Moving. This one word sums up everything New York-based design studio DIA embodies. Movement is in the neoteric, kinetic identity systems it creates and the processes it uses to construct them. Moving forward is in the ethos that drives its leaders Mitch Paone and Meg Donohoe to redefine with graphic design is. DIA is always moving and, in turn, its solidified itself as the master of typography in flux. It’s a studio which messes with design theory only to improve it, leaving the rest of us scrambling to catch up. Despite a somewhat-earnest façade, DIA is a studio built upon the interpersonal relationships it harbours, particularly between Mitch, founder and creative director, and Meg, managing partner. “We are on the same page with just about everything,” Mitch explains, “Same taste in design, art, food, architecture, vacations.” This “universal compatibility,” as he describes it, feeds through everything they do, in or outside of work, forming the basis of their collaboration. “Most importantly,” he continues, “there is a balance of our mindsets. Meg steers the ship with a long-term vision, whereas I am very much immersed in immediate creative tasks.”
London-based graphic designer Emily Schofield realised that her interests in fiction, contemporary culture, art and politics didn’t have to exist separately from her design practice. Her beautifully, crisp portfolio of work spans print, digital design and art direction demonstrating a delicate balance between creative expression and logical functionality. Speaking to It’s Nice That, Emily explains that in her creative process, “I need to be able to express something with my designs but when you become too focused on style and expression you often lose the bigger picture,” she says. “I only find meaning in my work when I see its larger role in society — whether that’s functionality, or an ability to provoke reaction, or simply to communicate a message”.
If you did a straw poll of what everyone here at It’s Nice That liked, no, loved, kinetic, 3D rebrands for data network companies would get a very strong showing. So imagine our delight when we were told that the Beautiful Meme — last seen attempting to change the slightly stuffy face of the City of London with a bold identity for the new Twentytwo development — had been given free reign to create such a thing for data network company, 01T.
Back once again on the last Tuesday of September, it’s Nicer Tuesdays! This month’s edition sees a stellar line-up grace the stage at Oval Space as we’ll be hearing from renowned Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace, creative director and filmmaker Margot Bowman, independent creative agency Superimpose and illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli will be joining us from her home in Milan.
The brightly coloured creations that Italian illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli whizzes up have graced the pages of It’s Nice That countless times. With a talent for pairing colours and shapes that bounce off screens and magazines alike, Olimpia’s work is instantly noticeable and explains why clients and illustration lovers fall for her time and time again. Recently releasing a new series Cuore di Panna, Olimpia used her style to evoke childhood memories of late 1980s Italian culture and will be taking us through the lip-licking drawings included in the series. Dougie Wallace is a name that will ring a bell with photography fanatics and eager people watchers. Internationally recognised for his ability to capture anyone – from the wealthy shoppers in Harrods to barking dogs – Dougie captures life as he sees it using his high-flash social documentarian eye. The photographer will be joining us to talk through how he’s developed this approach and the projects that have followed.
A retirement village in Berkhamsted might not be the first place you would imagine to find fashion photographer Thurstan Redding — who has shot for the likes of British Vogue, Arena Homme +, i-D, Dazed and Love — but it was here, in Castle Village, that one of his most unique projects thus far took shape.
When Lucas Reis was a kid growing up in Brazil, he had a Japanese friend. That friend was Lucas’ link to a country that has gone on to fascinate him ever since. The illustrator — who is also a creative at Mother — absorbed as much as he could from his playground pal. “As my taste began to develop in music, art, and design, I was always very aware of what was happening in Japan,” he tells It’s Nice That. “I tried to really understand what such a different mindset to my own could produce.”
Barron Webster is an American graphic and interaction designer, who has worked on a variety of fantastic projects for a variety of super interesting clients. He’s also the creative responsible for the creation of payinterns.nyc — an online resource which acts as a navigable list of companies and studios in New York City that pay their design/creative interns more than the NYC living wage, which currently sits at $13.6 an hour without benefits. Recently, the open-source code was used by UK designer Gabriel Keogh for a London version of the site; where you’ll find out who pays the London living wage of £10.20 per hour.
We’d all like to be a little more connected. Not just liking holiday photos and engagement notifications connected, but, really connected. The team at Bumble seem to agree. Bumble have always been about creating and curating safe-spaces which encourage and foster an environment geared towards female empowerment. From the original dating app, to the social circle expanding Bumble BFF the aim has always been to bring like-minded souls together to build their hive.
London-based Travis Alabanza’s creative practice involves writing words and performing them. Their work has consistently challenged the distinguished art world from an artist residency at the Tate to starring in the acclaimed theatre show Putting words in your mouth at the Roundhouse. Travis’ unapologetically clear and poignantly, personal voice is working towards a new theatre show, Burgerz, debuting October 25 at the Hackney Showroom.
Walls, a recent children’s book made by illustrator Jay Cover and art director Brad Holdgrafer, is a literal depiction of the political situation in both the US and the UK, a metaphorical exploration of the concept of a wall, and a “playful look at the problem” for the kids it’s aimed at and the parents reading to them, too. It started as a pet project between the two, over Skype and e-mail the book, which combines a rhyming poem by Brad and Jay’s illustrations, was a cathartic exercise initially, until Princeton Architectural Press got in touch and saw its cultural and visual worth.
Natalia Poniatowska employs photography to convey the emotions, truths and challenges of modern reality