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Features / Miscellaneous

We take a look back at the best stories of the year to date

The Easter weekend here in the UK has given us at It’s Nice That the chance to put our feet up for a few days, but we still want to provide you with your regular dose of creative ideas and inspiration. So we’ve decided to pull together some highlights from the year so far, including a handful of the most popular articles of 2019 and a few of the team’s favourites as well. From an in-depth study of the benefits of boredom (worth reading if you’re heading out of town to visit the family this weekend) to a story about Michael Bierut’s fresh identity for Mastercard, we’ve got all angles covered. There are even a few alpacas thrown in for good measure, courtesy of photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek. Check out all this and more below.

We’ll be back in a couple of days with more stories showcasing the best and most inspiring creative work from around the world.

Until then, have a great weekend,

The It’s Nice That team

Our favourite articles of the year (so far…)

  • Yolk-magazine-features-publication-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Features / Publication “For the new generasian”: a look back on long lost design treasure, Yolk magazine

    In the first half of the 1990s, before the term “cultural appropriation” was a widely understood concept, a group of 20-something Asian Americans were seeking to improve their visibility. Gathering together in Los Angeles’ media capital with two Macintosh LC’s (those old solid beige blocks of computers,) and an edition of QuarkXPress (otherwise known as InDesign’s great-great-grandma), a magazine priding itself on expressing unheard stories from the East and South-East Asian diaspora in the US was formed. That magazine, was Yolk. A one of a kind title in its celebration of Asian and Asian American identity, Yolk ran from 1994 to 2003. Since then, not a single publication has come close to rivalling its mantel for championing people of Asian descent. It was innovative in its art direction, experimental layouts and not to mention its original content. It featured interviews with highly visible film directors such as Ang Lee, to features on lesser-known creatives like Pedro Flores, the inventor of the Yo-yo. Yolk created a platform not only for Asian faces but for wide spanning editorial storytelling and cutting-edge graphic design, highlighting ten years of Asian creativity during a period of very little non-white representation in the mainstream media.

    Jyni Ong
  • International_womens_day_2019_its-nice-that_sara_andreasson_list-img Features / International Women's Day Celebrating International Women's Day 2019

    Over the past three years, we’ve taken the opportunity on International Women’s Day to devote It’s Nice That to the brilliant women who impact and inspire the creative industry. Each year the women we speak to span wholly different creative worlds. Whether they’re a photographer or an animator, someone who has worked in the industry for decades or a wide-eyed graduate, they represent the voices so often ignored but that we want to hear more from.

    It's Nice That
  • Dinamo-dark-room-pipeline-features-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Features / Graphic Design Dinamo creates two new type tools for the benefit of the design community

    If you’re interested in type design, then this is the article for you. The Swiss type-design agency Dinamo has just released two new type-design tools along with a new typeface, Whyte. While each design has an individual purpose, they all share the commonality of celebrating the variable font.Variable fonts surfaced in the mid-1990s during an ambitious revamp of the Macintosh graphics system. One variable font file contains all the weights, sizes and widths of a typeface meaning that users have access to a whole range of in-between fonts under the umbrella of one typeface. Though variable fonts went through a rise in popularity in the 90s, the early internet couldn’t support the font families the way it can today. With hyper-advancements in web development, studios like Dinamo are now able to experiment with variable fonts like never before, crafting new tools like the Dinamo Dark Room and the Dinamo Pipeline to fulfil their typographic curiosities.

    Jyni Ong
  • Jeongmee-yoon-the-pink-and-blue-project-features-photography-list Features / Photography A study of gender and colour over 14 years: JeongMee Yoon on The Pink and Blue Project

    Few colours come laden with as many associations as the colours pink and blue. Whether you think they denote femininity or masculinity, both or neither, it’s difficult to deny that these two colours are charged with gender politics. This is a subject that has continuously fascinated the Seoul-based artist JeongMee Yoon over the past 19 years. Since 2005, she’s been working on an ongoing photography series The Pink and Blue Project, which captures children and young people in their bedrooms surrounded by their hoards of pink and blue possessions.

    Jyni Ong
  • Spin-mubi-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design “There is no value in change for change’s sake”: an exclusive look at Spin's update of Mubi’s visual language

    “I’ll tell you something,” says Efe Cakarel, the founder and CEO of Mubi as our conversation around Spin’s new visual language update to his company’s identity begins. “For me, the definition of a client is someone who, every time someone presents a piece of work, they say: ‘great, but can you make it a little worse,’” he continues, between laughing. “I try very hard not the be this person.” This attitude is one that has led Mubi’s subtle, but detailed visual update, unveiled today and designed by Spin.

    Lucy Bourton
  • Mothercare-bodyproudmums-sophiemayanne-news-advertising-itsnicethat-list News / Advertising Mothercare UK calls for new mums to be proud of their post-birth bodies

    In the latest celebration of body positivity, Mothercare UK has launched its #BodyProudMums campaign in collaboration with the creative agency mcgarrybowen. While new mum’s tums are often airbrushed or photoshopped to resemble a body that has not just gone through nine months of pregnancy, Mothercare’s latest campaign sheds light on the wonderfully natural post-pregnancy body. Photographed by Sophie Mayanne, known for challenging the media’s unrealistic beauty standards through photography, the campaign sees the photographer turn her attention to capturing the blissful joy between mother and child.

    Jyni Ong
  • Haley-tippmann-illustration-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Illustration “I've just always liked drawing people”: Haley Tippmann on her observational illustrations

    “The most exciting aspect of illustration, I think, is that there are so many different directions to take it,” states New York-born, Germany-based illustrator Haley Tippmann, “there are so many different perspectives and ways of drawing an idea or a feeling, that it feels limitless.” An observational drawer, Haley’s work sees her filling each frame with crowds of strangers, projecting narratives onto their mundane interactions, all in her signature, over exaggerated style.

    Ruby Boddington
  • Elena-heatherwick-yola-irc-photography-itsnicethat-list Features / Photography Shot in Nigeria, Elena Heatherwick's photographic story for the IRC is one of tragedy and resilience

    One of photographer Elena Heatherwick’s favourite times of day to shoot is in the early morning. “It’s not just because of the gentle light, but also because it’s a time of day when lives can’t just stop because I’m there with a camera,” she says. “Breakfast is being cooked, sleepy faces are being washed, bodies are dressing up and getting ready for work or school. Amidst the hustle and bustle, I’m almost forgotten and those are the moments where good pictures often start to appear.”

    Matt Alagiah
  • Jaeha-kim-work-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Jaeha Kim channels different discplines of art through his graphic design practice

    “I love making posters,” says Seoul-based graphic designer Jaeha Kim. “It is the one medium that can contain all the elements of graphic design.” Jaeha’s posters, not to mention all his other outputs, draw on many aspects of the visual arts, which he then refines using his graphic design knowledge. Elements such as illustration, photography and fine art are drawn out in Jaeha’s designs. He tells It’s Nice That on this subject, “I like the idea that I can bring any other forms of art into this genre and make it a part of the visual system.”

    Jyni Ong