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    Christopher Isenberg is editor of Victory Journal, the sumptuous sporting publication straight out of Brooklyn whose praises we’ve long sung here at It’s Nice That. To coincide with launch of the sixth issue (which carries the intriguing subtitle Blood & Asphalt) we caught up with Chris to look ahead to the next seven days.

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    In one very funny and undoubtedly charming re-enactment of those children’s programs which loved to create characters for inanimate objects, multi-disciplinary artist Jin Angdoo has made a series of four short films which create secret temperaments for everyday stuff.

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    Designers Catarina Vasconcelos and Margarida Rêgo work together as Ilhas studio, splitting their time between London and Lisbon (the name translates as “islands” in English). The pair’s portfolio is an impressive mix of print and exhibition design while their Side by Side Ilhas strand allows them to explore different types of project away from their main graphics practice. There’s lots to admire but I was especially drawn to the duo’s work on Cine Qua Non, an artistic journal of the University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (particularly the recent redesign) and their collaboration with artist and architect Kevin Green on Harlington.

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    Why is it that you can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday but you can remember the TV graphics and theme tunes that you saw when you were about five? It takes years to actually realise that the reason those images that stuck in your mind and refused to leave was because of their catchy, skilful design by talented folk back in the day. Those designers don’t tend to be lauded in the public eye too much, but this exhibition at London’s Kemistry Gallery takes one particularly special man and puts him on the pedestal he deserves.

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    When arguing in favour of the unbeatable experience of print, many point to the manifestations of human interaction which leave their marks on books in a way that will never be possible on e-Readers. While Google Books has often been cited as a key threat in the digital divide, Krissy Wilson’s magnificent blog celebrates and showcases the weird and wonderful ways the “mark of the hand” can be seen on the scanned titles.

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    Midas-touch Dutch duo Blommers / Schumm have been making the world look cooler for years. Their brilliant photoshoots and set design for the trendiest magazines are so consistently excellent that we barely even have to look at one of their projects before we whack it on It’s Nice That. This one, though, is by far my favourite. For a show in Amsterdam the duo paired up with Erwin Olaf and Petra Stavast to create Renaissance portraits out of household objects. So simple but meticulously done. Watch a making-of animation on their site to see the projects in their full glory.

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    The Christmas nativity scene encompasses a great deal of efforts; from the Home Alone diorama to my mum’s oddly idiosyncratic collection of figures (there’s a kangaroo ffs). But my new favourite entry comes from Royal College of Art graduate Emilie Voirin who’s cut through all the usual cultural, sartorial and manger-based confusion with her fabulous Minimal Nativity Set. Simple wooden domino shaped blocks with clear character inscriptions mean you can wave goodbye to sacrilegious mistaken identity for ever (i.e. Is that one of the kings? No it’s an angel…). I imagine you’ll all be wanting to buy me a present so consider this firmly on my list (but I hope someone has drawn up a spereadsheet to prevent duplications).

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    Cheekbones, eyebrows and some shameless blue steel are the key to successful eyewear campaigns, and the Haw-Lin guys have got bucketloads of this. What they have added to this medley of good-genes is an eye for sharp aesthetics and bold colours that can really make a look book sing. It seems that everything Nathan and Jacob touch turns to eye candy, and this look book for RTCO sunglasses is no exception. Bright, fun and with a perfect pinch of 80s shopping catalogue, this is an example of why everyone should be queuing up to ask Haw-Lin Services to contribute to literally any project they are working on.

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    The lyric video is a bit of a new phenomenon, but has given creatives confident with typography the opportunity to really strut their stuff. U2’s latest is beautifully penned and filmed by New York based creatives Oliver Jeffers (yes you probably recognise his handwriting) and filmmaker Mac Premo. Aptly shot, seductive type and some handy location scouting make this a beauty. Check it out here on Facebook.

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    Life is hard, and The Weekender can only help you so much along the way. It won’t lift its feet to let you hoover beneath, and it certainly won’t help you carry the shopping in from the car. In fact, The Weekender is almost useless. What it does do, though, is provide a tang to your week that you just can’t find anywhere else. It’s a pongy whiff, the nasty taste in your mouth, the dangerous spider in your bag of salad. It’s earwax.

