1. List

    Sometimes a photo series is so pitch perfect the images seem like they’ve been shot on a film set – a constructed version of the subject which almost looks too good to be true. Such is the breathtaking quality of Brad Harris’ documentation of the World Speed Trials held on the Utah Salt Flats last October.

  2. List

    Sam Island is a freelance illustrator based in Toronto, Canada whose clean-line reductive illustrations have won him the favour of the biggest names in news and editorial. A regular contributor to The New York Times, Bloomberg View and The New Yorker, Sam spends his days creating crisp, witty editorial illustrations that perfectly complement the articles they sit with. He understands only too well the necessity of communicating swiftly and effectively among endless column inches.

  3. Main

    It’s fun to have kids’ drawings in your home, whether they’re drawn on sugar paper hanging off the fridge or scribbled on the wall by the upstairs bathroom, they tend to be pretty hilarious and could, one day, be sold for a lot of money. It’s a shame to store away these little nuggets of potential future artistic talent into a cupboard where they can’t be seen, so Crayon Creatures have invented a genius method of turning the images into objects using 3D printing technology to be kept as ornaments – a little sandstone souvenir of your child’s early, cheerful artistic habits. Very cute. One please!

  4. List-office

    A paper replica of an eighties ad agency office is pretty meta. A paper replica of an imaginary eighties ad agency office is super meta. Alexis Facca, who showcases his love of paper, set design, shapes and colour under the alias Paper Donut, has created this marvelous shrine to the creative eighties by purportedly replicating the real office of the Walter R Cooper ad agency, who, as you’ll know “became one of London’s most celebrated agencies as it created glossy adverts that often combined humor, music and sexual energy and came to define the Eighties.”

  5. Brandon-list

    When he’s not taking photographs for Bloomberg Businessweek or W/ —-Projects David Brandon Geeting spends his time creating still lifes that seem to have no context or explanation. His grouping of objects occurs purely on the basis of their aesthetic compatibility, placing lighters on tinfoil, mobile phones on brightly coloured card and a cat on a marble surface. In spite of this absent context David’s Images are visually striking, breathing life into otherwise superfluous articles, like ear plugs, chew toys and beef jerky (beef jerky IS superfluous). If you think you’ve seen still life like this before, you may have seen something similar, but David’s style is entirely his own – who else could pair slices of cabbage with a plastic bag and make it look this good?

  6. List-7-eleven

    7-Eleven has been leading the way in conveniently placed conveniences since 1927. But while it’s likely you might pop in for a chocolate bar and a cup of coffee, it’s less likely to be your first port of call for a graphic design fix.

  7. List

    It was way back in 2008 that we first championed brilliant Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki whose work fuses technological know-how and quirky ideas with playful, thought-provoking results. Over the years he’s gone from strength to strength, whether it’s creating superb personal work like the Three Radio Theremin, bizarre commissioned pieces for big brands (like the Red Stripe sound system made from recycled Notting Hill Carnival beer cans) or being chosen as one of the Design Museum’s Designers in Residence last year.

  8. Main

    If you’ve ever set up lights before photographing something, you’ll know that it’s a tricky yet satisfying business. Trying to dodge shadows, making sure the aperture is right and simultaneously avoiding tripping over a million tangled wires all over the floor isn’t exactly easy. So Jamie Stoker, a London-based photographer had the genius idea of using good old Mother Nature to do the dirty work for him and set up this fantastic studio that needs only natural light.

  9. Kadebostany-list

    We’d be lying if we told you that Supermafia VJ’s latest spot for Swiss electro-marching band Kadebostany wasn’t a pretty tense watch. It’s all moody lighting, intense gazes and aggressive, angular dance moves. But it’s also pretty freaking excellent, forcing you to the edge of your seat as the music slowly crescendos with the relentless progression of the horn section. Whether you’re a fan of Balkan-themed brass bands or not (we are now) you’re going to want to see this for the pure experience alone.

  10. Andyralph_list

    Why do we love Andy Ralph? For the way he takes everyday objects and transforms them into works of unparalleled visual wit. By using items commonly found in hardware stores and littered around domestic locations, Andy “straddles the line between function and fiction, subjectivity and banality”. Witness his Zenofence, a public installation of stacked picket fences that explores the way we carve up the urban landscape. Marvel at his Trash Clan, an extraordinary mob of overturned dustbins furiously attempting to right themselves. If there’s one thing Andy definitely understands it’s how to turn the everyday into the quietly surreal.

  11. List2

    Eiko Olaja is an illustrator, graphic designer and art director based in Talinn, Estonia and my goodness he’s one talented fellow. I am particularly enamoured with his paper collage work which is charming and communicative without being twee. He’s also got a gently subversive sense of humour as evidenced in his World Religions piece, which pokes fun at footballers’ inclination towards melodrama. With this ability to combine consummate craftsmanship with a healthy sprinkling of wit, Eiko is a creative talent we’re relieved is finally on our radar.

