Archive

  1. List

    What separates us from the animals (yeah I’m getting all philosophical on yo’ ass on a Monday afternoon – deal with it)? Is it that we wear clothes? Or invented the meal deal? Well yes, and yes, but there’s other stuff too, including a concept of desires that extend beyond our immediate existential needs. Enter Wish List an enjoyably weird exploration of this idea from animator Griff and illustrator Scot Garrett. Its rogue gallery of oddball characters articulating their innermost dreams is compelling, funny, poignant, unsettling and wonderfully, undeniably weird.

  2. List

    There are few people who create gig posters which are as aesthetically pleasing as they are timeless, but London-based studio Telegramme’s screen-printed gig posters and prints tick all the boxes. Not only are they beautifully designed and their style instantly recognisable, but the imperfections and flaws which are inherent to the nature of printing mean they preserve something of the original charm of the poster, from the days when they would have been Sellotaped up, stuck over, ripped down and then tacked to a bedroom wall, instead of copy-and-pasted onto somebody’s page. What’s more, their work is so consistently brilliant that their portfolio becomes a kind of wonderful time-wasting black hole.

  3. List

    The celebration of the new vibrancy in independent publishing has taken many forms, but a new show at Munich’s Haus der Kunst is one of the most interesting. Paper Weight – Genre-defining magazines 2000 to Now is curated by PIN-UP editor Felix Burrichter and focuses on 15 titles produced since the turn of the millennium including Apartamento, 032c, BUTT, Picnic, Girls Like Us, Sang Bleu, Bidoun and White Zinfandel (which at just two years old is the most recent tome on show).

  4. Monaghan-list

    Edward Monaghan is very much his own man. Upon arriving at Central Saint Martins three years ago he quickly decided that the prescriptive nature of his illustration course was not especially to his tastes and set about creating his own curriculum; learning the tools of the trade that he wanted to practice and making work motivated by his own interests. While that might not make him the most commercially-minded graduate out there, what he has managed to achieve is an extraordinary body of illustration and comics in a style that’s reached a level of refinement well beyond his years.

  5. List

    Not merely content with nourishing our minds, the fine folks over at The School Of Life are also sorting out our stationery needs. From pencils embossed with key words via a conversation toolkit and aphorism cards to mood books (choose between “sceptical”, “productive” and “daring”) this new line designed by Alain de Botton and Morgwn Rimel not only looks great but has a bit more ambition than your average desk adornments. We like.

  6. List

    Did you think we’d let you forget about this absolute stonker of a music video for Lonely Boy by the Black Keys back in late 2011? As the story goes, part-time security guard Derrick T. Tuggle was actually cast as an extra in the video alongside six or seven other actors, but once the director saw him shaking his thing he asked if he’d be happy to be the video’s lead (basically only) role, and then proceeded to film the whole thing in just one take. Quite frankly, I don’t know what a Monday Morning Music Video is for if not to dig gems like this one out of the treasure chest of audio-visual gold, and to make you about as happy as Derrick is as he pulls some shapes. You can go right ahead and pull some too, y’know, if you like. I might. I just did.

  7. List

    In the USA there is something called the McArthur Fellowship awarded to those who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work.” It’s more colloquially known as the Genius Grant. Now I’m not sure how many of the selection panel are big It’s Nice That fans, but if you’re reading this then feel free to take the rest of the day off because I have just sorted one of the next batch out for you. Illustrator Ali Graham has started a daily blog called 99 Problems on which he is posting a picture of Jay-Z in the throes of one of said problems, ranging from brain freeze to bad restaurant service, soap in the eye to broken umbrella (ella, ella). Some have a tangential connection to the rapper’s songs (giving free reign to some top-notch punning) but for the most part it’s just a blisteringly random selection of mundane niggles. Suffice to say we love it.

  8. Themarshes-list

    The marshes of Hackney, Walthamstow and Leyton are a borderland between the great industrial landscape of London’s city centre and the boundless countryside that flourishes beyond. In these once untouched patches of fertile scrubland, it’s possible to make out remnants of London’s past industrial history; criss-crossed canals, train lines and the filter beds laid down to strip pollutants from the water all contribute to the unique landscape.

