1. Weekender-list

    Know what the best thing about Fridays is? For the next two days, there’s absolutely no telling what could happen. Unleashed from the shackles of your desk like a tiny young butterfly thrust forth from the loins of its cocoon, there’s as much likelihood that you’re going to hop into your souped-up jeep and bounce your way around your hometown in time to a Nicki Minaj song as there is that you’ll end up stuck at home on Saturday night eating shepherds’ pie with your nan and her next-door neighbour Dorothy. Anything could happen, and we’re here to help you embrace the magic. Whether your fate be in the jeep or the shepherds’ pie, let the Weekender take you there.

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    I saw Godzilla last night, and this wooden labyrinthine installation makes me think of what the cavernous, skeletal insides of the jurassic creature would look like if the movie had been designed by Guillermo del Toro. Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira’s interactive sculpture twists and turns like an organic growth that has taken over the Museum de Arte in Sao Paulo’s sleek and white corridors, tumbling around erect columns like a jungle taking over an uninhabited city. Henrique used repurposed wood pieces as the skin of his Transarquitetonica, and we imagine that walking through the cocooned corridors of the wooden maze must be an enthralling experience. An immense and intriguing project that will take you deep into the woods.

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    If you’re anything like us when it comes to music, you happily eschew all things super cool and underground (gabber, anybody?) in favour of letting Christina Aguilera and Usher blare out obnoxiously over the studio sound system. And in a glorious celebration of our unashamed love of pop music, this week Japanese-American singer-songwriter Kina Grannis has put together a Friday mixtape for us! Woooo! Crank it up and croon along, and enjoy every single glorious “ooooh.” Happy Friday!

  4. Poodle-club-list

    When I was a kid, I really, really wanted to be part of a club. I wanted it more than anything. The only problem was, I wasn’t good at any of the things that I needed to be good at to be part of one of the after-school societies. I tried joining the chess team for a while, but the others could tell I wasn’t as enthusiastic as I should be, and the one time I tried out for the netball team it was a complete disaster. I lasted longest in golf club, which I only joined because I liked the idea of wearing golf socks, and there was a school requirement that meant I had to do some kind of physical activity. It took me a long time to realise that being part of a club wasn’t about the cool clothes or doing it because you had to, but really it was about being around like-minded people and doing something that you love. When I got to University, I joined a Film Club, and knew that I’d finally found my home.

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    Maybe it’s the world cup that’s dragging out the reluctant patriot in me, but I’m seeing flags all over place at the moment, and do you know what? I’m enjoying it. Perhaps nowhere so much as in this project, Multi-national Typeface by Grey Singapore. They’ve taken every single flag in the world, and reconfigured the shapes and colours which distinguish it to create the first letter of the country’s name. Sounds tricky, but fortunately Grey Singapore are also adept at putting together brilliantly functional and very entertaining GIFs which demonstrate the composition process, making the whole thing a damn sight easier to work out.

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    Degree show season is very nearly upon us and students, universities, media and employers are about to launch head-first into the craziest few weeks on the creative calendar. One of the highlights promises to be the Plymouth College of Art summer show, taking over three buildings, four floors and 20 exhibition spaces across the city centre campus.

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    The sad death of Massimo Vignelli this week was greeted with the kind of tributes as befitting one of the design world’s most important figures. From posters to publications, brand identities to buildings and products to public signage, Massimo brought European modernism firmly into the mainstream.

  8. Allthethingslist

    We’ve got a a lot of good things going this week. To combat the cloudy skies and descending chilly winds, we’ve been sent an assortment of wonderful zines and posters, all of which seem to be made out of the colour of sunshine. This multi-coloured assortment of pinks and blues and subtle purples has been shining and sparkling in the corner of our office, reminding us that the sun will be back again soon. So get ready for all your favourite summer-time activities, from skateboarding in the park to cooling off on a water-slide, by feasting your eyes on this week’s luminous bundle.

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    What I love about Wonderland magazine is that each issue gets more and more Wonderland every single time. They stick to their pop culture, cheesy-without-being-tacky, fun-championing guns in a big way, which is why when I saw their new issue had a huge feature on Mariah Carey, I couldn’t wait to tuck in to its heavily-glossed pages. The interview with Mariah was conducted by deputy editor Jack Mills (who also edits Rollacoaster) and after reading the interview with Mariah, we had a million questions about what it must be like to interview such an infamous, sparkling enigma. So read on to find out as we asked Jack all about it…

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    When it comes to bringing babies into the world, the mother’s role is pretty well-defined. But new dads can find themselves playing any number of roles, from nervously pacing the corridor to helping out at the bedside. Photographer Dave Young has captured this uncertainty perfectly with a new series commissioned by The Book of Everyone to mark Fathers’ Day next month. Shot at the Chelsea & Westminster hospital during April, Dave has done a brilliant job capturing the anticipation and the elation, the nerves, the anxiety and even the exact moment when these men realise their worlds have just been turned upside down.

