Archive

  1. List

    Nostalgia for the musical formats of decades past is a preternaturally powerful force, as we’re all well aware. Tapping into our lust for this kind of thing, Neil Stevens’ series of prints Don’t Forget The Cassette celebrates the aesthetics of the age of the mixtape, turning their bold colours and simple typography into really nice prints. Looking at them, it’s startling how quickly you are pulled back to your teenage bedroom, hunched over your stereo as you try and stop the tape at just the right moment to cut off the DJ’s voice. Simple, beautiful and memory-rich – we’ll take the whole lot Neil.

  2. List

    For this of us passionate about print media, it’s sometimes useful to look to the past to help contextualise what might play out in the future. For that reason, moves by The Spectator – the oldest continuously-published magazine in the English-speaking world – to digitise its 185-year archive will be of interest to many. It’s a work-in-progress at the moment, but the opportunity to delve back to the very first issue launched in 1828, and to chart over the ensuing decades the changes in content, tone and of course design makes for a real treasure trove for those of us still fighting the good print fight here in 2013.

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    The new exhibition in Brooklyn’s Colab Projectspace, Wood and Pulp, sees artists Scotty Albrecht and Damion Silver discern new common ground between the strikingly different mediums of wood and paper. Taking the concept of balance as the central idea, the artwork is founded upon the notion of craftsmanship, reinventing and reforming found objects in muted kaleidoscopic works of collage and assemblage. Craftmanship is a key influence in the show; both artists are self-taught woodworkers and their mastery of their medium is evident in the beautifully constructed pieces they have contributed.

  4. Mann-list

    One of the greatest things about ELCAF becoming an annual event on the London comics scene is the guaranteed discovery of incredible local talent; it’s so easy to just turn up and find a heap of folks making excellent work and living within a half-mile radius. This year one of the best, and nearest, finds was Dilraj Mann, an illustrator living in Dalston that I’d never encountered until Saturday, though his studio is just round the corner.

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    We’ve all seen that Youtube video where the American guy cuts loads of bottles with a sword/other sharp things right? Well if you were hankering for more (I know I was) then Wavves are here to help you out. Surely influenced by the brilliant viral, director Brandon Dermer has set new single That’s On Me to a more professionally produced version of the original concept with some stunning results (for our more squeamish/vegetarian readers, beware the last 90 seconds that get decidedly meaty).

  6. Main

    Anyone even slightly art-minded will know the feeling when, right in front of your eyes, the scene you are witnessing transforms into a real-life collage, a perfect composition of colour and shape. The same feeling is triggered when you are carrying a camera, your eyes are on look-out mode for when the world becomes handsome, and it’s time for you to capture it.

  7. List

    You’re going to have excuse me while I gush like a melted-snow-fattened mountain stream, because this new magazine is a stunner. While Boat magazine has won an army of admirers with its focus on a different city every issue, Flaneur drills down even deeper and concentrates on a single street.

  8. List

    Remember that feeling when your mum took you to see the solar eclipse, and you closed your eyes tightly but the sun streamed straight through them so that the cells in your eyelids turned the light bright blue? That’s exactly what Jeff McLane’s Solaroids project reminds me of, except that his gorgeous photographic experiments are just that, whereas mine were a semi-dangerous attempt to watch the eclipse without my special glasses on.

  9. Europa-list

    London-based graphic design studio Europa are probably the most unassuming of all London’s design practices. Though they’ve produced unspeakably good work for the likes of Frieze, South London Gallery and Tate Britain – as well as working on a multitude of community sourced, open-access projects – they maintain a pleasant anonymity and really aren’t ones to brag about their work. But we’re happy to do it for them, so – as it’s been over a year since we last featured them – why not feast your eyes on a couple of updates (a pleasing graphic identity and some tasty programmes from last year’s Frieze) to remind yourself of the skill of this merry band of RCA graduates.

  10. Weekenderlist

    Tragedy! When the feeling’s gone and you can’t go on it’s tragedy! When you live in ancient Greece and your dad murders your sister for betraying the family and then you have a weird moment with your mum, it’s tragedy! Where were we? Oh yeah, great news folks, it’s the weekend and thus, like night follows day, it’s The Weekender. Climb aboard, you’re one of us now!

