We look back on the year that was, from Miyazaki to machine learning

The creative community’s output over the past 12 months saw innovative ideas come together, focusing on issues big and small.


Across 2022, as we do every year at It’s Nice That, we endeavoured to cover creatives and projects offering poignant perspectives on the world around us. Our stories aim to reflect the creative climate, but when it comes to this past year, this has led to an increasing amount of variety. From News pieces looking at mammoth projects for the likes of Spotify and Instagram to Work articles showcasing the designers and creatives currently shaping visual culture, through to long reads unpacking issues close to the creative community, it’s been a year of diversity, richness and impact through creativity.

Take, for example, how creatives used their craft to support Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February. Just a few weeks later, we were honoured to publish a moving piece by Kyiv-based design writer Lena Kozar, offering a first-person account of life after the invasion, honouring her culture, community and city. In the following months, we saw US-based Eastern European designers come together to curate an online directory championing Ukrainian creatives to hire, NFT projects launched to contribute funds to recovering the country’s cultural sites and even launched our own affordable print sale, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. If you are still looking for ways to support Ukraine, we have a lengthy selection of resources to donate to, created in partnership with our sister company Creative Lives in Progress.

In our self-initiated projects, we at It’s Nice That investigated topics that are important to the creative industry, following two years of disruption since the beginning of the pandemic. Following a survey conducted by our readers, we developed The Balancing Act, a series of articles penned by creatives looking at issues such as the four-day working week, shifting working practices, creative burnout and more. Us vs Them, a guest edit by renowned creative director Richard Turley, focused on yet more issues currently affecting the creative industry, from the growing allure of AI to the myth of true originality. Through some particularly spicy anonymous interviews, the series also drew back the curtain on what it’s actually like to work in the design and advertising industries.

Aside from covering issues close to our community, we looked to provide a constant variation of stories to be inspired by. This included continuing our feature series, In Conversation, hosting in-depth interviews with leading lights including Miranda July, Campbell Addy and Sasha Velour. Our long reads also looked to provide some light relief in such trying times. We dug deep into what a designer’s font choice may say about their personality via some typography horoscopes, considered whether our industry is scared of sex, zoomed into the ever-popular micro industry of miniatures, assessed the legacy of Gifs, and even provided a helpful bingo card of client red flags to aid readers in spotting the warning signs of a toxic creative relationship. On a daily basis, we championed emerging creatives and revisited the practices of familiar favourites in well over 1,000 pieces of writing.

To look back in more depth, today we launch the 2022 edition of our annual Review of the Year, sharing the most-read pieces from the worlds of graphic design, illustration, photography and more. And as we head into what is sure to be another year of constant change, we’ll be back in January – as always – to provide a creative corner of the internet to escape to.

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.


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