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Design Museum Holon to host first retrospective of Sagmeister and Walsh's "humour and imagination"

Yarza-twins-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Hilario, The Yarza Twins' latest typeface is inspired by goats' eyes and Eastern Europe

Eva and Marta Yarza AKA, The Yarza Twins have become known for their playful approach to design, having previously branded an abandoned bread factory and the small Galician town of Oia. Despite becoming somewhat accustomed to their unusual projects and inspirations, when we enquired about their latest typeface, Hilario, we weren’t expecting their response…

Kajlehmann-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-6list 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. 


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!”

Veroniqueleroy-vlfstudio-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design VLF studio's characteristic bold, clean and imaginative designs

VLF graphic design and art direction studio was founded ten years ago by Thomas Cristiani and Antoine Roux. Distinguished by its bold, clean and contextually sensitive designs, VLF has firmly cemented its name in the fashion industry. Thomas and Antoine first met during their university years in 2005 and started working soon after as a Paris-based art and design duo. Antoine moved to London four years ago, however, transforming VLF into a company with bases on either side of the channel.

Nicer-tuesdays-may-launch-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Get tickets now for May’s Nicer Tuesdays

This month at Nicer Tuesdays we’ll be hearing about the graphic design for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, plus brilliantly odd illustration, inspiring publication design and how to Be More Pirate in our work and life. Get tickets now to hear from Erica Dorn, Sam Conniff, Kyle Platts and Offshore Studio at Oval Space.
If you stopped to admire the incredible graphic details in Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, you were most likely admiring the work of Erica Dorn. As the lead graphic designer on the film, Erica was responsible for bringing together everything from the Japanese woodblock-inspired artworks to printed documents, product packaging and signage, which added beautifully intricate detail to the dystopian future world Anderson was creating for his canine stars. Erica will be showcasing her research, references, sketches, final pieces and behind the scenes snippets from the project.There’s no mistaking the handiwork of illustrator and animation director Kyle Platts. Vivid and cartoonish compositions filled with strange, wobbly characters, their ballooned foreheads in profile bearing enlarged eyes, are his forte, and a long-time favourite of the It’s Nice That team. He’ll be joining us to share insights to his creative process, particularly for recent projects for the likes of Vice, Bloomberg, Zeit Leo and GQ_.In past lives, Sam Conniff was the founder of creative network Livity and media platform Don’t Panic, but recently he’s gone rogue with a new mission: to encourage everyone to "_Be More Pirate.":https://www.bemorepirate.com/ Born from research into the radical strategies of Golden Age pirates, his new ethos and book of the same name (with an added explanatory strapline “Or How to Take On The World And Win”) adapts these strategies for 21st Century work and life, and aligns them with modern day innovators or “rebels” like Elon Musk and Malala Yousafzai.Zurich-based graphic design studio Offshore is one of It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch 2018 and with good reason. Founders Christoph Miler and Isabel Seiffert are behind the design of Migrant Journal, for which the duo created a bespoke typeface and visually arresting design. Politically conscious, sensitive and striking all at the same time, it sums up the designers’ capability way beyond their years. They’ll be telling us more about their recent work, and the aesthetic combination of Swiss design sensibilities and international influences that makes their work truly distinctive.

Listbelka-bellt_party Work / Illustration From sex stories to dogs in space, Katja Gendikova’s illustrations tell the fantastical tales of real life

Describing her work as “playful, whimsical and a bit wobbly”, Berlin-based illustrator Katja Gendikova creates distinctive characters whose lanky limbs flow with movement. Switching between digital and acrylic paint, heavy black outlines and no outlines at all, Katja’s work is full of charm because of these unruly bodies. “I love odd looks – beautiful is regular, which means for me it is not of so much interest,” Katja tells It’s Nice That. “I also love bodies and body movements and mistrust faces a bit – in the end, a face is not much more than five holes.”

Stig-de-block-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Stig De Block's images are inspired by Freaks & Geeks and milkshakes with Travolta

“During my childhood, I developed a great interest in American scenery from the 80s-90s era. I don’t have a specific director I prefer, it’s more the overall zeitgeist and aesthetics of the scenery, homes and their lifestyle,” photographer Stig De Block tells It’s Nice That. “I mean, who didn’t want to be friends with the kids from Freaks & Geeks or ride around and go for a $5 milkshake with Travolta,” he adds.

Tom_hegen_salt_series_its_nice_that_thumb-11 Work / Photograhy Tom Hegen's awe-inspiring aerial landscapes show the scars of human industry

“I focus on landscapes that have been heavily transformed by human intervention and document the marks that we have left on the earth’s surface in order to meet our daily needs,” says Munich-based photographer Tom Hegen of the environmental agenda behind his incredible abstract landscapes. Tom has been creating aerial photographs for the past four years, scaling the skies with a self-built quadrocopter (or drone) but also using hot air balloons, helicopters and planes.