  11. List

    Stifle your sobs people of pod-land – it’s true that this week marks the end of our 20-strong series three of Studio Audience. But dry your eyes mates, we’ll be back in a few weeks with all sorts of art and design discussion and japes. In the meantime, you can recreate the Studio Audience experience in a nearby pub or cafe – simply gather one mate who’s a bit like a young Alan Partridge and loves torturous metaphors, one mate whose outlook on life just confuses you and one mate with a really flat head. Voila!

  12. Maoin

    It hardly comes as a surprise that we’re posting about this book; after all it’s Marion Fayolle, one of our favourite French illustrators, and her new title has been lovingly published by NoBrow. What’s not to like? Anyway, this truly is something special – most spreads are made up of one-page, two-part panel-less stories of couples dancing, swinging, hunting, being in love and sculpting. A lot of the time the stories end in a sweet sadness that you can totally relate to, but can’t quite tell why.

  13. List

    What do a peg, a plant pot, a statuette and a daddy long legs all have in common, short of the fact that Sasha Kurmaz has picked them out and subjected them to the unwavering gaze of his lens? Well, not much actually, but I feel like that should suffice. Sasha’s subjects vary from the bodies of the people around him and the broad landscapes they inhabit to the corner of a room you’d never noticed before, and his perpetual quest to make the ordinary extraordinary with his youthful and irreverent surreality seems to be going very much to plan.

  14. Kr-list

    Photographers Kila & Rusharc began their collaboration while studying at the University of Westminster, forming a bond over a shared set of ideals and a disparate set of skills which made them perfectly suited to working in tandem.

  15. List

    Every once in a while an ad campaign comes along which manages to convey a really powerful message in a beautifully simple way. That certainly applies to this project by Publicis Singapore for the country’s Samaritans and their suicide prevention work. Under the strap line "The signs are there if you read them, " creative director Erik Vervroegen and his team created this series of graffitied ambigrams which read either as simple platitudes or desperate cries for help depending which way round you read them. At a time when the usual debates around the annual ad junket to Cannes are in full flow, it’s nice to be reminded of the potentially life-changing – in this case life-saving – power of a great idea.

  16. List

    Ah, to be in Palm Springs, where the houses look like they’re wearing sun-hats and the grass is, quite literally, greener. Dolly Faibyshev’s photographic series documenting the gaudier side of California stays true to her enjoyment of capturing the garish artificiality of American culture, complete with pretend cactus mailboxes and plastic orbs-a-plenty. Her subject matter ranges from dog shows in Las Vegas to Texas rodeos, but all of Dolly’s work subverts the idea of the American dream through her playfully satirical lens.

  17. List-option

    Peter Rhodes’ charming illustration is underpinned by something darker; his comic strips for example might at first glance seem somewhat naive, but if you look closer the social commentary at play quietly beckons you in. We especially like his deck of playing cards; each suit is based on a different region of the world and there is a theme to each number – from hats, food and houses to religious buildings, sport and spiritual objects. Suddenly the game SNAP doesn’t sound like just a dreary wet-playtime activity, eh?

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    Some lovely book design here from Brooklyn-based designer Linda Huang, whose love for the hand-drawn breathes fresh air into the titles she works on, making them incredibly desirable. The book that really won us over was her work for The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which she made by spreading thick lines of ink vertically down the cover to create stripes that are at once leafy and plant-like, while still resembling juicy spines of books. Very nice! Linda currently designs at the wonderful publishers Knopf and Pantheon Books and is also freelancing in her spare time.

  19. Hunter-list

    It’s no exaggeration that everything Rob Hunter’s talented hands touch turns to pure visual gold. Whether you liked his contribution to Nobrow’s A Graphic Cosmogony, enjoyed his simple illustrations for Picador’s anniversary editions or were totally bowled over by his work for Orlando Weeks’ Young Colossus last year, it’s safe to say that Rob’s an incredibly capable image maker. His success comes from both an innate skill and a comprehensive understanding of print processes. Anyone who’s ever seen his work in the flesh will know that his colours really leap from the page, an effect no lithographic amateur would be able to achieve.