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    From time to time we’re going to be handing over our Friday Mixtape to friends of ours so they can share their musical inspiration with you, our dear readers/listeners. First up we are delighted to welcome the fine folk of NTS Radio, and in particular Heather Weil, one of those behind the fortnightly show Black Impulse. She is on a mission to broaden your audio horizons, so over to her…

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    Changing your music in your car whilst driving can cause accidents, so why not hand over the decks to the car to dictate what’s pumping through the speakers? In this innovative new project from Volkswagen, they have teamed up with electronic music group Underworld to create an app that generates music as you drive. Depending on your steering, your speed and the gear you are in, the music plays along with your journey giving you a unique listening experience. After months of collaboration with sound designers, composers, coders and stunt drivers, Play the Road is ready and raring to go.

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    If someone was to come swooping back into the limelight after a brief hiatus with a 24 hour music video, it was always gonna be Pharrell. 24 Hours of Happy is a music video that fills your browser window with scenes of Pharrell dancing around America, looking effortlessly cool and singing what could be the catchiest and genuinely happiest song of the year. Move the elegant, yellow clock around to see Pharrell doing his thing at different times of the day. Why make one music video when you can make 24? Silly people.

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    Two, four, six, eight who or what do we appreciate? Studio Audience! Three, five, seven, nine, the podcast’s yours it isn’t mine so let’s go, with the flow, hands high and booties low! Give me an S! Give me a T! Give me a U! Oh you get the idea. You can listen to the new episode using the Sound Cloud link below or you can subscribe visa iTunes here.

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    Blackpool has a certain place in the British psyche that is probably quite mystifying to outsiders, The seaside town is associated with a very particular type of UK holiday experience; smutty but silly, sleazy but in a charming way. It has nostalgic connotations of the resort golden age but also a contemporary cache too, a hedonistic enclave in an increasingly homogenised country.

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    There was info graphic goodness aplenty as the winners of the second annual Kantar Information is Beautiful awards were announced this week. Whittling down the hundreds of entries was a thankless task according to David McCandless, one of the judges and a formidable info graphic practitioner in his own right.

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    Health-food store manager Ashrita Furman from Queens, New York, is no ordinary man. Since 1979 he has set 350 world records, ranging from the ridiculous to the downright brilliant, and now after 34 years of ardently testing his limits filmmaker Brian McGinn has recognised Ashrita for the jewel of humanity that he is and decided to make a short film about him.

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    Bike shows, comic conventions and dentistry expos are just a few of the many weird displays of fanatical global subcultures and money-spinning trade shows that take place in convention centres all across the world. We’ve got a handful of these giant warehouses for the weird in London, but you tend to find them in the back of beyond on the fringes of suburbia, lying empty and waiting to house porn stars, specialist knitwear designers and industrial kitchen manufacturers as and when they need to show their wares to the world.

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    Increasingly graphic design is evolving from a creative service industry into something more conceptually motivated. Artists have appropriated the vernacular of the designer and used it outside of the context of clear communication to provoke critical thought from the viewer, challenging them with their arrangement of symbols on paper instead of aiding them with it. When tis type of design lacks a concept entirely we drift into the world of graphic design as trend but in the case of Lauren Thorson these beautful abstract works are driven by process and data instead of pure aesthetics.

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    Back in October we told you all about a super exciting competition held by Nissan, offering budding photographers the chance to go to Tokyo to check out their 2013 Motor Show, with an extra prize exclusive to It’s Nice That readers for a trip for two to Berlin.

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    She was formerly known as one half of Manchester’s favourite illustrator duo Mount Pleasant (alongside David Bailey), but since their domain sadly ran out just over two years ago Lucy Jones has been making posters, band artwork and an awful lot more as enthusiastically as ever under her own moniker. They’re mighty good, too. With a heavy dose of vintage about her colour schemes and a host of excellent illustration for her whimsical design to lean on, Lucy continues to try out different forms, mediums and styles as ardently as ever, resulting in an aesthetic which is as experimental as it is fresh and exciting.