Lucy-hardcastle-art-its-nice-that-list Regulars / Ones To Watch 2018 Lucy Hardcastle and Ryan Hopkinson on taking their collaboration in new directions

It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch shines a light on 12 emerging talents who we think will conquer the creative world in 2018. From a global pool of creative talent, we have chosen our 2018 Ones To Watch for their ability to consistently produce inspiring and engaging work across a diverse range of disciplines. Each of our selections continually pushes the boundaries of what is possible with their creative output. Ones to Watch 2018 is supported by Uniqlo.

List Partnership / Fontsmith: Local Characters Local Characters: Anna Kulachek, Astrid Stavro and Jimmy Turrell create bespoke posters based on their tailored typefaces

Following on from It’s Nice That’s partnership Local Characters with London-based type foundry Fontsmith in the winter of 2017, we’re excited to announce that the typefaces will now be available to purchase — with a special set of posters by the designers involved; Anna Kulachek, Astrid Stavro and Jimmy Turrell. Anna, for instance, used an existing Fontsmith typeface to represent Moscow, while Astrid was briefed to modify a library font to represent Trieste, and Jimmy developed a concept for an entirely new custom font as an ode to his hometown Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Awesometapesfromafrica-itsnicethat-list Media Partnership / Miscellaneous "You have to hear this": Brian Shimkovitz tells us the story of Awesome Tapes From Africa

It’s Nice That returns to Field Day this year, partnering with the London-based music festival on its Moth Club stage. In the first article of our coverage of the two-day event in Brockwell Park, we tell the story of record label Awesome Tapes From Africa, whose artist Hailu Mergia will play on our partnering stage. Visit the Field Day website to get tickets for the weekend on 1–2 June.

Sophie-harris-taylor_epidermis_photography_itsnicethat_list Work / Photography Sophie Harris-Taylor breaks down the stigmas of skin issues with photo series Epidermis

As the photographer revealed in her recent Nicer Tuesdays talk, Sophie Harris-Taylor uses her medium as a method of self-reflection, exploring relatable and humanist topics in beautifully candid ways. Her most recent, Epidermis, sees Sophie touch on the highly sensitive and much-talked-about subject of body positivity, particularly how we view imperfection.

Ikea_itsnicethat_future_of_design_personalisation_for_the_masses_tom_dixon_marcus_engman_bethany_koby_kirsty_emery Features / Sponsored Content Personalisation for the masses: Tom Dixon, Marcus Engman, Bethany Koby and Kirsty Emery discuss the future of design

We’re living in a culture where everything we consume and interact with can be tailored to our personal needs, and this expectation for the customisation of our lives and surroundings has – in recent years – found its way to our possessions. But what does the rise of personalisation mean for design? How does it change our products and the design process behind them? Last night It’s Nice That and IKEA hosted The Future of Design: How Personalisation is on the rise for the mass audience, a panel discussion exploring the topic, featuring four experts in the field: Marcus Engman, Head of Design for IKEA; designer Tom Dixon; Technology Will Save Us co-founder Bethany Koby; and Unmade co-founder Kirsty Emery. Each has expertise from sectors spanning toys, fashion, furniture and product design, and exciting insights to share on where this rapidly changing market might be taking us next.

Taschen-thedoginphotography-photography-itsnicethat-8list Work / Publication Taschen’s new book charts the role of dogs in the history of photography

Taschen’s latest book The Dog in Photography charts the changing relationship between humans and their best pals throughout the history of photography. The book was written and curated by Raymond Merritt, an International Centre of Photography trustee, and offers a unique insight into the relationship between dogs, humans and the art form by honing in on 400 canine portraits.

Christabel_macgreevy-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Artist Christabel MacGreevy's new show explores the fluid nature of gender identity

Central St Martins fine art graduate Christabel MacGreevy kicked off her career as a fashion illustrator making work for LOVE magazine. Having garnered public attention with her patch brand Itchy Scratchy Patchy, which she co-founded with her friend model Edie Campbell, the London-born artist went on to pursue an MA in drawing at The Royal Drawing School.

Itsnicethat_kontrast_timokuilder Work / Illustration Timo Kuilder launches Kontrast, an illustrated mobile puzzle game

Illustrator Timo Kuilder has launched Kontrast, an illustrated puzzle game for mobile that invites interaction with his works and “blurs the lines between game and illustration” he says. Featuring his signature clean-cut lines and block colours, the monochromatic artwork animates through interaction as the player navigates the maze of seven illustrations. The game was conceived by the Amsterdam-based illustrator with interaction design and coding by his brother Jurre Kuilder, developed independently as a side project by the duo, with sound design by Ambrose Yu.

