Archive

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    It may very nearly be Christmas but until now festive spirit in the It’s Nice That studio hasn’t moved much beyond Christmas Gifs, Luke Stephenson’s excellent photographs of Santas in their grottos and steadily increasingly our daily food intake in preparation for the 25th.

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    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.

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    On the about section of his website, Philip Haynes describes himself as “A Norwich boy who happens to shoot heroes” which sounds like a terrific pitch for a low-budget UK action movie. Sadly the truth is Philip is a photographer, but happily he is a fantastic photographer, who specialises in sports images both in personal projects and for clients like Converse, Mens Health and O2.

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    The It’s Nice That Bookshelf is widely regarded to be the best feature on any website in the history of the internet. I like to think of it as a cheerful consolation prize for people that aren’t famous enough to go on Desert Island Discs yet. Here we look back at five of the most interesting shelves we’ve had this year. Get your pens out, you’re going to want to write some of these down.

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    This morning I was in the shower and was so tired I was wondering how I was still alive. All it took was one look at Ellakookoo’s updates, and the fact that she’s done a whole series of images about Cork having never been there to make me realise I need to cheer the hell up. The Berlin illustrator has been mighty busy of late, we particularly like her drawing of Nixon’s secretary Rose Mary Woods which will be featured in a book coming out very soon. Nice one Ella, keep it up!

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    Since we first covered Atelier Bingo back in July I’ve been following them more or less constantly on Instagram, tracking the development of their hand-built studio and the evolution of their screen printing skills. They’ve been nothing short of prolific in the last few months, turning their renovated space into a hive of activity, setting up an online shop, exhibiting in Korea, creating posters for German music venues, brushing up on their ceramic skills and churning out stunning screen prints as though their lives depended on it. We REALLY hope they’ll keep it up.

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    People are always finding amazing things in attics; so much so that I always think I should spend a weekend rooting through my loft, but then I remember I live in a flat and don’t have an attic and get sad.

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    Well this is just all kinds of tremendous. New York based studio Dark Igloo have created this parody advert for “the greatest game never made” and they have absolutely smashed it. Billed as “a little holiday homage to the must-have toys of our childhood” it purports to be a commercial for Bored Game a frankly baffling coming together of various toys and games you’ll recognise and many you won’t.

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    We’re enormous fans of paper-cutting, screen-printing, ceramic-making extraordinaire Rob Ryan, whose intricate and instantly recognisable work takes a sentimental and sweetly funny view of the world. Still, as Grandmas the world over assure their frustrated grandchildren on a day-to-day basis, “imitation is the highest form of flattery”, and we couldn’t help but suppress a giggle when we saw Bob Brian, Rob’s fictional evil twin created by a collective of illustrators, and his distinctly more miserable alternative vision.

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    Remember when Jack Featherstone and Will Samuel made this music video for James Holden? The one that reminded you of that time you breathed too much pagan dust at that sacrificial rave you went to at Stone Henge on the solstice. Well, Jack’s been busy since making record sleeves that mirror that exact vibe. Featuring in Pitchfork’s Best Album Artwork of 2013, Jack’s mystic work for Holden has successfully secured his place as one of the most wanted album artwork designers. His other new stuff’s bloody brilliant too.

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    Bits of automobile, flashes of torso, unusual flora and fauna, unexplained smoke, high-kicking dudes on hilltops, miniature motors and smiling blind men all crop up in Gauthier Chambry’s photography alongside collections of shod feet, abandoned building sites and skateboarders on satellites. What these things have in common is anyone’s guess but the Rennes-based photographer brings them all together under the roof of his portfolio and somehow makes them feel at home – like they all belong together. It takes a talented eye to do this, and the young Frenchman certainly isn’t short on skill, but you sense that he’s also got a natural eye for a great image that allows him to unite these disparate elements with ease.

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    Corporate calendars tend to be as dull as post-Christmas-lunch-washing-up dishwater but super-hip US hotel chain The Standard have produced an exception to prove the rule. Under the direction of Erik Kessels and photographer Thomas Mailaender, their 2014 calendar takes inspiration from the strangest letters, suggestions or complaints they’ve received from guests. Starting points include, “My girlfriend and I spent lots of money at the bar and on room service. Any compensation would be greatly appreciated,” and the terrifically odd, “I lost my kush. Where’s my kush?”