  12. Henrikfranklin_list

    Picture-making Swede Henrik Franklin is one seriously talented chap. He’s only just graduated from an MA in illustration and design at Konstfack, Stockholm where he’s developed a witty and approachable vernacular of gouache on paper that deals with the arbitrary happenings of day to day life. But in Henrik’s world the cuckoo clocks have stage fright, the neighbours are creepy and love is nearly always unrequited.

  13. List

    Turns out that it’s nearly the end of January and true to form I haven’t kept up my New Year’s fitness regime. What I need is an excuse to get active, a creative cardio session that makes me think I’m having fun but I’m actually doing exercise. Bang! Voila! Here it is in the shape of Dutch Uncles front man Duncan Wallis doing his thing with some supremely satisfying timing. See ya later physio, I’m hanging out with Duncan!

  14. List

    Now I know it’s Monday morning and those back-to-work boo-hoos feel slightly overwhelming but let us cheer you up with a sumptuous stationery fix. Designers Yarra Jones and Sarah Thorne met while working on print projects for big name fashion brands and saw a gap in the market for for papery loveliness that suited each season. So Paper Stock was born and if their inaugural spring/summer 2013 collection is anything to go by it’s a great thing it was. They sum up their debut as combining “busy monotone print with embossed whites & neutrals, black on black, and translucent glassine papers, all drawing on the iconic clutch format” and see the fruits of their labour of love as potential accessories rather than just note-taking implements.

  15. Losiento-list

    There’s nothing sexy about milk. The creamy effluent of bovine teats might be a crucial part of our diet but has always been served up in utilitarian packaging that lacks any consideration for design. But things are changing down on the farm, and Catalonian design studio Lo Siento have recently completed this excellent identity for Blanca, a dairy in the Pyrenees that prides itself on honesty and sustainability. Their design reflects this in its visual simplicity and use of some of the traditional elements of daily dairy, taking the humble glass milk bottle and adorning it with some beautiful, clear type. It’s still produced from the guts of a cow, but this fine piece of branding goes a long way to making milk a lot more appealing.

  16. Things-list-18-01

    This week the Things sack gave us an intoxicating magazine about cider, seven beautiful zines, drawn dreams, global graphics and a book of washed out photographs. Enjoy!

  17. Main

    A brief but brilliant selection here from the fabulous illustrator Sergio Membrillas. A favourite in the It’s Nice That HQ for his constant updates, Sergio’s editorial illustrations just seem to keep flowing out of his head! Naturally, his selection includes some of the nicest illustration books around. Dig in!

  18. _list

    “I hear the drums echoing tonight, but she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation. She’s coming in 12:30 flight, the moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation. I stopped an old man along the way hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies. He turned to me as if to say… " I’m gong to have to stop you there Toto, what the hell are you talking about? It may have been the 1980s when you wrote this drivel but your nonsense lyrics and harassing of geriatric passers-by is unacceptable by today’s standards. Leave that poor old man alone and come with me, The Weekender, purveyor of joyful nuggets and the gatekeeper of Saturday and Sunday. I’ve got a lesson to teach you…

  19. List

    New York dwelling New Zealander Amy Woodside is part visual artist, part romantic wordsmith. Her website is loaded with beautiful silkscreens of abstract letterforms and repeated words that recall the mixed media and pop art canvases of Ed Ruscha and Jasper Johns. Sandwiched between these striking, colourful creations are powerfully nostalgic poems that deal with Amy’s childhood, romances and existence in New York.

  20. List

    Of all the creative responses to the Arab Spring, this is certainly one of the more unusual. Bierut-based duo Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri – who work collectively as Bokja – created a set of “tactile spheres” representing leading figures from across the centuries who had fallen from power. There’s some incredible hand-embroidering on show – from Marie Antoinette to Colonel Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein to a Team America-style Kim Jong-Il – as well as some more allegorical renderings of the situations in Syria and Palestine. It’s all rather strange but also oddly compelling – seeing these figures who once inspired so much fear reduced to textile satires – and the craft is undoubtedly impressive from a duo who are well at home working with traditional materials and techniques.

  21. Chicagofreeze-list

    While you traipse through the UK’s snowy landscape today wrapped up in your thickest socks and fleece-lined coats, spare a thought for Gary Jensen, the photographer behind these remarkable indoor ice-scapes. Gary was commissioned to document the last days of the Fulton Market Cold Storage Company in Chicago’s meatpacking district – a building used solely for the purposes of freezing food for over 90 years – and must have been bloody freezing while he was doing it. Thank goodness he did though as these images are some of the most eye-popping renderings of ice that we’ve ever seen, allowing an extraordinary glimpse into a world that’s normally closed off to human eyes.

