Now our Review of the Year celebrates some of our favourite Best of the Web links

26 December 2012
Reading Time
5 minute read

A key part of the It’s Nice That redesign was our new Best of the Web section where we can flag up just some of the myriad brilliance which wings its way across the web every single day. Nearly 1,000 articles have joined the BOTW march since its launch in April and we really believe that pointing our readers in the right directions builds on the content we produce for a really well-rounded art and design experience.

The first ever BOTW came from The New York Times and a belting infographic exploring the notion of “The One Per Cent.” The NYT was one of several big sites to have made multiple appearances in BOTW, testament to the consistency of their excellent arts and design coverage. In the same vein The Guardian provided us with many great links, from a piece on famous artists’ assistants to Sam Taylor Wood interviewing Yoko Ono and from Ai Weiwei’s own musings and the designs behind the paralympian’s superhuman efforts to the rise and rise of Apartamento magazine.

Similarly Design Observer provided us with lots of inspiration and insight, from Woody Allen’s management style to rethinking graphic design history and their willingness to take on big, chewy ideas maintained their status as the go-to site for in-depth design thinking.

Sometimes it was a case of others giving us amazing access, so Dezeen showed Thomas Heatherwick testing his Olympic cauldron, The Telegraph had Gary Oldman talking about Paul Smith and The Financial Times sat down for lunch with Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Massive respect to Wired whose insightful and enlightening coverage has gone from strength to strength – this piece on emoticons was a particular favourite – Fast Co Design had a predictably impressive year (with articles like this one explaining Microsoft Word’s problems) and as ever Creative Review and Eye magazine have excelled, with round-ups of all-time D&AD winners or features on iconic figures like Herb Lubalin for example.

But while these sites have reoccurred on the BOTW section, others made maybe just one appearance with particularly interesting or relevant posts. Johnson Banks articulated many people’s thoughts on the overlooking of the amazing Comedy Carpet by various awards’ panels, digital pioneers ustwo explained the need for humour in their discipline, BBH were very honest about the lessons from the homeless hotspots furore, we enjoyed drunk texts from famous authors courtesy of The Paris Review, found out which part of the brain falls in love with art on Hyper Allergic and we saw maybe the only ever completely honest CV from a graphic designer over on McSweeney’s.

We particularly like it when we gain real insight into particular design projects, such as the Design Museum’s new app or the Walker Art Center’s new website.

At times various sites have provided excellent tributes to those figures which have sadly passed away this year, including Ray Bradbury, Gore Vidal, Oscar Niemayer and Neil Armstrong.

And there’s been a plethora of great rundowns as well which are always popular BOTW fodder from icons that don’t make sense to top TED talks, arty big hitters and future design stars to defaced artworks, crazy fashion trends, brilliant Amazon reviews and the best opening scenes in cinema.

And finally two articles that don’t fit anwhere else but deserve a mention – HUH did an excellent piece on the different costs of famous logos and BOTW went kind of meta with The New York Times profile of Brainpickings’ Maria Popova.

All in all, a busy, brillliant year across art and design coverage. Bring on 2013.

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About the Author

Rob Alderson

Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.

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