Championing creativity

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Beauty in the Making

Beauty in the Making was an event celebrating creative artistry hosted by GFSmith in London in the spring of 2012. As part of the programme, It’s Nice That was invited to host a series of talks so we asked some of the most interesting minds we know to come and give us a short, sharp dose of inspiration on any subject they wished at the 5×8 sessions, five talks, each just eight minutes long…

Angus Hyland

Renowned London-based graphic designer Angus Hyland is one of the partners at super-agency Pentagram. He spoke about changing conceptions of the idea of beauty over time and how these influenced his book showcasing erotic illustrations through the ages.

Danielle Pender

Danielle Pender is the curator of KK Outlet gallery in east London, the UK hub of legendary Amsterdam communications agency KesselsKramer. She talked with warmth and humour about her late dad’s battle against brain damage suffered after a diabetic coma and his campaigns to help children let down by the system.

Hannah Barry

Bold Tendencies is an art and architecture space which has has revolutionised a corner of south London every summer for the past few years. It is the brainchild of gallerist Hannah Barry who led us through the project’s genesis and evolution into one of the city’s most talked-about cultural spaces.

James Groves

Former designer and art director James Groves is now the marketing manager of GFSmith, the paper company with longstanding links to the creative industries and the hosts of the Beauty In The Making event. He explained why he gets so much more pleasure from process compared to finished printed products.

Kate Moross

Longtime friend of It’s Nice That Kate Moross is a graphic artist and art director who is much sought-after by commercial and editorial clients alike. She presented “the best typography in the whole world” – celebrating the design that adorns sweets packaging and explaining why it was better back in the day.

Marcus Fairs

Award winning journalist Marcus Fairs is the founder of design and architecture website Dezeen. He used the photographs on his iPhone as the starting point for his talk, which looked at various instances he had recored where beauty had been destroyed or come to an end, and considered why he was drawn to documenting such things.

Maria Lisogorskaya

Assemble is a 20-strong architecture and design collective responsible for projects like Folly For A Flyover and The Cineroleoum. The group’s Maria Lisogorskaya gave us an insight into some of the inspirations and processes which have helped shape their much-vaunted work.

Martino Gamper

London-based Italian furniture designer Martino Gamper is perhaps best known for his 100 Chairs in 100 Days project. Martino gave us a whistlestop tour of some of his work and how collaboration with everyone from felters to jewellers to graphic designers often shapes his final pieces.

Mr Bingo

Mr Bingo is an iconoclastic illustrator who’s renowned for his take-no-prisoners approach and projects like Hate Mail whereby he sent abuse to strangers. His hilarious turn consisted of 16 ideas for the talk which he considered but rejected, giving us a real insight into the way his unique mind works.

Nick Finney

Nick Finney is the co-founder and creative director of NB Studio, one of London’s most respected design agencies. His “f” themed talk gave us an insight into both his own inspirations and his studio, taking in everything from The Puffin Club to Christmas cards, Frankenstein to Mothercare.

Nicolas Burrows

Nicholas Burrows is an artist, illustrator and musician and one third of the Nous Vous collective which has established a bold graphic language across a range of interesting projects. Nicholas talked about American musician Jonathan Richman and how his influence has been an anchor point and influence for the trio.

Olivia Solon

Associate editor of Wired UK Olivia Solon is a much-respected writer in the science, technology and design worlds. She spoke about bio-art, using some illuminating (and occasionally rather gruesome) examples to show how this discipline has developed over time and what questions it throws up.


Illustrator Supermundane, aka Rob Lowe, has won an army of admirers for his hyper-detailed work and his art direction for titles like Little White Lies and Fire & Knives. His talk explained his passion for unusual religious music and how it provides him with influences “bigger than ego or money.”

Simon Waterfall

POKE co-founder and former D&AD president Simon Waterfall has a creative pedigree that stretches back to his schooldays – he wrote computer games aged just 16. He explored fear as part of the design process, through the prism of scientists “losing control of the environment.”

Sam Arthur

Sam Arthur is a video director-turned-founder of east London comics powerhouse NoBrow. He shared with us some of the weird and wonderful books he has bought over the years – online and in junk shops –and how these titles influenced both his visual tastes and ideas about how books should be produced.

Teo Connor and Loren Platt

Graphic designer Teo Connor and creative producer and stylist Loren Platt co-founded The W Project which celebrates women working across the creative industries. They took us through some of the eclectic events and initiatives they have worked on to challenge gender stereotypes and encourage new talent.

Jane Stockdale

Photographer Jane Stockdale boasts an eclectic portfolio encompassing portraits of Lana del Rey to politically-charged documentations of anti-government protests. She spoke about the Lake Victoria Disability Centre, which aims to provide meaningful opportunities to young disabled Tanzanians.