A feast for the eyes, Actual Source’s latest issue of Shoplifters is all about drawing

Featuring the likes of Milton Glaser, Bráulio Amado, Alva Skog and Jee-ook Choi, the new issue of Shoplifters is full of illustrative delights.

24 April 2020


Actual Source is back at it again with a big, fat, whopping, mega-publication (536 pages to be precise) of… drawings! The famed design studio and publishing house’s biannual publication Shoplifters is back for its ninth issue in this wonderful directory of artists who draw, not to mention their actual drawings. Featuring some of It’s Nice That’s favourites from Stefan Marx to Bráulio Amado, Jee-ook Choi, Ken Kagami, Adam Higton and our 2017 Grad Alva Skog – the fabulous illustrator behind last year’s Ones to Watch – it’s a stellar lineup.

In previous years, we’ve delved into issues of Shoplifters, exploring the scape of LA’s graphic design scene in issue seven, and running through why issue six was a must-have for visual communicators back in 2017. But in contrast to previous editions, here, the drawings-themed issue is offering up something wholly different. “The last issue Shoplifters 8: New Type Design,” explains Actual Source’s creative director JP Haynie, “was really design heavy.” Consisting of nearly 400 pages of custom compositions and a lot of typesetting, it’s safe to say that this graphic design-heavy publication took up a lot of production time for the in-house design team.

The Utah-based publishers wanted to do something equally big for this issue, but without it taking 100s of hours just on the design. The result is a glorious compendium of drawings full of familiar names which were excited to see once again in this creme de la creme of compositions. Stripping back the highly designed spreads in light of honouring the drawings, this pared-back issue of Shoplifters offers viewers a unique, alphabetised directory of satisfyingly good art.


Shoplifters Issue 9: Drawings

“We love drawing and we felt like it would be a book that we wanted to own,” continues JP. Reproduced using fluorescent inks instead of the standard CMYK, Actual Source adds another layer of vibrancy to the drawings, lifting them off the page. Working collaboratively across the creative teams, the joyful publication also offered Actual Source the opportunity to meet an array of talented creatives, forming a community of sorts under the umbrella of issue nine.

For JP, “getting to meet so many amazing people is always the highlight of putting these issues together,” he tells us. From industry greats (such as Milton Glaser) to emerging illustrators at the beginnings of their burgeoning careers (Franz Lang, for instance), Shoplifters Issue 9 is not only a delight for the eyes, it is also a pretty useful resource for anyone looking to commission people who draw. With an introduction written by C W Moss and printed on super soft 120 GSM Munken Print White paper, at its core, Actual Source’s latest publication is a joyful feast for anyone with creative interests.

GalleryShoplifters Issue 9: Drawings

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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