  9. Bridgetcollins-list

    It’s tempting, on first glance, to dismiss Bridget Collins as another one of those trendy photographers shooting overexposed images of any old ‘stuff’ they come across, but, while there’s one or two images in her portfolio you might feel you’ve seen before, we assure you that you definitely haven’t. The Brooklyn-based, Minneapolis-born photographer is blessed with a phenomenal combination of acute eye for composition, natural understanding of colour and a terrific sense of narrative and timing that elevates her work beyond that of many of her peers into a world that’s sharp, enchanting and lusciously coloured. There’s not many photographers out there that could hook you in with a shot of a photo in a plastic bag, but in Bridget’s hands this uninspiring subject matter becomes a visual treat.

  10. Weekenderlist

    This week The Weekender’s got beef. It’s spent an awful lot of time recently listening to the radio and has been plagued by the lack of heavyweight intellectual lyricism in modern music. For example: “(Look) I’m betting you like people, and I’m betting you love freak mode, and I’m betting you like girls that give love to girls and stroke your little ego. I bet you I’m guilty your honour, that’s just how we live in my genre. Who in the hell done paved the road wider? There’s only one flo, and one rida. I’m a damn shame, order more champagne, pull a damn hamstring tryna put it on ya. Bet your lips spin back around corner, slow it down baby take a little longer.”

  11. List

    Thought up one day by Timba Smits and Gordon “Flash” Shaw on the bus to a hospital appointment, the brilliantly named Not For Rental currently on show at London’s 71A Gallery exhibits work by hundreds of the most exciting emerging talent in art, illustration, photography and graphic design. This isn’t just any exhibition, however; as the title infers, each piece of work looks to condense the plot of the artist’s favourite film into one image, and it’s then exhibited as the sleeve art in a VHS case. It’s like all of your nineties teenage dreams merged in one Blockbuster basement!

  12. Gerull-list

    It’s become a bit of an in-joke round these parts that my tastes in photography are limited almost exclusively to picturesque landscapes; rolling hills, windswept trees and roads that lead to nowhere. It’s true, I’m a sucker for all of those things but what’s not to like, particularly when the quality of those rolling hills is as good as in Benjamin Gerull’s images? The German photographer is a master at capturing the great outdoors in all its rugged, bruised majesty. His Zacharo series in particular focusses on a small area of southern Greece – an unkempt area of hillside that’s been ravaged by fire. Benjamin’s sensitivity to the landscape’s subtle hues, punctuated with flashes of lush green vegetation makes for an exceptional series of photographs that you’re sure to appreciate even if you’re not as landscape-obsessed as I appear to be.

  13. Arc-list

    Royal College of Art mega-zine (better than a magazine but zine-sized) ARC has just treated itself to a brand spanking new website. The student-run publication exists to provide a platform for the RCA’s top talent to engage in exciting theoretical debate, dip their toes in the waters of journalism and continually refresh and reinterpret the format of printed matter. As an inherently physical work it’s not essential for ARC to have an online presence to ensure its ongoing success, but the small but growing archive is a wonderful reminder of the rich history of this prestigious publication and all the remarkable names responsible for the earlier issues. We’re looking forward to seeing this resource grow and discovering more about the illustrious history of ARC.

  14. List

    One of the most-publicised aspects of last year’s brilliant David Hockney show at London’s Royal Academy was the inclusion of a series of landscapes he produced on his iPad. In reality it should have come as no surprise that Hockney – an inveterate experimenter with different media – produced work on his tablet, but it’s not just old-school painters who are discovering the artistic potential provided by Apple.

  15. List

    Last autumn we sung the praises of Sam Hofman – pointing in particular to his eclectic personal work – but as with most photographers, Sam’s portfolio is a mixture of these kinds of projects with commissioned work. Recently Sam collaborated with food stylist Iain Graham (who worked on this great shoot for The Gourmand) and set designer Linnea Apelqvistto to create this series for Ted Baker’s Tasetfully Ted campaign. What I really like about this is that while it’s got a recognisably commercial aesthetic, there’s also a sense of fun running throughout; a combination which raises this above your run-of-the-mill advertising shoot.