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    When you look at photos of massive machinery don’t you have an uncontrollable urge to just press ALL THE BUTTONS? Probably best not in this case, as it may trigger some kind of premature nuclear explosion. No idea how Alastair Philip Wiper controls his urges, but considering this project is the second time he’s travelled to Switzerland to photograph the European Organization for Nuclear Research, there must be something tempting him back.

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    Bristol-based illustrator David Biskup is a very nice man. His easily discernible style and consistently strong narratives have given him the ideal leg-up for an editorial illustrator, allowing him to steadily add some of the biggest names from the newsagent’s paper rack to the roster of magazines and publications which have featured his excellent work. He’s also a big supporter of doing things “for fun” as we discovered when we had a wee chat with him about what he does. Read on to learn about the wonder of Seinfeld, being a creature of habit and leaving out the faff from your working process.

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    We’re very late in the day introducing you to this particular project, but with the Sochi Olympics very much on the horizon we’re prepared to make a concession. Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra has been documenting the sub-tropical region of Sochi in Russia since 2009, after it was named as the 2014 Winter Olympic host city. His interest in the area is born from a long and complicated history of political and military unrest and the ongoing insurgency hanging over from the Second Chechen War.

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    Hm? Some inked illustrations of party food by none other than Andy Warhol? Don’t mind if we do. That trifle! Those weird, towering cakes! That French plate! Nothing could be more spectacular than some rarely seen images by someone so ludicrously famous, especially when they’re this whimsical. These drawings by Andy and the recipes by his friend Suzie Frankfurt were meant to be a take on the french haute cuisine cookbooks of the 1950s and were painstakingly created. Unfortunately the book never took off and the copies were mainly given out to all their friends as gifts in order to shift them. Bet those friends are pretty happy now considering just one, framed page is worth a whopping $30,000 a pop.

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    If you’re after a book about UK garage with an intro by Mike Skinner entitled ‘Brandy & Coke’ – then this baby pink banger of a publication is the one for you. It’s a compilation of images by subculture snapper Ewen Spencer who, after graduating Brighton in 1997, went on to document UK music in all its glory.

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    With each post that we write about Julia Fullerton-Batten her portfolio of work seems to have grown to accommodate the latest of her brilliant projects, and in what seems to be a never-ending string of stunning concepts her latest series Blind is perhaps the most challenging of all. Photographing a series of blind models against their choice of background, the photographer challenges the limitations of a medium which relies on vision, and causes the viewer to question their own notion of normality.

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    There’s nothing quite like shaking up a luxurious, traditional space by filling it with something fresh, new and exciting, and French studio Bonsoir Paris are more than equipped for such a job. For their latest feat they have created a pop-up store and window displays in London’s prestigious Selfridges store to make an area for the Bright Young Things initiative to showcase young designers. Combining the ephemerality and childishness of inflatable toys with the timeless permanence of marble, the innovative duo created a retro-futuristic space with juxtaposes luxury with pop culture. Also, it looks like it would be hours of fun to run around in. Well done chaps!

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    Here are some statements about Dan Cassaro’s work: Dan Cassaro is an excellent hand-letterer. Dan Cassaro makes awesome illustrations. Dan Cassaro knocks up posters based on Bruce Springsteen lyrics that look freakin’ sweet. Dan Cassaro’s work makes me want to up sticks and move to America for good. Dan Cassaro hasn’t improved at all since we last featured his work.

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    As the festive season approaches, it’s time to huddle up together to collaborate on some fun projects with your fellow men. With that in mind we have joined forces with menswear brand oki-ni to work on some editorials that explore some exceptional up and coming talent. We have chosen four excellent set designers to take oki-ni’s products and create some exclusive still-life shoots to publish over the coming weeks. First up? It’s Miguel Bento!

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    This week Editor-in-Chief Rob Alderson defends the idea of purely positive cultural coverage after controversy about Buzzfeed’s moves into book reviewing. As ever you can add your thoughts using the thread below.

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    To Seoul everyone, and don’t spare the horses! The artist Do Ho Suh has unveiled his biggest work ever at the city’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and it’s absolutely astonishing. Continuing his explorations of domestic space, the artist has built two exact scale replicas of both his childhood home and his first apartment in the USA. Created using jade silk, the ethereal structures evoke ideas of the relationship between memory and place, and the ways in which physical structures become part f our theoretical personal narratives.

