At It’s Nice That, it’s time for us to reflect on 2017 and the fantastic work we’ve published across the year. To build on our coverage we’ve created 12 monthly round-ups that showcase the creatives and studios we’ve celebrated and the news stories that have caught our attention this year. Alongside this are seven features with original commissions, which see us speaking to people from around the world asking them to reflect on key moments in the year, shifts in the industry and the things they’ve learned.
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also gathered together the most popular content from across the site, a reminder of the amazing work we’ve had the joy of publishing this year.
Thanks to everyone who has worked with us and made 2017 what it was. We look forward to seeing what 2018 has to offer!
Supported by Google.
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. h3. Supported by Google
The graphic design we’ve featured on the site over the course of this year has excited, intrigued and delighted the It’s Nice That team many a time. From burgeoning studios and newly-graduated designers to more established, household name creatives, we’ve loved sharing the work in progress shots, the concepts and the stories. Below we’ve got 25 of the best performing graphic design articles – put down your Wacom tablet and enjoy! h3. Supported by Google
“Can you take our picture please?” It’s the 21 January 2017, I’m at the Women’s March in London trying to cram three teenagers and their placards into an iPhone screen. The placards are pretty impressive feats in themselves: accurate pen and paint portraits of Trump and a large hand-drawn, atomically correct diagram of female reproductive organs (incidentally it was at the Women’s March when I finally learned, aged 33, the difference between the vulva and the vagina after walking for a mile behind a wonderfully educational drawing with the slogan ‘My body, my choice, get ovary it’). I know in a couple of minutes of taking this photo it will be up on social media with the hashtag #notmypresident. Where our worth was once represented with the possessions we owned, which was then replaced with the experiences and holidays we took part in, 2017 saw our status most defined by our activism. What we care about and how much we care is the social currency of the moment.
In early October, Snapchat announced a novel way to display art that launched with a collaboration with Jeff Koons. With the integration of a new special effects lens, the app invites users to hunt for augmented reality versions of Koons’ sculptures in popular public sites around the world, and artists interested in having their own work similarly shown can submit portfolios online. Snapchat’s big reveal, however, was quickly overshadowed by news that artist Sebastian Errazuriz and his studio Cross Lab had made a replica Balloon Dog in AR and virtually vandalised it as “a symbolic stance against corporate invasion.” The critical gesture smartly asked us to question how companies are managing virtual public space, but it was also yet another reminder of how artists are typically always a few steps ahead of corporations when it comes to innovative design.
This is particularly evident when it comes to virtual reality and augmented reality, which artists have been experimenting with for decades. Now that headsets are more accessible and companies release freely available technologies such as ARKit and Poly that make 3D creation easier, VR and AR are more mainstream than ever. It’s clear that countless brands and artists are using VR and AR for the sake of being part of this movement, but many others, thankfully, continue to create apps that tinker with reality in truly inventive and impressive ways.
It’s time for us to reflect on 2017 and this is the first of 12 monthly round ups where we dissect the events and stories that occurred across the creative industries this year. Here we will celebrate the projects, news stories and in-depth features we shared on It’s Nice That. Plus a few extra insights from the people that made them happen.
There’s been numerous illustration projects and portfolio updates the team at It’s Nice That has poured over this year. The top 25 most read illustration posts reflects the breadth and diversity we’ve seen in the last 12 months whether that’s through the methods used, the ideas explored or their purpose. From new discoveries to old treasures, these are just some of your favourites from this year. h3. Supported by Google
Although the shortest month of the year, February still managed to be packed with inevitably bad news stories, creative goodness, one terrible (but hilarious) awards ceremony announcement mistake, and the return of some TV gold in its short 28 days.
The month of March threw countless positive and negative changes to the world and as always, we all had something to say about it.
Part of working at It’s Nice That means we’re always on the look out for great films, music videos and animations. Lucky for us they came to us in abundance this year and this top 25 most read moving image-based articles is just the tip of a very animated iceberg. We’ve got you covered with numerous animated anecdotes, striking documentaries and mind-boggling music videos. So grab yourself a cuppa and start watching the ultimate film list. h3. Supported by Google
In April, MTV scrapped their best actor and actress categories at the MTV Movie and TV Awards, opting instead for one gender-neutral acting category open to all. Gorillaz released their first album in five years Humanz with Damon Albarn commenting at the time that it was “a response to the world going nuts” when Trump was elected. And Lena Dunham’s sitcom Girls finished after six seasons.
