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A first-time author has flyposted Penguin Random House to advertise his book – without its permission

Absolut-advertising-itsnicethat-list Work / Advertising Absolut's new campaign film features 28 of the brand's employees naked

A new global campaign launched today (6 February) by Absolut features 28 employees of the vodka brand completely naked. Titled the vodka with nothing to hide, the film satirises traditional employee induction videos by using nudity to draw attention to the “transparent” seed-to-bottle production process behind the brand, from the CO2 neutral distillation process to Absolut’s dedication to sustainability.

Mailchimp_greg-barth_droga5_itsnicethat_list Sponsored / Advertising How Greg Barth and Droga5’s surreal, retro-futuristic ad for MailChimp was made

In MailChimp’s latest ad campaign, a wide-eyed protagonist stands nervously like a rabbit in headlights against an undulating ‘black hole’. Comparing the unknowns of building a web business with an endless abyss, and offering a far less daunting alternative (using MailChimp), the ad is a surreal and tongue-in-cheek visualisation of the internet.

This-girl-can_list Work / International Women's Day Saatchi & Saatchi’s chief creative Kate Stanners on changing advertising’s gender bias

Kate Stanners is chairwoman and global chief creative officer at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, overseeing the agency’s entire creative output for major clients from Proctor and Gamble to HSBC. Here she writes for It’s Nice That on the gender bias in the advertising sector and the women and campaigns already making a difference.

Naoyahatakeyama-exacativingthefuturecity-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Naoya Hatakeya's photographs of Japan's contemporary topographies embody "the death and rebirth of cities"

There are many photographers who focus their lenses on the landscapes that surround us. Some travel for vast rolling open spaces, while others look to their familiar urban settings to build a narrative. Japanese photographer Naoya Hatakeya sits somewhere between these two camps, examining the lifespan of building a city over the last 30 years, culminating in a new book Excavating the Future City.

Annamarchinicamia-inthelandofshitandsugar-publication-itsnicethat-9list Work / Publication In the Land of Shit and Sugar: an all-you-can-eat menu of cheesy hotdogs and marshmallow paste

“I’ve been collecting all kinds of weirdly-designed food packaging over the years and I always intended to do something with it but, for a long time, I couldn’t figure out exactly what,” Anna Marchini Camia tells It’s Nice That. Anna is a Zurich-based illustrator and graphic designer whose route into the creative industry was, she says, as conventional as it gets. After completing her design foundation year in Lucerne, Anna went on to study style and design — a form of concept design — at ZHdK. During her undergraduate, she met four other students — cultural journalist Mona Altheimer, digital artist Corinne Hepting, design manager Elena Frischknecht and photographer Céline Lütolf — and, together, they conceptualised and created food design-based publication In the Land of Shit and Sugar.

Janbuchczik-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Jan Buchczik's latest book illustrates the "rocky road of finding yourself”

In just a few line marks Frankfurt-based illustrator Jan Buchczik can draw a character’s face which displays a complete personality. Worried, joyful, lonely or silly, Jan can portray it all in an L-shaped nose, two tiny eye dots, and a certain concave smile. It’s a skill we’ve had the pleasure to write about countless times on It’s Nice That since it started, but the illustrator’s latest book, The One & The Many might just be his best yet.

Usage-magazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Meet Usage – the slick, glossy magazine injecting creativity into the beauty industry

“Today’s beauty industry is losing its creativity whilst climbing a commercial escalator,” explain Stanislas Nommick and Guillaume Lauruol of Paris-based art direction and graphic design studio, Atrois. Having started working together in 2015, the pair have a love of minimalism, typography, grid construction and photography (particularly still life) and wanted to channel these interests into a magazine that challenges this “commercial escalator”.

