central Saint Martins graduate has no time for the clean, crisp reductive approach so on-trend right now, rather her patterns, motifs and type treatments for both commercial and editorial clients revel in colour, repetition and optical illusions. The Darwin cover in particular is a triumph; more monkey patterns in 2014 we say!

  32. Main1

    When you listen to Metronomy do you feel a creeping sensation of loneliness? I do, which is why this video from The Creators Project has struck a particularly raw nerve as it is set in space – the loneliest of all the places. Luckily for the lead, Joseph Mount himself, his cosmic voyage takes him to spots in the cosmos where other beings dwell. Meet smily meteor babe, King Child and sun lady. This is a fantastic video with effects similar to those of early episodes of Red Dwarf, perfect for the song, and directed by the clearly very talented Edouard Salier. Another reason to love Metronomy and space even more than you did five minutes ago.

  33. List

    The ever-brilliant Côme de Bouchony has just got himself a brand spanking new website up and running, there to display his self-designed creations to the world with superior style. It’s full of Côme’s predictably delicious work, old projects and new. But we thought it’d be nice to look back at an old one that’s never appeared on the site, The Comptoir Général Ghetto Museum.

  34. Main8

    Photographer Daniel Ali is one of those people who just seems to see things differently. His series Searching for Karachi is a collection of images taken in Pakistan, where he set about rejecting the archetypal view of the country in favour of adequately depicting “the volatile life for Karachiites” which so often remains veiled from Western visitors. The resulting photographs show security guards watching CCTV footage, prisoners kept behind bars and vendors walking on the beaches trying to sell their wares, where other photographers would happily have settled for hundreds of digital images of bright fabrics and bags of spices in a street market. Refreshing and honest, the images are a welcome alternative.

  35. List

    San Diego-based creative Cy Kuckenbake is a man of broad artistic tastes. A glance through the Vimeo page of this innovative filmmaker and photographer reveals that his work swings from Bush League, a multi-award-winning “ character driven ethnographic survey of a tiny village in Northern Malawi” to experiments with editing everyday footage to create extreme visual effects. The latest of these sees him filming the roads round his hometown during the busy midday period, then reordering the footage so that the cars going past become colour-coded. It’s meticulously done and you get more of an insight into how and why Cy did this on the nice Creators Project behind-the-scenes below.

  36. Main

    For the final Opinion piece of 2013 we asked Steve Watson of Stack Magazines – whose website has just been relaunched to mark its fifth anniversary – to give us some publishing predictions for the year ahead. As ever you can join the debate below…

  37. List

    Last night we hosted our last Nicer Tuesdays of the year and took the chance to look back at some of our favourite projects of 2013. In the excellent surroundings of Mother London we heard from four creatives whose work dazzled and delighted us these past 12 months.

  38. List

    Sometimes the best way to challenge injustice and inequality is through humour, an idea that Mother London have again explored in their new project. Horrified by the treatment of the LGBT community in Russia, where homosexuality has been classed as a mental illness since 1999, Mother have worked with The Kaleidoscope Trust charity to create something silly that has a serious point to make. To Russia With Love is a limited edition set of hand-painted Russian dolls but in place of bonneted matrons, the sets feature prominent British LGBT figures, namely Sir Elton John, George Michael, Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Tom Daley (presumably a late addition). The dolls are being auctioned off on eBay to raise funds for the charity and sets are being delivered to both The Kremlin and the Russian Embassy in London.

  39. List_image

    Did you know that after gaining independence in 1964, Zambia started a space programme to send the first African astronaut to the moon?! Nope, neither did we, which to be fair is not that surprising as a lack of financial resources meant the project was pretty much doomed to failure, becoming no more than a little-known occurrence in the history of the global Space Race.

  40. List

    There are many magazines which beg to become the first in a never-ending collection, but the universal and seemingly timeless draw of food makes it an especially tempting subject. I can think of no better example than FUET MAGAZINE, born of a love of food and cooking, of which the very first issue has just been let out into the world. Designed by Diego and Martí of Spanish studio Córdova – Canillas, FUET is a beautiful example of publication design with a strong visual identity, editorial consistency and photoshoots to rival any other foodie mag out there. Witchcraft, the art of slaughter and an endearing feature on modem food rituals are all in there, in a charming and inquisitive collection of content. We’re very eager to get our hands on it.