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    In the midst of some research last week I came to Mat Maitland’s site and spent a blissful few minutes reminding myself of his brilliance. Mat – one of the talents on the consistently excellent Big Active roster – pulls off one of the most difficult image-making tricks around, and what’s more he makes it look easy. There’s an awful lot of surrealist collage and far too often it feels like it’s trying too hard, but Mat knows exactly what works and what doesn’t and just as importantly he knows when to stop. So it’s no surprise that big-name clients are beating a path to his door, so Mat is the man behind the new posthumous Michael Jackson release and a recent Prince single among other gems.

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    The Mill’s Aran Quinn and Jeffrey Dates have just finished work on an utterly charming animated rendition of American poet Kenn Nesbitt’s Wayne The Stegosaurus. The poem details the shortcomings of a dinosaur named Wayne, who’s bizarre antics are the result of a tiny brain. “He can’t remember up from down. He thinks the sky is chocolate brown. He wears his bow tie on his tail and likes to eat the daily mail.” In spite of this stupidity, Wayne’s life is incredibly entertaining when brought to life by Aran and Jeffrey, and their bug-eyed and gormless, pink protagonist is sure to warm even the iciest of hearts.

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    Oh hey guys! This week’s podcast is an absolute banger. Sans Rob Alderson the terrific trio Liv, Maisie and James are joined by It’s Nice That co-founder and kind-of celebrity Alex Bec. To be honest we had to get him in because one of the topics was football-based and we three don’t know anything about that. As ever listen using the SoundCloud embed below or subscribe via iTunes here.

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    “Ah,” I can hear you thinking, “another process blog by a graphic designer!” but not just any designer, and not just any process blog, either. Leslie David is a Paris-based illustrator and art director to clients from the high fashion (Givenchy, Opening Ceremony and Chloé) to the music-related (Metronomy) and media-based (The New York Times and Jalouse Magazine) among several others, and tucked away on her page is a blog full of screenshots both of personal work and of work in progress.

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    Phwoarr! This is good. I’m pretty sure we’ve done a post on any person who has ever done an editorial shoot for ’SUP magazine, and Leonard is our latest find. He’s most well-known for a black and white photo of Sebastien Tellier that he took a few years back, but delving further on his site proves that he’s way more than just a cool guy with a camera who hangs around with French singers. Fluoro still-lifes, gloved hands (creepy) and apples resting terrifyingly on old video games give you a weird itching sensation in your brain, like Leonard has sneakily tapped a nerve that has never been tapped before. If you prefer his music photography, make sure you drag that photo of the Emeralds singer holding two tabby cats into your favourites folder, stat.

  16. Rlist

    Looking through the computer-generated art by Rose Pilkington is a bit like sliding around in a big tub of rainbow coloured mercury whilst synthetic bubbles and digital geometric fragments are hurled towards you. We love her mind-boggling GIFs, which kind of look like what might happen if the shirts worn by Zack on Saved by the Bell were digitized and made into panoramic landscapes on Second Life. Take a look at her bright, kaleidoscopic website and 3D sketches here, you won’t regret it, although you may have all the clashing CMYK colours imprinted on your vision for quite a while afterwards.

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    We don’t do this very often but one of our heroes, Brecht Vandenbroucke, turned up at the studio this morning all the way from Antwerp, just to say hi. It reminded us of what a thoroughly nice chap he is – he always hand-paints any envelope he sends our way – and what an incredible talent too. He kindly signed and drew in a copy of the Autumn 2013 Printed Pages, for which he created an exclusive set of White Cube comics, which we’ll be giving away later today on the Printed Pages Twitter. But for now remind yourself of what a terrific chap he is by enjoying his latest portfolio updates. Bye now!