  16. List

    You know when you pop something in your bag to take home because you think it’ll look quite nice on your mantelpiece, and then look up one day and actually you’ve probably got enough to open a small museum? Avril and Andrew of Broadbase design studio strike me as those kinds of people, but we should thank our lucky stars that they are, or how would their lovely assortments of vintage graphics ever find their way to us? The latest instalment in this series is this collection of vintage American butter wrappers. Astoundingly simple but really, really lovely, and in the words of Avril herself: “It makes you long for another era when foil wrapping and plastic tubs didn’t exist.” Here’s hoping that they don’t stop collecting any time soon.

  17. List

    It may be telling that comedians have often been at the forefront of those finding new and interesting ways to disseminate content in the online sphere. Ricky Gervais and Richard Herring have circumvented traditional commissioning frustrations by putting out offerings directly to their fans, while across the pond arguably the biggest American comedian has followed suit. A year ago we waxed lyrical about Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, a fairly self-explanatory video series with guests including Alec Baldwin, Larry David and Gervais himself.

  18. List

    Yemen-born, London-based artist Zadok Ben-David conjures up fairytale-like carpets of trees, flowers, insects and plants across gallery floors, in enchanting installations which have found their way to galleries the world over. Every piece is opposed of many – sometimes even thousands – of hand-cut aluminium sculptures, each of which is a work of art in its own right, referencing both the symbolism at the heart of his mother-country and 18th and 19th Century botanical illustration. What’s more, they’re bloody lovely.

  19. List

    Every year when we scour through the hundreds of submissions to The Graduates, we come across a great many graphic design students whose final projects bear little relation to traditional ideas of the craft. That can be tremendously exciting and these kinds of conceptual stars have already made an appearance in this year’s showcase (and will do so again). But there is also a place for great graphic design talent of a more traditional bent, such as Lottie Brzozowski.

  20. Jennings-list

    Oliver Jennings is hands-down the most unusual of this year’s crop of graduates. Having spent three years studying graphic design at Camberwell College of Art, you’d expect him to have emerged with a couple of tasteful publications, some posters and maybe a handful of album covers, but you’d be wrong. Instead he’s been experimenting with strange sonic landscapes, exploring the natural sounds present in everyday objects, from house plants to giant river-spanning bridges. There’s some complex theory behind his work and more than a dash of influence from the hive-mind of Youtube – his sound installations derive inspiration from a large collection of pseudo-scientific experiments that exist as video tutorials online – and we were incredibly impressed by his confidence; there’s not many people bold enough to spend three years playing with sound obsessively when they should be mastering InDesign.

  21. List

    The debate over originality has long been an obsession in the cultural sphere– from finding out that your mate in Year 2 is using the same colouring pencils as you right through to Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and Brillo Pad Boxes, and Shakespeare allegedly “borrowing” his play ideas from Christopher Marlowe. So a blog that takes these ideas of re-appropriation and semblance is more or less timeless in its relevance. Who Wore It Best might well be in it for the long haul, then, with their ongoing visual research project which considers common practices in art and design.

  22. List

    It’s not often that we feature fashion illustration on It’s Nice That, but that’s largely to do with the fact that in a sea of leggy models and oversize pink satin bows it’s not often that something jumps out at us in quite the way Lovisa Burfitt’s work does. The Swedish, France-based artist’s balance of graphite line and heavy watercolour shades is just expressive enough to give life to her characters without drowning them with too much over-thought. She draws other things than pretty frocks, too; her skeletal buildings are especially lovely.

  23. List

    The final of our videos from this year’s What Design Can Do conference in Amsterdam takes us into the world of magazine publishing, and Fantatsic Man to be precise. At the event, founders Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom were interviewed by MagCulture’s Jeremy Leslie, and after they came off stage we grabbed Gert and Jeremy to talk about the evolution of The Gentlewoman and how you balance detail and strategy as a publisher.

