August – inevitably the last month to catch those summer rays, lounge in poolside chairs and BBQ in burnt-out parks before autumn kicks in. What better way is there than to spend these final days lying out on a beach reading about design? Or flicking through a magazine tucked up in bed behind a fan? We can’t think of one… From minimal design and experimental typography to more comedy by illustrative powerhouse Jean Jullien, check out our top picks from what was sent through our door in this month’s write-up below.
We really appreciate you all venturing out to the post office, especially in this blistering heat. If you’d like to submit something for next September’s Things, you can find our address here.
Jean Jullien: Why The Face?
Jean Jullien never fails to make the team at It’s Nice That laugh, and he’s done it again with his recent book for Phaidon. Why The Face? is a children’s book that encourages little ones to guess why the characters are pulling funny faces before the answer is revealed in the opening of a flap. We see scrunched up noses, fingers in ears and sticking out tongues, all in reaction to myriad humorous scenarios. The book is “based on young children’s natural fascination with faces”, explains Phaidon, “Encouraging readers to practice empathy and emotional intelligence.”
Apartamento: The Walker House, RM Schindler
“Los Angeles is a land of dream houses,” writes Apartamento, and its new publication takes us into that space. The book is the first in a series related to inspirational houses and explores a home designed by Austrian-born American architect, RM Schindler: The Walker House. Its current owner is the journalist and modernist design geek, Andrew Romano, who writes, “Schindler’s architecture was immersive in a way that most art wasn’t. I wanted to continue the conversation”. The pages tell of its beauty, littered with sun-soaked images, light plywood, clean angles and the calming view of a nearby lake.
Beneficial Shock is the bi-annual magazine for film lovers that uses design and illustration to interpret film-related content. Issue three is all about “sex”, the subject that’s on everyone’s minds but rarely vocalised. We’ve all had that awkward moment on the couch, sat next to our parents on a belly-full boxing day, as a saucy scene plays out on screen. Beneficial Shock explores those moments, “uncovering the myriad ways in which sex is played out in film". Article topics range from the rise in female porn directors to the world’s obsession with Lolita; the content is paired with brilliantly eye-catching illustrations.
Federal Office of Culture Bern: The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2017
Every year the Swiss Federal Office of Culture judges The Most Beautiful Swiss Books. For 2017, a five-member jury selected 18 titles that showcased remarkable and contemporary book design. The selection has been made into a beautifully crafted catalogue, designed and typeset by Teo Schifferli. Inside, using clean and smart minimalism, the publication displays the defining characteristic of every book chosen, alongside the design process and a jury review.
Type Life: Non-Swiss Typefaces We Like 1569–2018
With its lime greens, vibrant yellows and experimental fonts, Type Life immediately jumped out at us. In its third issue, Swiss Typefaces “take a look beyond their own work and celebrate contemporary type made by others”. The result is 19 fonts from 19 international foundries, dating from 1569—2018. The pages present an eclectic mix of typography, historical references and newness, all set out creatively. The text accompanying the work is written by Florian Hardwig and is visually enriched with works by lettering artist Julien Priez.
Boom Saloon is back, and this time it is tackling the topic of displacement. The content is bigger and better than ever before and so is the design; “the typography itself has become bolder, more playful”, the team explains of its harmonious and well-thought-out layout. The magazine features a range of contributors from all over the globe, new-comers and seasoned pros. In Don’t Make Me Look Like The Kids on TV, Dawit N M describes Ethiopia through his eyes, and in Tainted Tide, Silvia Conde pairs images of plastic pollution with Majorca’s striking coastline.
Komma Magazine acts as a presentation platform for the work of students at the Faculty of Design at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences. Each issue is self-managed by student editors, and as the team is continually changing, each issue has its own theme and identity. Issue 22 is in a minimalistic newspaper format; there are a variety of separate elements, which give it a unique and captivating element that is simple but effective.
Louis Reith: 3
3, published by Jordskred, is an elegantly sewn art book made up of work by Louis Reith, a Dutch artist It’s Nice that is familiar with. The 32 pages include collages of found books and coloured paper. Printed in monochromatic colour, the publication explores form and the melodic balance of shapes. Pieces of paper are placed atop Japanese interiors in a way that suggests the beauty of yin and yang. The thread that ties his work together is the reappropriation of found objects into a single artistic vision.
Nick Rochowski: Brutalist
Brutalist by Nick Rochowski looks at some of the last surviving great brutalist buildings in the UK. A light and elegant publication, the pages are filled with concrete, light and shadow. The images are printed large, on both sides of the spread. The work is bold and instantly eye-catching, capturing still and foreboding moments. It is “a series of abstract architectural studies based on instinctive, contemplative and explorative responses to spaces both positive and negative in dimensions”.