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    I’m reading Just Kids by Patti Smith at the moment (aware that I’m late to the party) and I’m constantly stricken with jealousy over how she was alive and in New York at the best possible time, and that magical era of art and music will perhaps never happen again, in my lifetime anyway. What I can take comfort in, however, is that I share the same earth as a bunch of illustrators and artists who make such weird, spectacular work – and that too is a rare and unforeseen period in history. These artists are people like Derek Ercolano here, whose primary colour comics and distorted images are the work, I think, of a preternatural genius. I don’t know if he knows the other contemporaries in his clan: HTML Flowers, Simon Hanselmann, Patrick Kyle, Tom Sewell, Rob Pybus and Sophia Foster-Dimino to name a few, but if he does, I hope they’re all partying in a wet cave somewhere together.

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    Paula Troxler’s lovely designs and illustrations come in all the colours of the crayon pack. Her work crosses several mediums, from zine-making and editorial work for German magazines to designing identities for jazz festivals and theatre productions, and in each and every one of her pieces she manages to retain the same charismatic playfulness that we cannot get enough of. We love all of her unpolished ink drawings and her whimsical posters that burst with life, character and hints of folklore.

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    Book cover designer Peter Mendelsund has just finished work on a publication that brings together the fruits of his career thus far in the form of a rather beautiful monograph. To those of us that know his work well it seems like a deserved achievement to have it represented in a book of his own, but he’s typically modest of the honour: “After producing enough passable design to have established a reputation – and after having participated in the requisite interviews, given the obligatory talks, and pursued the necessary whimsical side projects of varying natures – it is de rigeur that a designer should then publish a book of his or her work.” And so he has.

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    In 1978 Greg Reynolds was a closeted homosexual working as a youth minister for a large, conservative, religious organisation in the USA; the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. His role was to train young Christian men and women to evangelise their peers in their hometowns. During term-time Greg would travel the country to colleges and universities, then in the summer his work would take him to Bible camps in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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    Holding Bare magazine in your hands or flicking idly through it on the Tube, you’d be forgiven realising that there was something different about it without being able to put your finger on exactly what that is. Printed on heavy uncoated stock and without a single retouched photograph between its front and back pages, the difference is subtle, but it’s there.

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    This is not our first post about Josephin Ritschel, whose incredibly intricate risograph illustrations are so beautifully warm and pleasurable to look at that we felt a real need to fill you in on her latest work. Her drawings are comforting like your favourite reoccurring dream, and feature the kind of modernist homes found in dense Scandinavian forests that you can imagine Grace Kelly hanging out in while sipping margaritas.

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    Next up in our talks from the fashion-themed Nicer Tuesdays is fashion designer Kit Neale. From the Vikings to the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, Kit celebrated the eccentricity and sense of humour on which our sense of national identity is built. Why does Guy Fawkes Day (a commemoration of a failed terrorist plot don’t forget) unleash such creativity and imagination? Why is dressing up such an integral part of stag parties and hen-dos, where usual rules of dress and gender can be transgressed with impunity?

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    Here we are, round two of our Graduates catch ups in which we get back in touch with our grown-up children from last year and see what powerful things they’ve been up to since we let them fly the nest. Turns out they’ve all been doing exceptionally well, which is nice. Here’s some absolutely fantastic grads Edward Monaghan, Lottie Brzozowski and Ollie Willis sharing their knowledge on how you earn a buck or two in this big bad world these days.

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    Such good illustration here from one of Agent Pekka’s sparkling roster of artists, Sanna Mander. If you like vintage cars, Edward Scissorhands, The Flintstones or I Dream of Genie then this is going to be right up your street. Fantastic cluttered illustrations illustrate magazine fantastic articles all over the world with little 1950s-style trademarks such as pronounced wood grains, pointy eyeliner, cute tablecloths and basically any aesthetic that you might see in, let’s say, the 1976 Freaky Friday intro. Some people get bothered about illustrators taking from the days of yore, but personally this kitsch style is right up my suburban American street. That illustration for Brummell magazine is absolutely beautiful.

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    This week our Editorial Assistant Madeleine Morley reflects on her four weeks at It’s Nice That but wonders if the fast turnover of creative content online is really a good thing. Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to join in the conversation below.

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    Daniel Adel is best known for his satirical illustration, as championed by the likes of The New Yorker and The New York Times; abnormally large-headed politicians sipping beverages next to scantily-clad babes, caricatures of famous faces with overgrown ears and noses. Over on his website, though, these cheeky images are more than matched by incredibly serious and very impressive portraiture which looks like it would be just as at home on the walls of an American president’s mahogany-lined office as it would over your grandmother’s fireplace.

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    In the competitive, ever-changing world of the creative industries, it can be hard to get the right opportunities to make great work, which is why the time is ripe for innovative platforms like MOFILM.