  22. List

    In the UK when you turn 100 you get a telegram from the Queen congratulating you on notching up this chronological milestone. It’s a nice touch from Her Majesty, you’ve got to admit (although I have my suspicions how involved she actually is in the administrative rigmarole). But when it turned 100 (issues) old, Irish free sheet Totally Dublin did something much more fun by asking 100 prominent Dubliners for their predictions for how the city might change and grow over the next century. And not only that, they also commissioned illustrator Stephen Graham to provide the visuals for the piece and he stepped up in style providing a striking set of varied images which as editor Daniel Gray puts it, “lends the story a nicely ambiguous identity –neither too utopian nor dystopian.”

  23. List

    This maybe one of the most utterly ridiculous things I have ever come across on the good ship internet and yet it may also be my favourite ever Tumblr. Go figure. Comedian John Luke Roberts has taken words of wisdom from everyone’s favourite contemporary philosopher Alain de Botton and overlaid them onto images from the much-missed 1990s slapstick sitcom Bottom. At its heart is a cracker of a pun but the images are all oddly appropriate and if you really want to you can see some comment about the conflicting places in which we seek cultural consolation. Or you can just enjoy the nonsense – either way check it out.

  24. List

    When you’re stuck on a long-haul flight with nothing to do there’s a number of options at your disposal to keep you occupied – in-flight movies, a light-hearted paperback, casual flirting with your neighbour and the imbibing of as many free drinks as the flight attendants will allow are all welcome distractions from the fact that you’re giving the middle finger to nature as you cruise through the sky on manufactured wings. Almost never (unless avoiding conversation with the drunk flirt next to you) will you turn to the glossy waste of paper rammed into the pocket of the chair in front, as in-flight magazines are notorious for their shamelessly tedious content and woeful lack of imaginative design.

  25. List

    There are lots of ways to tackle a subject which resonates with our deepest sense of social shame such as prostitution. Do you focus on the women, the human beings forced to submit to this degrading profession for the gratification of others? Do you focus on the clients for whom the urge to indulge their lust rides roughshod over any sense of basic compassion? Do you focus on the pimps, the violent, manipulative masters of these women who connect supply and demand with such avaricious scruplessness?

  26. Mark-newgarden's-sketchbook-list

    Sketchbooks are used to plot and draft, but also to doodle and dream. So what’s wonderful about looking at Comics Sketchbooks, a collection of pages from over 80 comics artists, is not just seeing how roughs relate to finished work, but scribbling’s lack of self-consciousness.

    The revelations in sketchbooks can make the creator vulnerable – stripped bare of glossy finish, we can all look a bit rough – and it’s interesting in a book like this which pages the artists chose to present. Some use their pages to practice, others to fantasise. Some show obsessive neatness, others get messy. The ones that show process are fascinating to follow, and their annotations are exciting to decipher. But the pleasure of this book mainly comes from the feeling that seeing cartoonists trawl faint blue pencil for the perfect line to ink is akin to being let in on a great secret.

  27. Main

    We came across Luc’s work a few weeks ago and didn’t know what to make of it, apart from knowing that we were certainly intrigued. Luc’s canvases tend to be pretty abstract, using the space around them to influence how you perceive the visuals actually on them. Experimenting with smoke machines, cameras and condiments, Luc’s methods are refreshingly unforced, and through a series of experiments he is building up an impressive collection of paintings that, as a series, are pretty beautiful. Luc was kind enough to answer a few questions about what he does.

  28. List-momo

    Ever wondered what would happen if Where’s Wally metamorphosed into a beatnik canine and relocated to Twin Peaks? Me too! Unlike us though, a chap called Andrew Knapp has actually put the effort in and bestowed on us a wonderful series featuring his beloved pooch, Momo. Aptly chameleon-like for this snowy, rocky landscape, collie Momo blends in beautifully – sometimes it’s really hard to find him! But if you’re a dog lover in search of a saunter in the wilderness or you’re just a bit bored on a Thursday afternoon, this is the perfect pastime.

  29. List

    If you’re anything like me, the city of Baltimore stands in my mind primarily as the setting for The Wire, once described perfectly as “A Russian novel of a television series.” But now I can add another string to my Baltimore knowledge bow, having come across the stupendous work of Jonathan Latiano.

  30. List

    When an organisation like the BBC Concert Orchestra puts on unusual and unexpected events, it is only right the visual collateral supports their laudable commitment to changing perceptions that still weigh down classical music. Last year the orchestra took on two concerts designed to explore extreme emotional states and the excellent Studio Output did not disappoint with their supporting print work.