  24. Listin

    Digital art aficionados will be descending on Spitalfields Market in London next week for a celebration of terrific technology-driven creativity. Following a successful launch in New York earlier this summer, the Experience Intel tour hits these shores and they are working with top amazing digital practitioners to show off their talents using the brand’s wares.

  25. Zawada-list

    Jonathan Zawada’s a ruddy genius – just look at what he’s done now! Not content simply making sensational graphic design and illustration with the occasional flourish of fine art thrown in for good measure, he’s now set his sights on the internet, making it an altogether more exciting place to spend time. His latest project sees him screwing about with Google Maps, taking that all-too familiar interface we rely on pretty much every day and turning it into a futuristic battleground by overlaying video game graphics on top of Street View. So you can march about the various landscapes of planet Earth and make like you’re a mechanised demon of destruction. If you need me, I’ll be in my battle-bot waging war on downtown Beijing.

  26. Borsche-list

    It’s hard to convey with simple words just how much I love the work of Mirko Borsche. A facial expression might do it better; wide-eyed excitement paired with an open mouth that’s just loosed a glistening bulb of drool. You see Mirko’s pretty much single-handedly transforming the visual landscape of classical music in Germany, producing printed collateral for the Bayerische Staatsoper that adds an up-to-date approach to material so often treated with a woeful lack of creativity or imagination.

  27. List

    Having recently graduated from her MA at London College of Communicatons, photographer Bronia Stewart’s first exhibition as part of Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed at The Photographers’ Gallery documents the nine months she spent shooting adult television channel and phone sex-line workers at London-based Babestation.

  28. List

    In more ambitious moments I sometimes fantasise about launching a dating service for creatives, like Uniform Dating but with designers and illustrators instead of firemen and nurses. The long hours, obsessive nature of the work and achingly aesthetic sensibilities may not be conducive to forming meaningful attachments, which is where my grand plan comes in. Over in New York, Jessica Walsh of Sagmeister & Walsh and Tim Goodman have come up against this familiar roadblock to romance and decided to take action.

  29. List

    There’s something oddly opulent about using a foodstuff to create a sculpture and that may be why I find them so compelling. A fruit carpet sounds like something Louis XIV might have installed at the heyday of extravagance at Versailles, but it is in actual fact what Brussels-based agency Villa Eugenie created for the launch of Kenzo’s Spring/Summer menswear 2014 range. Lemons, apples, limes, strawberries and bananas made up the giant installation at the Académie Fratellini in Paris and provided a fabulously fruity backdrop to the event. Not only that but afterwards all the fruit was donated to charity – something pompous French kings would never have done (hence the revolution and that).

  30. List

    Albert Ruiz Villar’s collages combine found objects, graphic shapes and soft muted colours in a sweet assemblage which relies on an absence of technique, structure or material. Sound a bit disordered? Maybe, but that seems to be part of its charm. Using accident as a means by which to create effect, the artist’s practice becomes something like topography, mapping out segments and scraps of paper to mirror the creative process. And the resulting images are really lovely – a great half-way point between geometric patterns and collage which few artists are able to execute as well as this fellow.

  31. List2

    Our next graduate of the class of 2013 is based in south-east London, but her heart lies way over on the west coast of the USA if her work is anything to go by. Alice Tye studied illustration at Camberwell but has worked with paint and lithography to create her Californian scenes, re-imagined through the prism of how America’s golden coast is presented to us by the films, TV shows and books which immortalise it.

  32. List

    Despite being one of the most sought-after fashion and portrait photographers of the mid 20th Century, the story of Berlin-born Erwin Blumenfeld is not widely known. A new show at London’s Somerset House aims to rectify that, focusing in particular on his studio at 222 Central Park South and the work he made while based there for the likes of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Teo Connor Studio was tasked with creating the visual identity and printed collateral for the exhibition and, unsurprisingly, they have done a really excellent job. It’s an elegant, restrained look and feel, resonant of a stylised world of yesteryear, where poise reined supreme (at least until cocktail hour fell). The identity works perfectly with both Erwin’s work with the airy spaces of Somerset House, and proves once again that Teo’s is a studio of the very highest calibre.

