Regulars / Review of the Year 2017

Review of the Year 2017: It’s Nice That’s 100 Most Read Articles

As hotly anticipated as the UK’s Christmas Number One (probably), the 100 most read stories on It’s Nice That is always a great opportunity to look back and see all the amazing interviews, features, work updates, introductions and news stories that we’ve published on the site. We’d love to thank everyone who’s contributed to all the articles on the site, without you, it just wouldn’t be possible! From one to 100 there’s bound to be something for everyone, so check out our top performing stories right here, right now.

  • Grads2017_advice_portfolio_tips_list Regulars / The Graduates 2017 Portfolio tips from top studios: dos and definite don’ts

    You’ve done the work, but now you need to stand out from the crowd by presenting it in the best light. To help make the most of your assets, and avoid common mistakes, we spoke to creatives from top studios including Pentagram, ustwo, Wieden+Kennedy and Moving Brands to get their advice. Each of them has seen countless portfolios, and here they pass on their wisdom.

    It's Nice That
  • Peter-funch-42nd-and-vanderbuilt-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Peter Funch has photographed the same people on the same street for nine years

    From 2007 to 2016, Danish photographer Peter Funch stood at the southern corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue in New York City between 8:30am and 9:30am taking photographs of the commuters he saw. “The idea started when I was working on another project Babel Tales – some of the images were taken outside Grand Central Station, which is incredible busy during rush hour. People come out of the station in masses, thousand of them each with their own destination,” explains Peter. “The idea of finding the regulars in this chaos came up – then much later in the process finding their behaviours and rituals in their commute from a to b.”

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • Heji_shin_eckhaus_latta_its_nice_that_li News / Fashion Eckhaus Latta SS17 campaign features real couples having sex shot by Heji Shin (NSFW)

    New York-based fashion label Eckhaus Latta has launched its SS17 campaign that features photographs of real couples having sex while wearing its latest designs. The campaign was shot by Heji Shin who, in 2011, gained recognition for photographing a German sex education book for teenagers. The casting, by Sam Muglia, sees real-life couples from a wide range of ethnicities and sexual orientations modelling for the series. The art direction by Eric Wren Office, design director of Art Forum , sees the most explicit parts of the images pixelated and the models bathed in natural light.

    Owen Pritchard
  • 00_aphex_twin_it's_nice_that_list Features / Miscellaneous “It’s a psychological overload”: Weirdcore on creating Aphex Twin’s live visuals

    The mystery that surrounds Aphex Twin is like no other, outside and within electronic music, a genre he has shaped over the past 20 years. A man of 18 different pseudonyms, the rumours that surround Richard D. James are absurd but often true. It is difficult to name another artist who encourages such hearsay as to whether he lives in a box structure on the Elephant and Castle roundabout, when he was actually living in abandoned bank office. He’s a musician who announces upcoming albums via blimps flying over London or by hiding a track list in a deep web server, an innovator across all aspects of his creative output. It comes as no surprise, the visuals of Aphex Twin have evolved with the increased sophistication of technology.

    Lucy Bourton
  • Grads2017_going_freelance_list Regulars / The Graduates 2017 How to go freelance: need-to-know advice from creatives who made it

    Once you’re free from the bubble of uni, the “real world” of the creative industry can seem daunting, and going it alone can be even more so. For many creatives, however, it’s the freedom they’ve been craving, a chance to finally show the world what they’re made of, and many establish a solid career having never stepped into a “normal” job.

    It's Nice That
  • Abstract_art_of_design_its_nice_that News / Miscellaneous Netflix launches new documentary series Abstract: The Art of Design with a stellar lineup

    Netflix will premier a new original documentary series, Abstract: The Art of Design, that introduces the work and creative process of eight leading designers. The series is produced by Wired’s editor-in-chief Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville and Dave O’Connor. Each programme will focus on a different individual, the subjects are: Bjarke Ingels (architect), Christoph Niemann (illustrator), Es Devlin (stage designer), Ilse Crawford (interior designer), Paula Scher (graphic designer), Platon (photographer), Ralph Gilles (automobile designer) and Tinker Hatfield (Nike shoe designer).

    Owen Pritchard
  • Fredrik-andersson-illustration-itsnicethat-1 Work / Illustration “Sex is fun, naked bodies are fun”: meet illustrator Fredrik Andersson

    With an “obsession for drawing naked people, especially hairy men”, London-based illustrator, Fredrik Andersson, tackles topics such as sexuality, gender and intimacy with a necessary element of humour. Since graduating from Camberwell College of Arts in 2016, he has since created a diverse portfolio of mediums, featuring ceramics, watercolours, inks and various printmaking techniques. It’s Nice That caught up with Fredrik to discuss the reasons behind his work and to find out more about his recent endeavours.

    Ayla Angelos
  • Villalobos Work / Publication Graphic design gems: Chicago gang business cards from the 1970s and 80s

    Years ago in Brandon Johnson’s suburban Chicago home he came across a keepsake box of his dad’s in the attic. “One object that caught my eye in particular was an aged business card that read ‘Royal Capri’s (Chicago)’ in red ink, and listed names: ‘Jester, Hooker, Cowboy, Sylvester, Lil Weasel’. It had stock graphics – a pair of dice and Playboy bunny logo – and in the top left corner the words ‘Compliments Of’.”