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    Forgive us for two things this afternoon. Firstly for shamelessly nicking this off The Fox is Black and secondly for posting something that was made back in 2008. Yep, that’s right. This utterly perfect promo for Kubrick Season on Channel 4 was created back when the Hollywood writers strike and the sudden death of much-loved actor Heath Ledger was taking effect on the film industry. Nevertheless, popular agency 4Creative took it upon themselves to make a minute-long paean to Kubrick’s infamous The Shining by shooting a fictional, one-take, behind-the-scenes film. Really though, has any promo ever come anywhere near being this good? I doubt it.

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    Good news this morning for all those who find themselves glancing idly over the text in library books, as they flick through the pages to look at the photographs and illustrations instead. Those jammy folk over at the British Library have got a fair few drawings and illustrations from historical books stashed away in their archive, and the digital world was delighted to find that they had kindly popped one million of them up on Flickr for the rest of the world to share.

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    New York photographer Mike Mellia can usually be found creating sleek, clean photographs for advertising campaigns, fashion stories and product editorial which means he’s well-versed in capturing his subjects at their best. This skill comes into its own when Mike makes personal portraits, his understanding of texture, light and atmosphere lending itself to the creation of rich, tonal images that echo the aesthetic qualities of the Flemish masters. His latest series of portraits features artists and writers as the subject, casting them as wistful thinkers, with their own strange narratives bubbling away under a carefully stylised surface.

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    Because we’re a nice bunch of young twenty-somethings and we like nothing more than meeting people in person and sluicing back a few mid-week drinks we decided it might not be a bad idea to have a little bit of a party to celebrate the launch of the Winter issue of Printed Pages. So we had a word with our friends at the Goodhood store, put some beers on ice and piled the free magazines high for an evening of festive cheer.

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    Ryan Todd is back with his tremendous Christmas GIFs project and once again he’s secured a host of top illustrator talents to provide short visual meditations on the festive season. So from Malika Favre to Jack Hudson, Supermundane to Animade, these weird and wonderful Christmas treats range from the fun and silly to the poignant and lonely (here’s looking at you Ross Phillips). An excellently creative way to kickstart the Yuletide madness.

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    Usually at Christmas I get a bit nostalgic with this slot; historically I’ve posted Wham!, Bing Crosby and David Bowie, so you’d be forgiven for thinking another Christmas classic was due. This year however, calls for a more serious bit of nostalgia, in the shape of one of the most memorable sets of music I’ve ever heard.

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    It’s no secret that we’re longtime admirers of Sarah Maycock. One of our Graduates crop of 2011 when we were blown away by her confident, soulful image-making it’s been an honour and a privilege to see her career go from strength to strength in the intervening years. And now – by way of this excellent film produced by her agents Handsome Frank – I find out that Sarah lives in Hastings, my absolute favourite place in the UK bar none. It’s a beautiful little short, giving us an insight into both Sarah’s practice and personality with some lovely studio shots to boot. We’re confident 2014 holds even more great things for her!

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    For their latest project, design duo Marc&Anna have been working on a newly opened creative space in south-east London which will be used for workshops, talks, exhibitions and supper clubs and the like. Creating an identity which is malleable enough to sort all the varying needs of such a venue on a tight budget is no mean feat, but Marc&Anna have done a marvellous job.

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    Inception was a cool film, wasn’t it? If, like me, you’ve missed having your mind blown by flipping horizons and helter skelter streets since it was released a couple of years ago then here’s Ben Thomas to remind you how cool and simple such effects can be. Ben uses tilt shift photography techniques to capture city skylines looking strangely like miniatures, and then mirrors them back onto themselves with editing software to create a weird vortex-like landscape. Cool, isn’t it? Now let’s all take a moment to imagine how strange it would be if looking up into the sky you saw the head of somebody else looking down at your from miles away. Weird.

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    “I don’t look upon this like it’s the end, I look upon it like it’s moving on you know. It’s almost like my work here’s done. I can’t imagine Jesus going ‘Oh, I’ve told a few people in Bethlehem I’m the son of God, can I just stay here with Mum and Dad now?’ No. You gotta move on. You gotta spread the word. You gotta go to Nazareth, please. And that’s, very much like… me. My world does not end within these four walls, Slough’s a big place. And when I’ve finished with Slough, there’s Reading, Aldershot, Bracknell, you know I’ve got to-Didcott, Yately. You know. My-Winersh, Taplow. Because I am my own boss, I can-Burfield. I can wake up one morning and go ‘Ooh, I don’t feel like working today, can I just stay in bed?’ ‘Ooh, don’t know, better ask the boss.’ ‘David can I stay in bed all day?’ ‘Yes you can David.’ Both me, that’s not me in bed with another bloke called David.”