List8 Work / Photograhy “I’ve tried to prove that being a woman doesn’t mean weakness”: Fatemeh Behboudi on photographing Iran

“Documentary photography is very young in Iran,” Tehran-based photographer Fatemeh Behboudi tells It’s Nice That as we chat about her decade capturing Iranian life and culture over email. “Art, especially photography, has a weak position in Iran and documentary photographers work without any support and with extensive restrictions and therefore, we’re lagging behind. But in recent years, a large number of people have shown interest in documentary photography in Iran, which can be a good opportunity if proper grounds are provided for it.”

Kajlehmann-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-13list Work / Graphic Design Designer Kaj Lehmann on his clean and satisfying portfolio of work

A clean, neat and slick portfolio of work is what you can expect from ECAL’s type design master’s student Kaj Lehmann. With projects ranging from custom letterings to visual identities, Kaj has accumulated a huge amount of experience under his belt over the past five years. “I remember seeing posters of Lukas Zimmermann posted across Zurich. They left a strong impression on me. These posters were what motivated me to experiment with tools other than the computer. It was probably these experiments that got me into art school,” Kaj tells It’s Nice That. 


Nicer-tuesdays-april-its-nice-that-roundup-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Birds doing yoga, watermelon heads and The Truman Show: highlights from April’s Nicer Tuesdays

Last night saw the return of our monthly event, Nicer Tuesdays and it was a truly genre-spanning set of talks. Over the course of the evening, we heard from Natalia Stuyk, Max Siedentopf, Will Anderson and Marion Deuchars who took us through the ins and outs of illustration, filmmaking, graphic design, photography, animation, art direction, installation, storytelling and even a bit of fruit sculpture. Check out some of best bits we learned from April’s line-up below. h3. Shard-like objects can look digital and natural at the same time

List-people-on-the-high-sea-copy Work / Digital Donghwan Kam: the VR photographer shooting alternative angles to international news

From refugees reaching the Sicilian coast after turbulent Mediterranean crossings to protestors scaling Paris’ Place de la République following the Charlie Hebdo shootings, designer and photographer Donghwan Kam creates VR environments based on world-changing events. With a homemade VR point-and-shoot camera developed from sensors and a shutter mechanism, he explores these carefully constructed landscapes, capturing alternative images to the much-repeated photographs circulated by the international press.

Moostang-photography-itsnicethat-5list Work / Photography Photography duo Moos-Tang's elegant take on a nightmare scenario

From Night of the Living Dead to When a Stranger Calls, a large, eerie house with a number of intruder-friendly hiding places is top of my list of possible nightmare scenarios. I was therefore intrigued when I discovered that Moo-Tang’s latest photography series transforms this unwelcome dream into an elegant and visually impeccable tale. A young, fashionable woman alone in her stately manor goes about her daily activities — lifting weights, swimming and eating pizza — blissfully unaware of the unnerving, ominous figures that on occasion appear behind her.

Superhi3-digital-itsnicethat-list Sponsored / Digital How creatives are utilising emerging technologies to create new design paradigms

The ability to understand and move with the times, while progressing your work accordingly, is a crucial skill for any designer. With our lives increasingly dictated by the screens that surround us, the importance of coding and digital design is soaring. In a series of articles in collaboration with SuperHi, It’s Nice That will be offering insight into the prominence of this facet of design. Previously we explored why code is crucial to contemporary design, as well as looking at a new breed of websites. In our third and final article, we look to the future and explore how artists and designers are utilising emerging technologies.

Cesar-pelizer-animation-itsnicethat-lis Work / Animation César Pelizer animates your daydreams at work in Looking for Something

“The idea came a long time ago when I was about 18 years old and living in Argentina,” explains illustrator and animator César Pelizer of his latest personal venture, Looking For Something. “I was working in a boring part-time desk job and I would do anything to look busy even though I had my eyes half closed for a good part of the day.”

Austineddy-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Austin Eddy on uprooting his studio from Brooklyn to west London for a month of speedy painting

During a month in London’s so-called spring earlier this year, New York-based artist Austin Eddy uprooted his practice from Greenpoint Brooklyn to west London for a month. As part of a residency at Griffin Gallery, Austin was given the opportunity to invest time in a series of works, checking into the space every day and treating it like a nine to five job. The result is a painting a day for 30 days, each nestling in nicely with the artist’s other portfolio pieces, but with a slightly different subject matter built from new surroundings.

