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 directions 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.
“I’ll tell you something,” says Efe Carakel, 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.
Three months after starting his BFA in Drawing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Wyatt Knowles discovered collage and spent most of his time doing that instead. During this time he also started making posters and flyers for the bands he and his friends were in: “I think I enjoyed the freedom and contrast of just making this sort of throw-away thing, in comparison to the big conceptual ideas I had to have for my university work,” he tells It’s Nice That.
Graphic designer Jaemin Lee’s recent Risograph-printed work shares the graphic sensitivity we’ve come to recognise as the core of his work, in compositions that have an equal focus on visual storytelling and production values.
When asked to recall a brand with a reputation for continually pushing and redefining its aesthetic choices, we have to admit that Gap wasn’t at the top of our list. But, now, thanks to the work of Joel Evey, the clothing retailer’s senior director of the global creative studio, that may be about to change.
Seoul-based graphic designer Kay Kwon attributes much of his career to his love of rock and hip-hop growing up. “I’ve always been interested in album artwork and covers,” Kay tells It’s Nice That. “Exposed to the Korean indie scene, I felt a big discrepancy between the quality of album artwork and the quality of the music,” explains Kay. “The music would be quite exceptional, but the album artwork wasn’t always the best reflection of it.” Kay speculates this “discrepancy” was down to “a lack of readily available design resources” and as a result, the designer pursued the industry with the hopes of one day, contributing his designs to the music scene.
Last time we wrote about photographer Sam Gregg’s work, it was his series See Naples and Die which formed the basis of our conversation. At the time, he was living in the city, teaching English over the course of a year. Prior to this, Sam had spent three years in Bangkok, working for an international film company. Upon his return to the UK in early 2018, he realised that his time away, “coupled with the present, constant rhetoric about nationality”, meant he was experiencing a disassociation with being British. With this in mind, he began exploring his hometown of London in an attempt to reconnect to it the only way he knew how, with a camera around his neck.
New world creative agency Superimpose Global have got its hands on the visual identity of a prestigious fashion prize, it has been revealed over the weekend. The team — who now have an LA outpost in addition to their London base — have been tasked with overseeing the implementation of a new visual approach to the International Woolmark Prize.
A Pint in London, a game created by London-based writer Ana Kinsella, is a narrative-led, web-based game taking the user on a multiple choice journey through London in search of the perfect pint spot. It’s a game that’s simple in its idea, but finding “your pub” is one of those personal joys of London – a city that to some seems like a stressful metropolis, but to others is a collection of tiny villages to wander through and make your own.
Regular readers of It’s Nice That will know that we’ve got a bit of a thing for American photographer Tyler Mitchell. The prodigiously young, uber-talented snapper made global headlines back in August 2018 when he became the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year history.