  20. List

    For the new issue of our Printed Pages magazine, longtime friend of the site Ryan Hopkinson worked with set designer Sarah Parker to create a brilliant series of still-lifes based on synaesthesia, a condition where senses become mixed up and people see or taste certain words and numbers. In truth it was a miracle that Ryan managed to squeeze us in, so in-demand is he for both film and photography work. With a raft of new updates, we sat down with Ryan to talk to him in a bit more detail…

  21. List

    There’s nothing like brilliant animation to stir up the music video scene every once in a whole, and the new Arctic Monkeys song, Do I Wanna Know? hits the mark and then some. Directed by David Wilson with animation agency Blinkink, the video begins with a straight white line which vibrates which each thick chord that ripples through it, and grows to a full colour animation complete with racing cars, booty-shaking flag-wielding ladies and and a fish or two. In short, this is the whole shebang. Don’t believe me? Watch it above and find out for yourself!

  22. List

    Established in 1739, the Foundling Hospital was the first institution set up to take in unwanted and abandoned babies, which it did for 250 years before officially becoming a charity to help vulnerable children. The original site is now a museum of artefacts and artworks about the charity’s role in the community.

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    As far as health and safety measures go in the UK, we’re pretty strict. We always keeping a bucket of water/sand by us when we want to casually light up a sparkler, and know from a young age that playing with matches is tantamount to murder. In Mexico, things are a bit less tamed, as you can see here in this magnificent series of photographs taken by Thomas Prior on his recent trip to Tultepec. Each year the citizens gather together to celebrate the city’s main export – fireworks – by having the equivalent of the Spanish tomato festival but with pyrotechnics. Makes our annual bonfire nights look a bit naff doesn’t it?

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    Ahhh the fresh-faced graduates of 2012…well, not so fresh-faced anymore. A year out there in the Siberian wasteland that is south east London is enough to put you off being creative for life. These guys seem to be ok though, in fact they’re more than ok, they’re doing better than all of us! Here’s Josh, Grace and Andrew on what they’ve been up to since being an It’s Nice That Graduate 2012 and remember there’s just a few days left to apply to be one of this year’s class.

  25. Sapper-list

    For a man with no formal design education, Richard Sapper has managed to make an indelible mark on the face of global industrial design. Since the 1950s his innovative approach to product design has led to some of the most forward-thinking, technically complex and strikingly-beautiful objects of use. From his early days at Daimler Benz to latter years at IBM, Sapper’s vision of the industrial world has come to be more or less our own; from the kettles we boil our water in, to the units from which we send emails.

  26. Sotm-list

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! What was that sound? That was the door of full-time education slamming firmly behind you. Cold outside isn’t it? But don’t worry guys, although your end-of-year shows are imminent, happening, or already over, and your universities are getting ready to shut up shop for the summer, we still care about you. At least for the next couple of weeks. So if you’ve got a project that you want the world to know about, you need reassurance that everything’s going to be alright, or even if you just want to win some books, send in your projects (by Monday June 24) and let us crown you Student Of The Month.

  27. Opinion-list

    This week artist and curator Gaynor O’Flynn reports back from the Venice Biennale and argues that it’s time for a fair trade policy for artists. As ever you can add your thoughts using the thread below.

  28. List

    There’s a suspension of reality that always seems to take place in airports –in a situation where everything is dedicated to transience, to impermanence the normal rules don’t seem to apply. That is, I believe, why so many people will have a pint before their plane no matter what time they’re travelling. This amazing new animation by Eoin Duffy encapsulates this weird otherworld perfectly; a quietly discombobulating few minutes following a lone traveller through his journey. Very, very impressive stuff.

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    Have you ever arrived in a completely new place and felt oddly like you’d been there before? Because it’s exactly that weird déjà vu that Christopher Eyles looks to toy with. Through his arduously assembled photomontages, he creates stunning tropical rainforests and jungles which, familiar though they may seem, are in fact products of his own fantastical imagination. His island paradises often come complete with secluded sky-blue pools, overhanging luscious foliage and and dreamy mountain ranges as far as the eye can see.

  30. List

    Christopher Kane showed his spring/summer 2014 collection this week at London Collections: Mens, and by golly was it good. Influenced by 3D body mapping techniques, the designer took graphic prints of faces (and, ahem, some body parts) and blew them up in vibrant neon colours across shirts, hoodies and shorts to create yet another signature to be spotted on dedicated followers of fashion the world over. As for us, we’re just going to do a print-out of one of those fancy X-ray machines at the airport and staple it to our T-shirts (not really).