  31. Earnestly-list

    Earnest Studio is the working Moniker of Netherlands-based designer Rachel Griffin, whose practice spans everything from experimental printed matter, public installation and furniture design. For a one-man show Rachel’s portfolio is incredibly impressive; she’s built large-scale wooden structures in Norwegian towns, created experimental storytelling spaces, produced books that question the nature of design and built functional modular furniture that you’d actually want in your house. Impressive stuff we’re sure you’ll agree.

  32. Aspen-list

    Launched in 1964, the insanely avant-garde Aspen was a three-dimensional, multimedia magazine in a box. Inventive to the last, the New York-based publication included reels of Super-8 film, postcards, phonograph recordings of spoken word, jazz and electronica, sewing patterns, essays on critical theory and LSD, musical scores, posters, poetry, scripts, booklets and – hidden at the bottom – an advert or two.

  33. Heydays-list

    You already know how we feel about Norwegian studio Heydays; their clean, crisp design has prompted us to let them guest post on the site in previous years and we’ve featured enough of their work to give you an idea of just how good they are. So you won’t be surprised to find out that their identity for industrial designers Studio Hansen is another triumphant addition to an already sterling portfolio.

  34. List

    This week’s much publicised collapse of the UK’s most recognisable record store chain HMV led to some predictable handwringing over the state of the music industry. It was just the latest chapter in the almost universal pessimism surrounding this much-maligned cultural cornerstone – a tale of decline that blames variously globalisation, technology and insidious taste-makers. Massive kudos then to the Sundance Channel and Nokia who have produced six films bucking this trend, celebrating the vibrant music scenes in six American cities where exciting and innovative talents shape and are shaped by their hometowns. Cleverly they’ve been directed by some of SomeSuch & Co’s stellar roster of music video directors, who are able to offer authoritative tonal and aesthetic insights into these scenes while having the chance to turn their hands to something slightly different.

  35. Main

    Looking into the Thames is never that much fun, you may wave hello to a mutated catfish or an empty bottle but you rarely peer in and wonder at the magic of nature. In Jessica Backhaus’ series, though, we are invited to gaze into the famous waters of Venice and marvel at the reflections of the timeless surrounding buildings. The way that the candy colours of the rigid buildings are distorted and mashed together like marble cake by the ripples of the waters are accentuated when seen in a series of images, almost transformed into paintings rather than photographs.

  36. List

    Stand by for some CLASSIC misdirection in this intro. You’ll all know that 2012 was London’s big year in the spotlight as it hosted a competition like no other, a test of mental strength and stamina that separates the true champions from the also-rans. It also hosted the Olympics (haha, classic) but the real feats of endurance played out at the World Memory Championships. Contestants come from around the world pit their wits against fiendish challenges such as trying to memorise an entire deck of cards, trying to remember a set of names and faces (the current world record stands at 164) or trying to remember a number with as many as 2,200 digits, and luckily for us photographer David Vintiner was there to capture it all.

  37. Rozich-6

    We’ve heard nothing from Stacey Rozich since the middle of 2011 save for that mammoth collaboration with Sean Pecknold on Fleet Foxes’ exceptional The Shrine/An Argument. So where’s she been hiding all this time? In a forest populated by mystical beasts adorned with ornate head-dresses? Hanging loose with skateboarding alligators? Waltzing with a gun-toting ghost? No, none of these things; she’s been slaving away at a desk somewhere in Seattle making exuberant, vivid illustrations that feel like dream sequences in the finest Haruki Murakami narratives. In between all this drawing, she’s found just enough time to get a new website up and running ,where you can revel in the products of her skilful, practised hands.

  38. List

    By its very nature, photography speaks to our relationship with time by capturing a single instant suspended in freeze frame for ever more, but a new show is going further in exploring that idea. Phoot50 runs every year at the London Art Fair (LAF) and for 2013 Paradise Row director Nick Hackworth has curated A Cyclical Poem in which eight photographers question the idea of change.

  39. Main

    Difficult to know what to do when your toaster or cheap white kettle breaks, do you just put it…in the bin? The worst part is, these household appliances have usually broken in such a way that they could be very easily fixed, we just don’t know how. Enter RCA graduate Gaspard Tiné-Berès and super craftsman Tristan Kopp, who together are on a mission to clear landfill sites of small appliances by transforming old glass parts and cork into new, very beautifully designed toasters and kettles.

  40. Deutschland-list

    The idea of promoting German culture in Japan seems faintly ridiculous, conjuring scenes of lederhosen-wearing cultural ambassadors demonstrating the preparation of würst and schnitzel to a baffled Japanese audience, all backed by a Kraftwerk soundtrack. I’m sure that’s not how it was at Deutschlandfest 2012 in Tokyo (there’s far too many stereotypes going on there to constitute a real event), but even the bizarre name does nothing to dispel the ludicrous image.