    Lucy Bourton
  • Int_unbranding_opinion_list News / Opinion Throwing out the brand book: the power of unbranding

    Max Ottignon, co-founder of design and branding agency Ragged Edge, charts the rise of unbranding: a modern antithesis to traditional corporate identity guidelines, and its power to have a personal touch.

    Max Ottignon
  • Censorship-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication 1960s Thai erotic magazines show creativity in their censorship

    Over the past couple of years, French visual artist Tiane Doan Na Champassak has grown quite the collection of erotic magazines – Thai ones to be exact – building a compendium of publication dating from the 1960s and 70s.

    Lucy Bourton
  • Jc3 Work / Art Looking back at the work of bum-obsessed photorealist John Kacere (NSFW)

    It’s an adage straight out the Steve Jobs school of life: choose a job you love and you’ll never do a day’s work in your life. The late American artist John Kacere, reluctant grandfather of photorealism, did just that. Shifting from abstract expressionism towards a photorealistic style in the early 60s, John spent the last thirty years of his life painting the only thing that interested him: the mid-section of the female body. The kitsch paintings make for pleasurable viewing, not least for the sexually-charged subject matter. John’s incredibly tuned hyperreal style lends itself to the flawless skin of the idealised Caucasian bodies he paints as well as it does to the slippery silk and satin folds of lingerie and bedsheets. As the curve of each woman’s hips builds a terrain across each canvas, the scantily-clad female form becomes a landscape of sexual possibility.

    Bryony Stone
  • System-mag-9_juergen-teller_waiting-for-rihanna_it's-nice-that_list Work / Photography The photos Juergen Teller took while waiting for Rihanna

    Earlier this year, Juergen Teller was due to shoot Rihanna for the latest cover of System magazine, but at the last minute she cancelled due to illness. Undeterred, the photographer and the magazine’s team found inspiration in spontaneity.

    Jenny Brewer
  • Ldb-carographies-02list Work / Photography Photographer Louis De Belle’s unconventional portraits of New York commuters

    A frayed shirt sleeve, a button dangling on loose thread: look closer and it’s surprising how much visual information you can glean from the clothing of strangers about their lives. Milan-born photographer Louis De Belle, who we wrote about back in 2014 when he turned his lens on failed dioramas, has made a series which tells us as much about Louis’ subjects as our own preconceptions.

    Bryony Stone
  • Dblg-animade-hey-pressto-animation-itsnicethat-list Work / Animation DBLG and Animade’s cheeky stop-motion animation uses human skin and 3D stamps

    Creative agency DBLG has collaborated with Animade on Hey Pressto an experimental stop-motion animation using the naked human body as its canvas. Created for DBLG’s tenth anniversary, the team first came up with the idea of using 3D printing to create a stamp that could be pushed into skin and leave an imprint. “Initially the stamp was typographically based but after some experimentation we felt it didn’t have a tone of voice or playfulness that resonated with us so we started to explore other avenues,” explains Grant Gilbert, founder and creative director at DBLG. “That’s when we got in touch with Animade. We’d been fans of Animade for a long time and always loved how their animations convey a huge amount of character in such a simple and universal way. Animade were absolutely perfect collaborators for this project and we were really excited with the idea to make an animation that crossed into a physical world.”

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • List Work / Illustration Meet the designer making prints for Beyoncé and Cara Delevingne

    South London-based artist and freelance print designer Kelly Anna kicked off her career as a fashion illustrator. “I was asked to live illustrate front row at the catwalks,” she tells It’s Nice That. “I did this for five seasons while studying fashion illustration at university. Working through fashion week really got me interested in the actual product, and after university I landed a job in print for Illustrated People, a print design company in east London. While there, I shortly became head of print which led to having the pleasure of seeing some incredible names wear my prints — Beyoncé, Cara Delevingne, Foals, London Grammar…” All of which led Kelly to where she is now, creating print design and graphics for the likes of Nike, Stella McCartney, Farfetch X Tate VIP and Refinery29.

    Bryony Stone
  • Sciencemuseum-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list News / Graphic Design London’s Science Museum launches new logo by North Design to a controversial response

    London’s Science Museum has unveiled its new logo by North Design. Typographically led, the redesign adopts a full cap logo in a sans-serif font decreasing in thickness as the letters are spelled out across a changing gradient background of pink and purple. The identity launched on the Science Museum’s Twitter earlier this week in a short animation.

    Lucy Bourton
  • Gudim_anton_itsnicethat_list Work / Illustration Gudim Anton’s humorous comic strips take a fresh perspective on the mundane

    Moscow-based illustrator Gudim Anton creates short panelled comic strips full of visual puns and odd quirks, all with a fresh perspective on the world. Drawing in vector graphics, Gudim’s style is neat, contained and full of pleasing pastel hues. Aiming to “show a different look at everyday things”, Gudim gets his ideas from his surroundings and from what he sees on the internet and social media.