  31. Main

    People choose to make their artworks in an infinite amount of ways, but fantastical landscapes created in 200-gallon tanks of water and photographed on a Hasselblad are something we’ve never come across before. To make them, Kim sets up his enormous tank and builds an entire landscape within it, using dry ice or water and some gel-covered lights to turn his manufactured world into a strange, hazy reality.

  32. Ab-list

    As if having the redesigned Aperture magazine promoting their discipline wasn’t enough of a thrill, photographers the world over can now relax, safe in the knowledge they’re being thoroughly represented by two beautifully-designed, tastefully-curated magazines (sure there’s more, but that doesn’t fit the angle of my introduction). Now in its fifth edition, Aint-Bad magazine takes a different thematic approach for each issue and cherrypicks some of the finest young practitioners into a luxurious showcase.

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    We love Nat Russell over here at It’s Nice That. If you haven’t seen it before, Nat’s body of work is made up of fantastical paintings, prints and illustrations that are pretty hilarious on the surface, but are actually infused with a really strong sense of loyalty and love that is so rare in so many people’s work. It’s fascinating to have a peek into his shelves, and to see the corrrelation between his literary habits and the work that he creates. Welcome to Nat Russell’s incredibly dedicated fan-base, you’re going to like it here.

  34. Mirzaei-list

    Photographer Mohammadreza Mirzaei has a keen eye for spontaneous imagery. The Iranian MFA student is currently studying at the University of Pennsylvania and creating the kind of dreamy nightscapes and geometrically-focused street photography that only a natural talent could conjure with their lens. When he’s not creating fine art photographs he busies himself with the promotion of other Iranian photographers (an undoubtedly under-represented demographic) through his monthly magazine, Dide, a publication that’s definitely going to have an influence over some of the photography we feature over the coming months.

  35. List

    Amid the pantheon of brilliant characters from The Simpsons, Troy McLure has a special place in my heart. From his love of Selma to his slightly disturbing obsession with fish, his presence enlivens any episode but of course he’s best known for his ridiculous CV. Now one Christopher Coleman has collected a bunch of them together to make this supercut which is guaranteed to perk up your day. Just imagine the writers sitting around trying to come up with these!

  36. List

    In the ongoing battle to redefine and reimagine the act and art of publishing for the 21st Century comes this project from the fine fellows over at Artomatic. CONTAINER is a thematic collection of objects produced specially by the contributors to that particular “issue.” For the first one, based around the idea of “hot and cold,” the likes of Nic Roope, James Bridle, Daniel Eatock and Accept & Proceed have created a weird and wonderful selection of treats from takeaway forks to pine wood burners. Not only are the objects themselves really special, the project challenges our notion of publications and our increasing expectations of what is becoming a luxury rather than a staple of our everyday lives.

  37. Main

    You know when you make a telescope out of a rolled-up phone bill and look through it to find a whole different, smaller world? Well Luke Casey’s gone and made a really terrific project out of that very idea, but instead of using a boring A4 sheet of paper, he’s utilised ships’ portholes as his frame.

  38. Main

    It’s easy when illustrating children’s books to slip into the squidgy, saccharine realm of twee. But to remain intelligent and humourous while still maintaining an aesthetic that appeals to children and adults combined is tricky. Astrid’s got this down though and her zoological illustrations are the perfect mix of fun and truly giggle-worthy. The fact there isn’t a single whiff of patronising in any of her children’s publications is also a breath of fresh air, so we’re big fans. Astrid’s also a bit of a dab hand at logo design, some of which you can see over on her site.

  39. List

    In an enormous new digital catalogue by the Memory of the Netherlands, 150 years worth of graphic design for the Dutch Post Office Board is now on display. Designs for stamps, the stamps themselves and posters created by a huge number of designers to suit the high-profile design policy of the postal service are all included, and they make for a fascinating timeline of graphic design. From the commonplace to the obscure, you’ll find some stunning typography and illustration at your very fingertips. Design geeks, go wild!

  40. List

    The spring issue of Printed Pages was such a blast to produce we thought hey, you know what? Let’s ruddy well do it all over again. And so like that bit in The Lion King where the monkey holds up the newborn Simba for the animal kingdom to see for the first time, we dangle the summer issue of Printed Pages over a rocky outcrop for your delectation.