  33. Wethink-lead

    The excellent Miranda July’s art, writing and filmmaking has been enchanting people for quite some time. Her seven-year online project Learning to Love You More inspired thousands of visitors to the site to make assignments at home, such as “Make an encouraging banner” or “Take a picture of strangers holding hands.” Her most recent project, We Think Alone sees her forward loosely-themed emails written by 10 collaborators to, well, anyone they might have been talking to, straight to your inbox.

  34. Vintiner-list

    It’s not often that we feature images of religious significance on the site, but David Vintiner’s photographs of a modern day version of a 1,000-year-old pilgrimage are too compelling not to. Pilgrim is a series that follows a group of Christians on a journey of religious observance to the island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland. The island used to be home to a monastery, made famous in the 7th Century by Saint Cuthbert, a miracle worker and later patron saint of Northumberland. The island and monastery were abandoned in 793 following its partial destruction by Viking raids and ever since pilgrims have been travelling there to pay homage to this once-great bastion of British Christianity.

  35. List

    For the third in our series of video interviews from this year’s What Design Can Do event in Amsterdam, we sat down backstage with Koert van Mensvoort and Hendrik-Jan Grievink of the Next Nature organisation. These guys are interested in exploring the philosophical and conceptual sides of design, but they do so in ways that the general public can relate to. So the Nano Supermarket – a project they spoke about on stage – offers up products like customisable shoes made from farmed sting rays, or a tooth-implant that Tweets your dentist when you eat something sugary in order to stimulate debate around the future of design.

  36. Opinion-list

    This week James Cartwright celebrates Zaha Hadid’s purchase of the Design Museum’s current Shad Thames home and her ongoing transformation into a national treasure. As always your comments are welcomed, nay encouraged, below…

  37. List

    The debate over the creative and media industries’ use of interns has intensified over the past 12 months or so. Whether it’s interns taking former employers to court or arrogant editorials denouncing anyone complaining about the system, the discourse has become fractious and polarised (which we would argue is no good thing for anyone). Now Alec Dudson is launching a publication tackling this inflammatory issue in a practical, thought-provoking way.

  38. List

    If you were starting to find yourself disillusioned by the narrow-mindedness of projects finding their way to crowdfunding platforms, and seemingly half-hearted attempts by the public to do something to counteract our rapid consumption of environmental resources, then this is the project to change your mind. Dong, Archie and Jeff are three New York-based chaps who are looking to build a floating swimming pool in the East River. The walls of the proposed pool are composed a of layered filtration system which removes contaminants and bacteria, so that the pool will filter the very river which it sits in, allowing New Yorkers to swim in clean river water for the first time in 100 years. It would clean an estimated half a million gallons of river water every single day, “kind of like a giant Brita filter for the East River.”

  39. List

    The second issue of The Anonymous Sex Journal winged its way to the It’s Nice That studio this week and tickled us pink (part delight, part blushing). On this occasion Alex Tieghi-Walker’s labour of love (well, lust) concentrates on people’s first times and brings together 33 funny, poignant and honest accounts of guys and girls reaching this much-vaunted milestone. The best ones become strange little poems a la Tim Key, forming perfect snapshots of suburban fumbles. Take my personal favourite number 11 for example: “I found it hard to concentrate when I was losing my virginity, as I could hear my friend snorting vodka off a plate outside the bedroom window.”

  40. List

    Now, I don’t want to insult anybody’s intelligence, so I’m going to call a spade a spade. The latest photographic series from Ptohograhpies consists of a variety of cheeses photographed on colourful, marbled backgrounds. What it comes down to is cheese. I can’t tell you what kind of cheese they are because, while I’m happy to eat whatever comes in the selection, I can’t actually identify much beyond the realms of Philadelphia, Babybel and a lovely mild cheddar, and I also can’t tell you how the backgrounds were created, although I do vaguely remember a marbling lesson from my junior school days.