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • Wolff_olins_dotdot_its_nice_that_10 News / Graphic Design Wolff Olins and zigbee launch the “first open-source brand for the Internet of Things”

    Wolff Olins has developed an identity for the zigbee alliance’s dotdot: an open source, wireless language that allows everyday devices to communicate with each other, regardless of brand. Launched at CES, the mark “is inspired by the universal language of Morse code and its visual grammar of circles and rectangles.” The zigbee alliance is a global membership of tech firms that are working together to set standards and certify products that are headed to market. The new mark is an illustration “that serves to represent the hardware layer, the software layer and the smart objects brought to life,” says Wolff Olins.

    Owen Pritchard
  • Otw17_724x4748 Regulars / Ones to Watch 2017 Ones to Watch 2017: graphic designer Nejc Prah

    It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch is our chance to showcase 12 creatives who we think will be making an impact in 2017. The people featured have been whittled down from a global pool of creative talent and have been chosen for their ability to consistently produce inspiring and engaging work. Each one practices across a diverse range of disciplines and continually pushes the boundaries of their creative output. Ones to Watch 2017 is supported by Uniqlo. 

    Owen Pritchard
  • David-lewandowski-time-for-sushi-film-itsnicethat-list2 Work / Film David Lewandowski’s floppy rubber bodies take over the streets of Japan

    LA-based filmmaker David Lewandowski has released Time for Sushi, a five-minute short “inspired by an obsessive passion for nonsense”. The film is part of an ongoing series of David’s, in which he uses floppy, nude, CGI bodies to galavant around different cities.

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • Harry-cooke-photography-itsnicethat-1 Work / Photography “I will always seek the golden hour”: Harry Cooke on his dreamlike photography

    Harry Cooke is a Devon-based photographer who’s been on our radar for quite some time. Having worked with titles such as Hunger Magazine, No Substance Magazine and Just Magazine, his portfolio conveys a pure vision of technical skill and creativity, mixed with an eye for romantic colours and lighting. A soft palette, warm tones and considered composition are fundamental throughout his work, creating dreamlike images filled with tender nostalgia. Seeking out the “golden hour” is crucial; each image, whether it’s from a personal or fashion project, portrays a sense of warmth and photographic determination. His latest venture has led to the release of a new publication, titled Sigh Journal, that launched over the weekend, and we caught up with Harry to find out more about this journey into publishing and how he got to where he is today.

    Ayla Angelos
  • Lad_bible_rebrand_ufo_its_nice_that1 News / Graphic Design Lad Bible rebrand by UFO's design director Ben Walker sees lad culture as a “positive force”

    Design director of London design agency UFO Ben Walker has worked with the in-house design team at Lad Bible, one of the largest media outlets in the UK, on its comprehensive rebrand. The strategy behind the complete visual identity redesign is based on “typical audience types and their aspirations,” says the team, and is rooted in “lad culture being a positive force”.

    Jenny Brewer
  • Graphic-design-festival-paris-posters-hort-julia News / Graphic Design Graphic Design Festival Paris reveals 19 sport-inspired posters by Hort, Julia, Spassky Fischer and more

    Graphic Design Festival Paris has commissioned a series of 19 posters around the theme of Creative Sport, to be displayed around Paris, London and New York until 22 February 2017. The series has been curated by French graphic design studios Stéréo Buro and Frenchfourch, who in turn invited 19 international graphic designers to submit work. According to the curators, these are “graphic designers and illustrators who take formal risks, who wish to challenge institutional conformity by moving beyond the frame”.

    Jenny Brewer
  • Maciej_dakowicz_int_list2 Work / Photography Maciej Dakowicz's photographs capture unexpected, serendipitous moments

    Maciej Dakowicz first discovered street photography in 2002 and enjoys the spontaneity and fast pace of it. “When I started, I had no idea about photography, I was very naive and just loved being out and taking pictures of life in the street,” says Poland-born Maciej. “When out shooting I look for a twist – something that elevates the photo to a different level. I am a big fan of ambiguity and I like strange, mysterious pictures.”

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • Michael-beirut-now-you-see-it-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Opinion Michael Bierut: 13 ways of looking at a typeface

    In Pentagram partner Michael Bierut’s new book Now You See It and Other Essays on Design , the designer presents 50 short and accessible pieces of writing that explore design history, pop culture, current affairs and more. Printed by Princeton Architectural Press, the book is a selection of his writings from Design Observer , where he offers humour and insight into his work in the design industry.

    Michael Bierut
  • Moonsick_gang-its_nice_that-1_hour_serieslist Work / Graphic Design Introducing graphic designer Moonsick Gang

    Graphic designer Moonsick Gang (real name Moonsik Kang) hails from Seoul in Korea, but he studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam before crossing the Atlantic to study his MFA at Yale, a veritable training ground for some of the most interesting young designers holding our gaze at the moment. The New York-based designer explains that “I can’t say exact my style but I like these words: ‘Unexpected Abstraction’”. Scrolling through his portfolio, we revelled in the (doubtless Yale-honed) experimental side to Moonsik’s approach, effectively blended with a paired back simplicity explored through a refined use of colour and type.

    Bryony Stone

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