Since launching in 2016, Migrant Journal has well and truly made a name for itself as a firm favourite at It’s Nice That. Published as a preplanned series of six, it explores “the circulation of people, goods, information, but also fauna and flora, around the world and the transformative impact they have on space.”
Edited by Justinien Tribillon, Michaela Büsse and Dámaso Randulfe and co-edited as well as designed by Offshore Studio (Isabel Seiffert and Christoph Miler), so far Migrant has opened up a dialogue surrounding migration thematically in its issues Across Country, Wired Capital and Flowing Grounds. In order to break from the prejudices and clichés surrounding the polemic subject of migration, the Migrant team reach out to artists, journalists, academics, designers, architects, philosophers, activists and citizens to critically explore the new space it creates.
As a publication so well informed and diverse in its sources as well beautifully designed with its bespoke typeface and metallic ink, we got in touch with Migrant to find out which books inspire its team, whether that be visually or intellectually or just to give them a good laugh.
Lexikon der Schweiz: Geographisches
We found this geographical encyclopaedia of Switzerland at a flea market in Zurich (where we regularly go to look for some nice vintage books). It was printed in 1904 and is a masterpiece of information design. A dense symbiosis of infographics, maps (that are sometimes foldout), lists, texts and images provides a multi-layered perspective on the different parts of Switzerland. Furthermore, the marble edge colouring, the embossing on the leather cover and the thorough typography make this book a real treasure on our bookshelf.
Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action
Originally published in 1961, Ladislav Sutnar’s Visual Design in Action is a groundbreaking book on modern graphic design. We really admire the abstract visual language of the legendary Czech graphic designer, who was also a visionary of what is today called information design. This reprint by Lars Müller Publishers features astonishingly contemporary graphics, advertisements and corporate identities and was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign.
This book contains 68 images of 3D-models of artworks from the Usher Gallery and The Collection in Lincoln which can be downloaded for free. The publication feels like a weird and wonderful combination of classy exhibition catalogue aesthetics and a futuristic science-fiction atmosphere. Flicking through the book – which is produced by a printing on demand service in black and white – is almost like a glimpse into the museum of the future, where ideas of technology, conservation, restoration and art meet in the same space.
Brynjar Sigurðarson: Things that Happened (in random order)
This is a book about the wonderful work of emerging Icelandic designer Brynjar Sigurðarson, and his encounter with anthropologist Tim Ingold. Included in this book is a conversation between the two on the origin of things, as well as a 12-inch vinyl for which Sigurðarson has collected, recorded, and mixed stories on musical soundscapes. His thrilling images and fresh writing circles around themes of myths, darkness, isolation, micro-memory, stones, animals, and the supernatural.
Astérix in Corsica
Astérix in Corsica is probably the funniest comic book ever. This series is an all-time Belgo-French classic and this actual copy is over 30 years old. Comic books like this one are the kind of publication you “read” before you can understand the actual text — you’d get basic stuff by looking at the drawing and the rest you could simply invent. Then when you learn to read, you somehow feel trapped: you lose the dozen of stories that your crazy brain had invented by just looking at the pictures. Somehow, it feels like your reading experience is not improved… Early experience of “reading” comic books reveals something of the weird relationship between text and image, their individual and combined meanings.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.