Yarza-twins-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Hilario, The Yarza Twins' latest typeface is inspired by goats' eyes and Eastern Europe

Eva and Marta Yarza AKA, The Yarza Twins have become known for their playful approach to design, having previously branded an abandoned bread factory and the small Galician town of Oia. Despite becoming somewhat accustomed to their unusual projects and inspirations, when we enquired about their latest typeface, Hilario, we weren’t expecting their response…

Keith_haring_60th_birthday_celebration_art_itsnicethat Features / Art Celebrating the life, work and enduring legacy of Keith Haring on his 60th birthday

Keith Haring’s life, and New York’s Downtown Scene, and perhaps culture as a whole changed in 1980 when Andy Warhol and the art dealer Tony Shafrazi strolled into the basement of Club 57, which neither had ever stepped foot into before, and which Haring had filled with hundreds of drawings in gold and silver magic marker. It was the night of his opening. “We were all buzzing,” recalls Kim Hastreiter, who would soon afterwards found Paper magazine, “‘UH OH,’ ‘What are THEY doing here?’ We were suspicious and in a sense excited and sad at the same time – because that night it felt like our amazing secret world Downtown was being invaded and discovered and wouldn’t be the same again.” In many ways she was right. But first of all, Haring would be catapulted into the limelight.Warhol invited him to his Factory for lunch and they soon became good friends; Haring kept Warhol up to date with 80s youth culture, and Warhol in turn introduced him to the glittering world of celebrity and success. In 1982, Haring had his breakthrough solo show at Tony Shafrazi’s illustrious gallery on Mercer Street. The following year, he collaborated with Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren on their autumn/winter 1983 Witches collection, and Madonna wearing a leather jacket he hand-painted to perform Like a Virgin on Top of the Pops. In 1985, he drew graffiti all over Grace Jones’ naked body for her live shows at Paradise Garage. He was at the heart of both modern art and pop culture, which is exactly where he wanted to be. Had he not passed away of AIDS-related complications in 1990, aged 31, Keith Haring would be celebrating his 60th birthday today – which makes this a good moment to consider his life and his legacy.“I arrived in New York at a time when the most beautiful paintings being shown in the city were on wheels, on trains,” he once said, remembering coming to the city in 1978, “paintings that travelled to you instead of vice versa.” But rather than copying the Wild Style graffiti artists, Haring found a different way of working underground. Noticing one day that unsold advertising spaces on the New York City subway were filled with plain black paper, he ran up the stairs to Times Square, bought some white chalk, ran back underground and began drawing in his trademark language of comic figures and squiggles. Before long, he had made thousands of drawings – up to 40 a day – as he rode the subways across the five boroughs, to and from school, work, clubs, parties and cruising spots. His works would be seen by a colossal number of people every day, and because they were so often replaced, he had to keep coming up with fresh new ideas continually.Haring loved the subway, with all its advertising posters, painted trains and flows of people, and also loved the secret Downtown, the hidden world of metropolitan fucking and clubbing. He loved dancing the night away at now legendary dives like Club 57, Paradise Garage and the Mudd Club, or cruising public bathhouses, or the backrooms of S/M orgy clubs like the Anvil, for the kind of sex that wasn’t so readily available back home in rural Pennsylvania. “He suddenly popped out like a flower, like a seed in that cauldron of energy: New York City,” Timothy Leary once said about Haring, “and he put all his remarkable energy together – the wall, the easel, the canvas, the pigment… it’s a dance!” The city’s nightlife, with all its joie de vivre, its shuddering, intertwined bodies and explosions of colour, was where he found his inspiration but also, in those hardcore early years, before the dangers of AIDs became so well known, and before he became such a prominent advocate of safe sex, that Haring contracted the HIV that would eventually lead to his death. In a classical tragic trajectory, New York is what made Keith Haring and also what killed him, all in the space of just over a decade.His deep love for nightclubs, and for black and Latino culture, and everything around them, was also a huge inspiration for Haring. In that sense, his legacy can be seen in the practices of younger artists like Eddie Peake: who makes bright, graffiti-inspired work, and takes much of his inspiration from gay culture, black culture, club culture and pirate radio culture, and who strips his performers naked and covers them in paint, like Haring and Grace Jones. But of course he’s just one of many artists continuing Haring’s legacy in their own way.

Lukaskeysell-architekton-publication-itsnicethat-4list Work / Publication “Architecture is approaching sculpture": Lukas Keysell’s publication Architekton

“Architecture is approaching sculpture and sculpture is approaching architecture” are words spoken by historian and architecture critic Sigfried Giedion in 1982. It’s this thought-provoking phrase that inspired London-based graphic artist and current third year Winchester School of Art student Lukas Keysell’s publication Architekton, which charts how the meaning of the word ‘architect’ has changed from ancient Greece to the present day.


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