We love stuff! We love stuff so much that we actively encourage you to send it to us, and when you do, we tear the packaging from it and send it whirling to the floor while dancing around clutching your stuff with joy. (Not a euphemism.) Contrary to popular belief, January is a pretty good month for creative endeavours, or so our bulging supply of cool new stuff would lead us to believe. Here are ten of the best ones from January!
Pica Editions: Super-Food
Sometimes it takes a well-printed recipe book which accepts the food-group “superfood” as literally “super” to make you realise it’s time to stop eating so much crap. “Tired? Listless? Depressed?” it begins, “Don’t worry, we can fix it. You’re probably just allergic to everything you eat.” Fortunately the spoonful of sugar to make this medicine go down is a collection of delicious-sounding recipes for things you’d likely never dream of making otherwise, delivered by an avocado in a mask. What more could you want?
Chris Thomas: You Have Too Much Shit
“YOU HAVE TOO MUCH SHIT,” Chris Thomas proclaims boldly on the front of his new self-help book, and let’s face it, he’s probably right. Full of withering criticism of contemporary culture, fascinating references and advice on how to get rid of some of your junk, this brutal project is a surprisingly brilliant read. Just make sure you don’t add it to your bookshelves once you’re done with it. He’ll know.
Anthony Gerace: Out From New York City
This book doesn’t seem to have a title, so I’ll call it Out From New York City for convenience. Hope that’s okay, Anthony. What it does have is a huge series of photographs taken over the course of an extensive road trip around the USA, from epic rocky landscapes to twee displays of Americana. To tell the truth though what really got us was the cover, which turns a sketchbook-like collection of photographs into something much more. Corrrr yeah!
Ancestry Quarterly: Issue #003
Ancestry describes itself as a publication for those stuck between dayjob and daydream, so it makes sense that it focuses on those creative projects fulfilled by people working dayjobs in order to fulfill them. Cue an onslaught of inspiring ideas and practices, from glitch rug weavers and organic chocolatiers to ceramicists to hand embroiderers. An added bonus: it’s small enough not to get bashed up in a tote and chunky enough to read over the course of at least three coffees.
Clay Hickson: Paradise Print
If you’ve been on the site of late you’ll know we’re enormous fans of Clay Hickson, the illustrator who runs indie press Tan & Loose in Chicago. Get a load of this gorgeous print he sent in! Called Paradise, it’s tropical and bright enough that it actually seems to give off colour, brightening gloomy days at every glance. Cool!
Too Much Magazine: Issue #5
How we got to five issue without finding out about Too Much Magazine, we’ll never know. It’s based around the concept of Romantic Geography, which though it sounds a bit abstract and cerebral, is actually a straightforward and fascinating idea. To elucidate, this issue looks at the architectural movement which suggests that everybody live in an eight-square-metre pod, the architecture of plastic surgery clinics and chair design. If that doesn’t rouse some curiosity in you I don’t know what will.
The Debate: The Legendary Contest of Two Giants of Graphic Design
“In 1972, two prominent Dutch graphic designers, Wim Crouwel and Jan van Toorn, faced off in a public forum to assert their respective values, methods and politics,” the synopsis of The Debate explains. “Since then, the event has acquired mythic status, known to generations simply as The Debate.” This book contains the first full English translation of this key debate, along with captions, images, glossy examples of the work of each and some fascinating context, in a wonderfully comprehensive publication.
100% Halal: Hello, A Warm Welcome
Here’s a great publication produced by 100% Halal, a photography agency based in Amsterdam, as the first of an annual series inviting their photographers to show off a few of their wares around a theme. For this issue the theme is Hello, A Warm Welcome, inciting responses as diverse as old school cheeky pin-up girl shows and Johan Kramer’s shots of the opponents of The Netherlands in Amsterdam during the World Cup.
“Gamechanger” is a term of great contention in the design industry, as this hilarious spoof once taught us, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a bunch of fun to be had with the word. Marina Willer and Naresh Ramchandani from Pentagram took it on in this funny little zine, incorporating key words like “low-hanging fruit” and “in the cloud” (don’t worry, there’s a glossary) into snappy little poems and pairing them with some neat illustrations.
Girls Club: Issue #1
Another week, another fantastic new printed project made by and about women, proving that Riot Grrrl might have disappeared but the use of printed ephemera to spread the ideas it generate lives! This rose-tinted paper looks at “celebrating girl culture and the accomplishments of our sister-wives,” and with features on the cool women of the 70s, that magical thing that is female friendship and black magic, we can’t see any reason not to sing its praises.
We want to see what you’re making! If you have a project or a piece of work you’d like to be considered for our Things feature, send it through to Things, It’s Nice That, 21 Downham Road, London, N1 5AA. Please note that due to the quantity of work we receive we are unable to return submissions.
- Masoud Morgan on creating a sense of destruction and suspense in 3D typography
- "I felt I saw the world with different eyes": Jaimy Gail on photographing the concept of normalcy
- “Being open to different influences helps drive experimentation”: Dalbert Vilarino on his restless style
- Daniel Stuhlpfarrer melds phonetics, architecture, and iconography in his variable typefaces
- Mike Osborne’s images of Washington DC are a darkly comedic glimpse at American power
- Cigarettes, bums and plenty of stone: Meet digital artist Diego Sanchez Barcelo
- Graphic Design is Mental: Tips for looking after your state of mind as a designer
- Greta Grotesk is a typeface in homage to the teenage activist’s handwriting
- “Animation is now a must for posters”: Sunny Studio on design for the digital age
- Graphic designer Karolina Pietrzyk works exclusively through collaborations
- “The signs were completely radical”: Margaret Calvert looks back on her illustrious career
- A glimpse at the 226 Japanese posters on display at Stedelijk Museum