This week has brought us SPORTS – pub-goers have been positively glued to diving, gymnastics, and handball, and I’ve even spotted Olympians frantically searching for ginger-ale in Tesco (apparently it calms down upset/nerve-addled stomachs?). What’s more, as I write this it’s “Sports Day” here at It’s Nice That, and we have table-tennis bats at the ready to battle it out. Regardless of who wins, the week has also brought us a glorious amassing of Things; from tote bags and literary magazines to thought-provoking photography and absorbing pocket-sized city guides, it’s the perfect mix for an August holiday – which reminds me, happy August everyone; here you are!
Herb Lester Associates: City Guides/Maps
Oh these are amazing . Initially, I thought they were postcards – because they’re that shape and size, and have that fun, relaxed, holiday-feel about them. They’re not, but they will appeal to globe-trekkers and local wanderers alike, along with anyone with a fondness for bright colour, expert design, fun facts, and great cafés. I spent ages poring over each one, examining the London ones with a pen in hand to take notes, occasional nods of recognition punctuating the the garnering of new “wow-must-go-there” awareness.
There is something instantly engaging about little pocket-friendly publications entitled Clandestine London or How to find Old LA . Style-wise, the selection is also very broad-ranging, with each city guide given a distinct identity, akin to one’s experience of each place. LA is illustrated in beautiful circus motifs, while Paris is full of chic illustrations of glasses of wine. Supercool indeed!
Vice: Volume 10, Number 7
This photograohy issue of Vice is packed full of a vast range of arresting, thought-provoking, and utterly absorbing imagery. It features visuals you’d never dream up on your own – from Yumiko Utsu’s faces made of various types of mushrooms, to portraits of workers at a plastic flower factory. There are nods to the tradition of fine art, with the surrealist Nothing series by Asger Carlsen featuring a distinguished, multi-eyed individual going about his business, along with engaging, if disturbing, 1989 photographs of North Korean subway stations. There’s also a series of food-portraits from Thomas Mailaender, which features a toilet bowl filled with chips, levitating pizza slices, and what looks like a gun-case packed with meat. Plenty to chew on, anyway!
APC for ART BERLIN CONTEMPORARY: Tote bag
I love a good tote bag. They fit everything, and can act as a comfy pillow if you suddenly need to go for a nap. Well, APC (Atelier de Production et de Creation_ has collaborated with Art Berlin Contemporary to produce a wonderful bag for the event, which will happen from September 13 to 16. The fabric’s lovely and soft, and the ABC graphic is bold, bright and playful.
Graeme Cooper: Shades of Grame 01
No no, this has nothing to do with that … book. Instead, this is a publication of beautiful work by photographer Graeme Cooper. Featuring expansive spaces, often partly or extensively occupied with man-made elements, his work appears to invite the viewer to ponder on the nature of captioning. Set across each image is a main caption, usually a single word, which appears to “anchor” the image’s meaning or what it is supposed to connote. But_, there is also a list of other related words in the corner of each image, as though they were alternatives. Anyway, this makes it fun to decide what the image would “mean” if something else where there as the main caption instead. Very nice.
The Alarmist: The Holy Book, Issue One
This is the first publication by The Alarmist, and goodness it’s great. It reminds me of the very best aspects of top-notch creative writing publications at university; plenty of variety, freedom, fun, irreverence, and ever-expanding talent, which I must say I miss in the “real” world. So it’s fantastic to see it here. Beautifully designed, with a strong graphic palette full of energy, it looks very nice, but is also filled with excellent and highly engaging written work. While I was examining it for Things-worthiness, I epically ran the risk of getting so thoroughly absorbed into the words and worlds of the highly international bunch of contributors, that I nearly didn’t have time to write about it here – but here it is, in all its glory!