2020 without a doubt has been an immense year of change. Without stating the obvious, it’s also been a unique year for us at It’s Nice That, and thankfully in a positive way too. Beginning our year by launching a design refresh of our website, we were also proud to launch Extra Nice, a new way to boost your creativity, give back to the community around you, and support It’s Nice That too.
Introducing a new way for Supporters to explore and enjoy It’s Nice That’s archive, a whole host of perks which includes tickets to all our digital events, a newsletter providing industry insight as well as a fund supporting the wider creative community. Since launching in October, we’ve been so grateful for the support you’ve each shown us, enabling us to reach new creative ground in just the past few months.
1 of 3
Okocha Obasi: Race Zine
First of all, we kickstarted our Extra Nice fund by giving £1000 to Okocha Obasi to support and grow his platform RaceZine. A multifaceted venture founded in reaction to the lack of diversity Okocha faced upon moving to Leeds from London for university, RaceZine encompasses workshops, talks, a zine and (when life was a little more normal) “hedonistic club nights for the PoC community”.
Fully backing Okocha in his aim to reignite confidence in people from all walks of life, this first donation of our fund supported the platform with £250 going towards marketing the publication’s second issue, and a further £250 aiding RaceZine to build a shop function on its website. The remaining £500 is now currently being put towards the production of its third issue so keep an eye out for it in the new year.
In a wider interview with Okocha back in October he added that receiving the fund “will allow the platform to be more ambitious in how it produces and documents content too,” he told us, “making it easier to make that next big step in the audiences and people we engage with on both a curatorial and output level.”
1 of 4
Romain Roucoules and Anna Piasek: Marina Abramović
A few weeks later, our supporters also enabled us to create a bespoke commission for one of our biggest features of the year, an interview with none other than Marina Abramović.
To reflect a piece by Ayla Angelos which chronicles the artist’s relationship in exploring the theme of death in her work – tying into her recent piece, Seven Deaths of Maria Callas – our art director Elsa Müller worked closely with photographer Romain Roucoules to create a visual reflection of the artist.
Working together with set designer Anna Piasek, the pair carefully structured a series of floral still life centre pieces to support Ayla’s article. Each photograph is curated with specifically chosen details (see if you can spot a blackberry, a razor or tiny shards of glass) to discuss Marina’s incredible decades long output.
1 of 4
Sophie Douala: Conscious Creativity
Most recently, Extra Nice Supporters have given our team the chance to hand over the editorial reigns to a range of creative practitioners for a discussion on ethics. Earlier in November we dedicated a week of publishing to this topic in Conscious Creativity, a series of ten long reads from all corners of our industry looking at how a more conscious approach to creative work is needed now more than ever.
From director Deepa Keshvala outlining the ethical difficulties of advertising, an anonymous account on what it’s actually like to work as a creative in Silicon Valley, or Tré Seals' thoughtfully honest (and incredibly inspiring) approach to diversifying graphic design, each of our contributors outlined how a collective, creative future of trust and openness is how we must move forward together and undivided.
To visually present the range of voices and opinions published, our art director Will Knight commissioned Berlin-based illustrator Sophie Douala to create a series of textural symbols signifying the voice in each piece. Key emphatic quotes by each writer were then pulled out in a typeface set in Vocal Type’s Bayard, set in a graphic approach designed by Indiana Lawrence. The first of four Extra Nice funded series we’ll be publishing across the next year, our Supporters offer us a chance to widen these conversations of creativity, invite guest voices and allow for us to go more in-depth on wider topics too.
As we edge ever closer to a fresh new year, we look forward to sharing and growing Extra Nice with our Supporters and our wider audience too. Those of you who move quick enough can also get your hands on a bespoke Extra Nice print as a founding supporter, an offer available until 31 December 2020. With the choice between a specially commissioned Bráulio Amado or Lilian Martinez (otherwise known as BFGF) design, these prints will only be available for the group of Supporters who signed up to Extra Nice first.
Finally, and most of all, thank you to everyone who has supported It’s Nice That in 2020. We, like everyone, had no idea what this year would bring and amongst launching a new website, Extra Nice, over ten live digital events and countless articles, we remain especially grateful for every email, read, click, like or share that you continue to give us.