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    Italian-born London-based illustrator Alessandra Genualdo creates characters and scenes with just the right amount of weird to haul us over, googly eyed and inquisitive as we are. Her work for for small publications and exhibitions combines gouache with collage to create a strangely surreal mixture of textures and solid blocks of colour. As a result, her images transcend their prescribed two-dimensionality; the jumpers look itchy, the books wordy and the hairdos substantial, which only goes to prove my point – It might well be weird, but it’s right up our street.

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    What we’d give to sip on the youth elixir that Ryan McGinley quite clearly has an infinite supply of in his bag. You can imagine him in a van packed with fun youths, chatting excitedly and joking around, on their way to a meadow to spend a few days camping and photographing, somersaulting out of barns and running naked through tall grass. The words ‘one trick pony’ have been bandied about surrounding McGinley’s work of late, but I think this is merely overlooking the fact that he’s found his niche and he’s sticking to it. Who else can capture frivolity, raw beauty and the natural electricity that runs through life with the same celebratory joy as Ryan? No one, I don’t think.

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    Seeing as music videos really started in MTV’s golden era of the early 80s, the great songs that were created before then sometimes get forgotten about by directors. But now with chart music at its very, very lowest, uninspired directors everywhere are turning to the musical heroes of yore and creating videos to accompany them.

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    Bell ringing, we know, should be reserved for momentous occasions, but we’re going to back ourselves and say let’s get those badboys swinging as we present The Annual 2013. Every year It’s Nice That publishes around 2,500 articles (I know right?!) a bewildering barrage of creative brilliance we feel compelled to share with the world. Each month the editorial team sits down and selects those projects we feel were extra special; super-exciting, super-engaging and reflective of what we try and do as a publishing platform.

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    The problem with an infinite office is the lack of fire escapes (or windows to jump out of). However if Carl Kleiner’s glamorous if slightly warped interpretation of the ubiquitous workplaces are anything to go by, suicide at the end of a working day would probably never even cross your mind! You’d probably be too busy delicately cutting some A4 paper with those fantastic, heavy scissors, or lowering yourself gracefully on to an egg-yolk coloured sofa with an exciting project on the horizon. These shots for Wallpaper* are igniting all kinds of imaginary office-based situations in our heads, here’s hoping they do the same for you.

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    Prepare to get knocked sideways into a cosmic, electric lady land of colour and texture in these paintings by Cuban artist Alberto del Pozo. These meticulously drawn portraits of gods and goddesses and tropical scenes of drape-heavy boudoirs are mind blowing! Something mystical about these paintings makes me feel that they wouldn’t look out of place in a Sultan’s palace, nor hanging in the hallway of Del Boy’s flat in Only Fools and Horses. Although visually rich, these paintings have a rather sombre back story – they are inspired by the slave trade, and the forcing of religious practice on to those who believe in another deity entirely. You can read more about them and the artist over here on But Does it Float?

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    You’d be forgiven for assuming that designer Darius Ou Dahao was much older and more established than his tender age suggests. We first featured him in May, when his unusual and brilliantly executed identity for Singapore’s Qian Hu Fish Farm won him much coveted spot as one of our students of the month. He’s back now with two publications to follow up that first corker of a project; one entitled The Atlas of Singapore Arowanas which will tell you everything you ever dreamt of knowing about those fishy fellows and their hangouts, and the other, The Qian Hu Aquarium Guide which is just what its name suggests.

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    Hypothetically, in a world in which I own more than twelve items of clothing, it might become essential for me to visit a dry cleaner to have my extensive collection of sartorial items tended to by an expert; returned to my care smelling of a fresh, piny hillside, or the indescribable freshness of a cool running stream. In this hypothetical world – where my moth-eaten sweaters are replaced by shirts of fine egyptian cotton – I’d probably be looking for someone like Nordic House to take care of my threads. They’re a San Franciscan laundry shop that have yet to open their doors but have already been given the executive branding treatment by Anagrama design studio.