Lenamanger-annikasoja-dailynoise-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-1list Work / Graphic Design Daily Noise is an insightful exploration of the public’s relationship to fake news

Over the past couple of years the world has been shaken by accusations that major popular decisions – like the 2016 US election and the Brexit referendum – were shaped and influenced by the infiltration of fake news. It has since been confirmed that bots, trolls and phoney websites churn out false propaganda at an unprecedented scale.

Displaaytypeanymade-roobert-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-17 Work / Graphic Design Anymade and Displaay Type create a tactile and technical typeface in honour of Robert Moog

Curved and strictly straight at the same time, Roobert is a typeface built from an amalgamation of collaborations. Originally created for the identity of Moogfest, a music, art and technology festival in North Carolina, the typeface spans across six weights and a further twelve styles with italics. Despite being made for a specific event, it’s a typeface that is unmistakably versatile, especially when noting its typographic quirks, after all, “these bent little tubes have got their own backstage story!”

April-things-regulars-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Things Paper clips, graphic activism and fried eggs: it's April Things

At the end of every month, we sit down and look through all the exciting bits and bobs which have been posted through our letterbox. From zines to posters and everything in between, the submissions never fail to surprise us, meaning we’ve got an eclectic collection of Things as ever to show you this month (try saying that five times over).

Diary_may_724x474 Regulars / Diary May diary: this month’s must-see events and exhibitions

This month there are a flurry of great new art and design shows opening in London, New York and beyond, and the It’s Nice That team has selected their must-sees. Don’t miss the new Rose Wylie exhibition in Mayfair, nor Nataal’s all-female survey of new African photography in Brooklyn. Elsewhere, there’s two new retrospectives opening at the brilliant Louisiana Museum, and a major Alexander Calder show at Hauser & Wirth in (hopefully) sunny Somerset. h3. Documenting Youth Culture
10 May 2018, 19:00
Barbican, London

List-new Work / Animation Nikita Diakur’s chaotic animations are a gross study in dynamic computer simulation

Warning: do not watch the above video if you’re sensitive, hungover or a bit stressed. The work of Russian-born, Mainz-based filmmaker Nikita Diakur might just break you. As part of a hotshot team of animators, Nikita has created Ugly, a film project inspired by stories mined from the internet, each filled with bizarre characters, high-octane urban environments and terrifyingly unpredictable physics.

Amelie-kahn-ackermann-sijiagou-remembering-home-photography-its-nice-that-11list Work / Photography Amelie Kahn-Ackermann's latest series is an ode to one of China’s most remote regions

“I always carried a little snapshot camera with me as a child, but I started taking photography more seriously when I was a teenager living in Beijing. After graduating from high school, I started studying photography at Berlin’s Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie,” Amelie Kahn-Ackermann tells It’s Nice That. Amelie has spent her entire life in metropolises; born in Beijing and studying in Berlin, the cosmopolitan photographer is accustomed to the fast-paced intensity of urban life. Her latest series Sijiagou – Remembering Home, however, is a celebration of one of China’s most remote regions, the home of her grandfather’s village, Sijiagou. Populated by far-reaching hills and magnificent mountain ranges, Sijiagou is made up of a small community of people whose days are determined by seasonal changes and manual labour.

Posturing-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Posturing is a celebration of haphazard, surreal and aesthetically odd contemporary fashion photography

Despite being an industry worth $3 trillion, fashion is still often viewed as frivolous and inexplicably linked with the glamorous, over-sexualised celebrity culture of the 2000s. Shonagh Marshall, a London-based fashion curator, who previously held the position of curator at Somerset House, began to notice a shift away from such ideals while curating Hair, an exhibition of Sam McKnight’s work in 2016.

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