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    Our latest Nicer Tuesdays with Park Communications went football crazy (football mad) with four speakers whose creative endeavours had engaged with the beautiful game in some way or another.

  31. Kodaklist

    The sleepy, modern-day ghost town captured in these photographs is contemporary Rochester, New York, birthplace of photographic film and home to the great Kodak empire. Swiss photographer Catherine Leutenegger’s poignant series, entitled Kodak City, records the fading remainders of the old industrial hub, a place “once central to photography but now marginalised and adrift.”

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    When someone’s work looks like the legs of David Hockney’s painting trousers, or the vomit of someone who’s just nailed a pack of Skittles, you know it’s gonna be the kind of thing we want on our site. Like the spectacular Minna Gilligan or Jordy van Den Nieuwendijk, artist Adam Sultan’s weapon of choice is COLOUR.

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    There are doodlers and then there are doodlers, and then there is Félix Decombat, who has taken doodling to a whole new level with both a website and a Flickr site full to the brim with some of the best lo-fi illustration we ever did see. The incredible variety of styles in the heap is testament to just how much talent Félix has, dabbling in comic book-esque imagery and fully fledged sketch-style work alongside chunky, bold or monochromatic variations.

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    Graphic designer, photographer and collector Marc Walter has amassed an extraordinary collection of photographs for TASCHEN’s latest publication An American Odyssey. With them he creates a comprehensive picture of the new world in its earliest days, all ramshackle mining towns in the Midwest, steam boats in New York’s first ports and an explosion of new industrial cities. Not only does this collection of images provide a unique examination of life over a century ago, it presents it all in full colour by virtue of techniques called Photochrom and Photostint that predated autochrome by almost 20 years – capturing “the rich ochres and browns of the Grand Canyon” and “the dazzle of Atlantic City” for all to see.

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    Anyone who has been to the excellent David Pearson show at London’s Kemistry Gallery will know that there’s an awful lot of creative mileage to be had from limiting book cover design to type-based solutions. I’ve become quite obsessed in hunting out other examples of this craft and although this work from Astrid Stavro is a couple of years old now, it deserves a fresh airing in this context.

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    The world is a funny old place, full as it is with landscapes so far beyond my realm of understanding that I can barely even begin to comprehend they exist. To see environments such as Australia’s salt mines crystallised in a photography series is understandably quite impressive then, and no more so than the landscapes themselves; vast expanses of white populated only by the occasional crane and digger and overhung with a glorious blue sky,

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    We’ve long been enormous fans of Ally Capellino, for the timeless bags and vessels she creates that seem to adhere to and stand up to everyday problems of a “doing” person who rides bicycles, carries a lot of books, or just needs a sturdy bag as a tool rather than something to show off. Saying that, everyone I know who’s got an Ally Capellino bag definitely shows it off, and it’s normally so beautiful that no one really minds anyway.

  38. Olist

    Oeuflab is a small graphic design company based in Fukuoka who create amazingly lovely logos and identities for various clinics and hospitals around Japan. Apparently the name “Oeuflab” translates to something like “Egg Institute,” and the company’s ethos is to think not only about the surface (or the “eggshell”) of a brief, but also about the substance (or “yolk”) inside. Their branding is effective, clean and comforting, and we love the welcoming colours and creatures that emerge from the simple logos. We’ve never seen such friendly and accessible designs for a paediatric hospital, vet or skin care clinic: Oeuflab is definitively a good egg, and we can’t wait to see what ingenious designs they hatch next.

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    My Mum emailed this to me yesterday with the subject title of “try and guess what this is advertising.” Wrongly thinking I’d outwit her, I watched it the whole way through and was still stumped until about three seconds from the end. What a triumphant piece of advertising from none other than some graduates of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. The ad’s three years old, so we can assume the men behind it, creative Andre Price and direct Andreas Roth, are both powerful filmmakers or ad-men nowadays. You don’t get much better than this fantastic, thrilling advert for what is promoting, in all honesty, a very dull product indeed. It’s dramatic, it’s spine-tingling and it’s genuinely funny enough to make you squeak a little giggle out at the end – and you can’t say that for many ads these days.

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    The second year graphic design students on Central Saint Martins’ BA course are about a year ahead of anyone else when it comes to their degree show planning. They’ve already put the wheels in motion to raise vast sums to help launch themselves professionally when they graduate. In order to do so they’ve got a pop-up shop in progress that aims to be the most expensive concept store the world has ever seen. In it they’ll be selling one-off pieces for up to one million pounds, although the more their website is shared through social media channels, the lower the price will get.