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    We’re going to keep celebrating the launch of the Winter issue of Printed Pages until we’re vomiting sand, so you’d better get used to it. At least in this celebration you get the added treat of music, sweet music. For this issue we commissioned It’s Nice That Graduate and all-round talented, magical man Edward Monaghan to create a visual mixtape for us. He selected five of his favourite songs and set about illustrating each one with spectacular results.

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    Some artists struggle to convey the ideas behind their work and practice through words alone. Here to solve this predicament is nice creative man Braulio Amado who has put together one of the most simplistic, charming publications we’ve seen in a long while. Gathering together the best illustrators and graphic artists alive on the planet at this moment he began to piece together a book of interviews in which each artist could answer the question visually rather than through words. The results are an honest, funny glimpse into the minds of some of the artists we know so well through the candid doodles they use to answer Braulio’s questions. You can buy your own copy (which I highly recommend) through his site.

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    Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, here’s a podcast of art and design, with logs on the fire, gifts on the tree, time to rejoice in the podcast we see! Sure, a Cliff-themed intro to get you in the mood this week and why ruddy not? You know the drill by now, us, in your ears, with the week’s creative and cultural tidbits.You can’t say fairer than that. You can listen via the SoundCloud link below or subscribe via iTunes here.

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    Can you hear that ringing noise? That’s the collective squeals of the millions of Beyonce fans who this morning had their minds BLOWN apart by the special lady releasing an entire album plus 17, yes 17 video previews. One minute she’s putting us off the scent by instagramming another vegan meal and the next minute she blows every single other pop star out the water with this unveiling. Genius. What are you still doing reading this? Watch all of the 30 second videos immediately so you can start joining in the imminent conversation around it. From now on, Friday will be renamed BEYDAY.

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    How would you expect Lynx Africa’s 18th birthday to play out? Pre-lash round your mate’s parent’s house then out into town on the bus wearing your best Ben Sherman shirt only to get I.D’d and be sick on to your beige loafers outside KFC? Sounds pretty perfect to me. No, Lynx have opted for a more civilised birthday bash this year to celebrate their 18th year and have enlisted some of the UK’s top artistic talent to help them.

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    It’s not everyday you come across a photographer who shows an equally outstanding flair for portraiture, still-life and collage making, which probably explains why Lorenzo Vitturi’s Dalston Anatomy has us all so excited!

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    When you look through Matt’s work do you imagine him wearing “slacks” striding through a well-lit, high-rise office towards a Mad Men style drawing board with an Anglepoise lamp? I do. His designs and illustrations seem to speak the hard wit of cities: sharp, of the moment, and of the highest standard. His client list is so long that it could be mistaken for a directory of the world’s publishers, and the list of authors he has designed books for reads like the membership list of heaven’s own library. Why is he so popular? Because as well as nailing the art of illustration and graphic design, Matt makes sure he transforms lonely text into books people go out of their way to get. May he long continue to do so.

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    What can I say about the work of Roman Muradov except for a simple “Wow!” This guy is bloody brilliant. The San Francisco resident spends his days creating illustrations for highly reputable clients like The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vogue and NPR, producing images that are teeming with activity and excitement, full to bursting with jazz-age characters galavanting through extraordinary landscapes. He’s also a prolific author of stunningly surreal comics on the side. In fact, Yellow Zine, his self-directed comics journal is up on Kickstarter for its fourth edition so won’t you all be dears and support this legend of illustration so we can all enjoy the fruits of his labours in 2014.

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    The modern cinema-going experience can be somewhat soul-destroying. Too often you find yourself in a sticky-floored multiplex where any sense of film as an art form is stripped back to lowest common denominator blockbusters. But the UK has a fine heritage of interesting, unusual and important cinemas, relics of a lost age where film’s place in the social and cultural pecking order was very different. In the latest issue of Printed Pages, photographer and filmmaker Jake Green takes us inside London’s Renoir cinema, a last longing look around a space on the brink of being refurbished. We caught up with him to find out a little more.

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    If you were lucky enough to find yourself at the festival Secret Garden Party earlier on this summer you might well remember an enormous suspended sculpture, composed of hundreds of shard-like fragments of metal which spelt out the words “KEEP MAKING LOVE,” swinging softly in the breeze. Pretty magnificent, wasn’t it? It was the work of Netta Peltola, a London-based designer freshly graduated and full to the brim with exciting ideas for building, designing, and making very cool things. She’s created all kinds of other brillant projects too, from a series of anglepoise lamps and a look book for a London designer, to a giant wooden hut that you can sit in, which she made for Green Man Festival.

