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For Loren Garciot, designers are graphic translators of thought

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Laura-coombs-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design The typographically focused, conceptually-minded practice of designer Laura Coombs

For New York City-based graphic designer Laura Coombs, the path to her, now, chosen career was extremely winding and full of chance encounters. Like many, however, her interest in the world of design was clear from an early age. “I can see now that I was always interested in design – I edited and designed a newspaper as a kid, endearingly called the Laura Report,” she recalls fondly.

Johan-elmehag-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Johan Elmehag’s typeface Coastline warns of the dangers of our melting ice caps

During his teens, it was the natural sciences and maths which occupied Johan Elmehag’s studies. However, in the evenings, he would turn to graphic design as a tool to visually translate his scientific ideas. Eventually the latter overtook the former and Johan headed to Malmö University to study BA Graphic Design, from which he has just graduated.

Sepus-noordmans-graphic-design-list Work / Graphic Design Graphic designer Sepus Noordmans experiments within flexible formats and parameters

“Working on the Billytown identity last year was a true playground,” explains graphic designer Sepus Noordmans of the project which, last time we spoke to him, was a work in progress. This process saw him getting to know the gallery, which is located in The Hague, in order to establish its identity. Now, the designer has put in place a set of rules which allow him to experiment freely within certain parameters, simultaneously developing a signature approach and visual language for his wider practice.

Jordy-ringeling-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Jordy Ringeling's designs reinterpret the obscure (and suggest we should stop breeding)

Although when he first discovered the world of graphic design, Jordy Ringeling wanted to “make cool Photoshop collages and show off the new brush sets I had downloaded,” his practice has now developed into something much more intricate and perceptive. Having studied the subject at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, he “quickly became attracted to the cultural responsibility of the designer, the real world implications it can have, and the ideas you can push through visual communication”. Now based in Haarlem in the Netherlands, Jordy’s work reinterprets the obscure, producing meticulously researched projects that span editorial design, identities and digital work.

List Features / Art Democratising art: how the art world is opening up to blind and partially sighted visitors

“Blind people experience art exactly the same way as everyone else, they just have, and need, different methods of gaining that experience,” says David Johnson, a Hitchin-based artist who is registered blind. “Blind people experience the same emotions as everyone else, they are subject to the same feelings of attraction or repulsion as others; however, they need alternative sensory pathways to gain that experience whether through touch, audio description or other inroads.”

Daiana-ruiz-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Daiana Ruiz's illustrations use abstract elements to create fierce portraits of women

Daiana Ruiz combines figurative and abstract elements to create harmonious illustrations of strong and diverse women. “I have always been aware of the lack of representation of real women in the media”, she tells us. “That’s why I would like to represent us as we are, with different body types”. The females depicted in Daiana’s illustrations are curved, strong and agile, a contemporary take on ancient Greek goddesses or Amazon warriors. “For me, a strong woman is a free woman, and I like to represent that concept”, she explains, and her figures stare straight at us, fierce and unwavering, challenging us to challenge them. We certainly wouldn’t dream of messing with them.

Laura-coombs-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design The typographically focused, conceptually-minded practice of designer Laura Coombs

For New York City-based graphic designer Laura Coombs, the path to her, now, chosen career was extremely winding and full of chance encounters. Like many, however, her interest in the world of design was clear from an early age. “I can see now that I was always interested in design – I edited and designed a newspaper as a kid, endearingly called the Laura Report,” she recalls fondly.

Alex-lockett-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Alex Lockett explores familial dynamics and experiences in his narrative-driven photography

“I never actually considered using any other medium. Photography just seemed to stick,” explains British photographer Alex Lockett. Initially using the camera as a teenager to document the tricks his friends were doing on their skateboards, Alex soon progressed to taking the same friends’ portraits, from which “more elaborate ideas” began to develop. Now, having recently moved back to London after a five-year stint in New York City, Alex’s portfolio has evolved into one packed with narrative, each series constructing a world entirely different from the last.

Sharifhamza-youngamericans-photography-itsnicethat-list Features / Photography Sharif Hamza on how he photographed young America's gun culture

Young Americans by Sharif Hamza, a British photographer living in New York, documents an array of American teenagers who practice firing guns for sport. It’s a series that is equally eye-opening and difficult to look at and, in turn, it divides opinion. “Every step of the way,” he tells It’s Nice That, “there has been an internal conflict.”

Pauliina-holma-illustration-int-list Work / Illustration Pauliina Holma’s illustrations transport you into the summery meadows of Scandinavia

Pauliina Holma’s illustrations ooze with a soft summertime haze. We are reminded of long afternoons spent lazing in meadows, and the cool feel of ocean waves splashing on the shore. Pauliina’s work is definitely dreamy; there is an added element of something not quite right but in a charming, curious, whimsical way. She sprinkles in that extra magic. “I think my characters are somewhat fragile but strong”, the artist tells us, “a bit shy and mysterious”. The illustrative lines are light, creating delicate characters that have clear Japanese influences. She depicts snapshots, moments of solitude and stillness. “I’m not good at telling big stories”, she explains, “for me, it is more natural to convey a certain feeling, since I am not very loud myself”.

Matthew-connors-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Matthew Connors examines the realities of North Korea, challenging its kitschy visual tropes

Although once a mystery, North Korea is a country we’ve come to know over the past years as a pastel haven, with wide open spaces so vast and devoid of people they appear like film sets before the crew arrives for the day. Unanimous Desire by photographer Matthew Connors challenges these tropes. It presents a narrative far more intricate than candy-coloured aesthetics and latent voyeurism, examining the reality of its people and the apparent Plato’s cave they inhabit.

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