“Let’s face it, 2017 has been a sustained bad news day for the world, so I’ll just say for me personally this year has been about maturing and appreciating what I’ve got,” says illustrator Kyle Platts. “I turned 30 this year and I feel really good about the fact that I was an illustrator throughout my 20s and spent the whole time doing whatever the fuck I wanted and having a sick time. This achievement has given me more confidence in my work and my decision making in my life. I’m optimistic that I can take my work to a new level in this next decade and with the skills I’ve acquired and the new skills I’m currently ascertaining.”
Over the year we’ve featured hundreds of photographers who have demonstrated the power of storytelling and the ways in which we use photography to communicate with each other. As well as the individual photographers, it’s the publications who publish them and the institutions and galleries who exhibit them that are making sure sure these stories are shared on as big a scale as possible.
During 2017, the photography we’ve shared on It’s Nice That has allowed us to tell stories from all over the world. From capturing the same people on their commute for nine years, all the way to an in-depth profile with a renowned photographer, it’s been exciting to witness the shifts and changes within the medium. Here we have 25 of the most read photography articles for you to peruse. h3. Supported by Google
June was the month where political tensions in the UK ran high as Theresa May held a snap election, and lost the Conservative party their majority in the process. Elsewhere things weren’t much better. The Trump administration withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, hundreds were arrested at anti-corruption protests in Russia and the displaced population globally exceeded 65 million, the highest figure in decades.
In July, temperatures in the UK may not have been soaring but the month was proclaimed the hottest July recorded on Earth in 137 years
2017, hey? And we thought that 2016 was tough… In a world without Prince and David Bowie it seems that the starting gun we fired has seen us accelerate towards a vast wasteland of geopolitical uncertainty. And Banksy reappeared too.
In August of this year, the women of the world were out in full force: tennis/Beyoncé music video star Serena Williams made her opinions clear on topic of equal pay for black women; Wild Bore challenged the sexist preconceptions of female comedians; and the England Women’s football team received a record high number of TV viewers.
Creativity as both an industry and a personal outlet continues to grow in importance as our societies attribute more cultural value to the intangible, such as aesthetics or experience. It provides a tool to express feelings of confusion and protest but it also establishes our identities and transforms the world around us. Nowhere is this more true than in our cities which provide a catalyst and a hub for creativity to thrive.
As the year draws to a close, and we’ve been compiling these articles of reflection, on the whole they are a positive look back on the creative year. Of course that’s what It’s Nice That is known for, and always relates back to the reason it started: to champion creativity in all its forms and share things that make the world a better place to be in.
September appeared to be a month of both protest and progress across the globe. Throughout 2017, black American NFL players took a stand against Donald Trump and a country that oppresses black and minority ethnic groupd by doing exactly the opposite and choosing to kneel during pre-game national anthems. This came to a head in September when a wave of protests broke out, beginning at Wembley Stadium in London.
It’s Nice That’s Review Of The Year 2017 is in full swing, and now we look to you, dear readers, to tell us about your year as well.
In October, the days got shorter and the world continued to turn on its head. Storm Brian battered the UK, Catalonia voted for independence amid shocking scenes of police brutality, and scientists discovered a 50km deep cave on the moon, which raised hopes of colonisation some day – humanity was aspiring to return to a subterranean world far away…
And so we careered towards the end of the year, the planet was clinging on and the manipulative shits at the top of the tree in Hollywood finally got what had been a long time coming. In Europe Brexit negotiations got increasingly farcical and, crucially, nowhere near a deal of any sort, and further afield the president of the US and the Supreme Leader of South Korea traded insults on Twitter.
This year, Review of the Year 2017 is supported by Google Design, an initiative led by a group of designers, writers and developers at Google. The group works across teams to create content and produce events that showcase Google’s design work and champion innovators in the field. With a stellar year just wrapping up, below the Google Design team highlights some of its milestones over the last 12 months.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year sang Andy Williams, and as the curtain falls on 2017 we have rounded up what has happened so far this month before we disappear for a week or so, recharge our batteries and launch ourselves into 2018.