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    Come in beautiful people, your time is up. No more will fashion shoots require your nubile limbs and razor-sharp cheekbones because as happened to supermarket checkout operators and bank tellers, robots are going to take your place. Photographer David Ryle, art director Gem Fletcher and multidisciplinary design duo Studio Boo have produced a photoshoot fit for the 21st Century starring C.A.R.L. who despite, you know, being made of metal, still seems to be able to gaze wistfully into the middle distance and work his angles for the lens. Lovely stuff.

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    Every now and again in a sea of new art and design you come across somebody whose work draws you in without you fully being able to explain why, with all the magnetism of a strange mind and a curious practice. This is something like what I feel about illustrator Faye Moorhouse; her eerily dark images pull me in without my being able to diagnose it. Her Midnight Gatherings series sees bewitching images see pale ethereal figures playing their way to the forefront of a murky abyss, with translucent faces peering dreamily from the bellies and faces of others, with a few crystal balls and moons thrown in for good measure.

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    By all accounts Tigersushi Furs is one heck of a cool boutique store in Paris hawking the finest patterned clothing money can buy and an eclectic mix of other curated products (they’re also a small record label). For their Winter 2013 range they enlisted the help of fellow Parisians L’Etiquette to help them create a campaign for their patterned finery that makes all wearers of their clothing look like they’re having THE BEST time. The premise is simple: man and woman battle furiously over a pile of lovely clothes, cavorting around a plush modernist building complete with grand piano, mid-century furniture and brutalist stairways while a quizzical ginger cat looks on in confusion. Works for me. I’m off to buy a cardigan.

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    Few things get us as excited in the studio as the prospect of a new animated film of Michel Gondry in conversation with legendary activist Noam Chomsky, not to mention the fact that it has been animated by Michel himself – so you can imagine the way coffee cups flew across the room when we came across his “making of” Is the Man Who is Tall Happy. Fortunately for us Michel talks to himself almost incessantly while working, so this short film gives an unbelievable insight into his painstaking animation process, plus the measures he went to to connect with Noam even writing words down when they found themselves lost in translation.

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    Christmas is a time when us Brits break with tradition and make ham-fisted attempts to interact with our neighbours, leading to awkward evenings of cheap mulled wine and excruciating small talk. Luckily for us, one of our east London neighbours is ustwo, the digital design agency who combine high-tech brilliance with a wicked sense of mischief. The latest offering from their app game team (the same chaps who brought us the amazingly addictive Whale Trail) is Monument Valley, a stunning Escher-inspired game where you lead a princess through a beautifully-realised world of hidden paths and secret staircases. The teaser trailer and accompanying imagery are enough to whet our appetites and have us wishing away the festive period so we get closer to next year’s release date.

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    Christmas has different associations for people – some positive, some negative – and Cliff Richard, like sprouts, has the power to polarise festive opinion. But like it or not Sir Cliff has become a part of our collective Christmas consciousness and so what better time to celebrate the croon-meister general? Only maybe we all need to give Sir Cliff a break? As this excellently silly Tumblr Cliff Richard Dying Inside makes clear, it appears that from dolphins to Formula 1, we’ve forced him into some utterly surreal photoshoot situations. As ever the truth is in the eyes, which seem to give away the baffled, bemused and befuddled reality of being a national treasure. Come for the images, stay for the write-offs…

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    The other day we were like “We haven’t heard from Antonio Ladrillo for a while”, so when we had a look at his site and realised he had a whole load of new work we were smiling even more than those sweet, funny mountains he draws. There aren’t many illustrators who use such a consistently cheerful and recognisable style as Antonio, his bright Microsoft Paint-like creations are infused with every single fantastic aspect of childhood. The fact that he appeals to people of pretty much any age is probably the reason why he always gets commissioned to do really cool stuff all the time. We love you Antonio, happy Thursday.

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    We’d imagine that Bela Borsodi divides opinion out there. On the one hand the majority of his shoots are laden with ultra-sexualised shots of beautiful women in what could be described as submissive postures. That said, there’s always a killer concept and pristine execution framing these sexual images that you just can’t help but be entranced – regardless of all the boobs. He’s also more than prepared to laugh at himself and not take his profession too seriously, which is pretty rare for a man who deals predominantly with fashion photography. Whatever your opinion we’d be prepared to wager you’ll be impressed by this recent shoot for Hunger that shows off all of Bela’s trademarks. We can’t get enough of it, but remember, if you don’t work in a hip, trendy palace of fun in East London, so take care if you’re viewing at work.