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Friday Mixtape: Captured Tracks’ founder Mike Sniper’s mix of rarities that never made it

Clay-hickson Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Clay Hickson's mix of songs he wishes he could capture in his work

Don’t really think we need to introduce masterful illustrator and publisher Clay Hickson to you guys, do we? But this week Clay has stepped away from the printer, popped down his pencils and pens, and created a Friday Mixtape for us instead!

World-cup Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: A world cup special from the It’s Nice That team

It may not be coming home for Eng-ger-land this year, but the World Cup is still on and all is to play for between Croatia vs France this Sunday. It’s been a month of ups and downs, heart-attack inducing penalty shootouts, underdogs rising to the top (that South Korea vs Germany game, my god) and, well, waistcoats.

Jim-stoten Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Jim Stoten's soundtrack to his solo summer holiday

Happy Friday and happy Friday Mixtape day! As London swelters in a rare heatwave, Jim Stoten, also known by his job title leading name Jim the Illustrator, is off on a solo holiday to Spain. As Jim packs his swimming trunks, suncream and drawing equipment for a week of pondering, he’s also made us a mix that will soundtrack his summer holiday and maybe yours too.

Gorillaz Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Gorillaz's mix to listen to in a Fiat Punto

This week’s Friday Mixtape is by Russel Hobbs, the drummer in Gorrilaz dreamed up by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. In celebration of Gorillaz new album The Now Now being released today, Russel has created It’s Nice That a very rare mix to listen to over the weekend.

Jordy Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: the songs stuck in Jordy van den Nieuwendijk's head

Jordy van den Nieuwendijk is a name so often mentioned here at It’s Nice That that most people probably think he works here, but we just love him! And his work too, of course. Always full of life, colour and personality, we wanted to know the tracks that he’s bobbing along to while his painting and drawings are being made.

Apple-trillion-dollar-company-digital-itsnicethat-01 Work / Digital Apple has become the world’s first trillion dollar company

Proving that there’s a lot, like a lot, of money to be made from manufacturing laptops which can make you look 2% cooler than you actually are, as you sit in a coffee shop aimlessly wandering around the internet, the Guardian have reported that Apple have become the world’s first ever trillion dollar company.

Benoit-paille-photography-it'snicethat-list Work / Photograhy Benoit Paillé creatively reimagines the world with his hallucinogenic photography

As the almost unreadable biography on his website reads, Benoit Paillé is a self-professed “conscious agitator and creative genius”. Zonked on Ritalin for his most crucial years, Benoit stumbled into the lap of art, and now he believes it “sustains him more than leftover hot dogs."

Gregholland-mexico-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Greg Holland's photographic career spans from hardcore shows to shooting for NGO's

Photographer Greg Holland’s career spans across genres, mediums and countries. Originally from the north of England, at school he chose to study music and in fact, it was through playing in bands — as well as a girlfriend who introduced him to Martin Parr — that he eventually ended up putting down instruments and picking up cameras instead.

Graphic-design-festival-2018-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Graphic Design Festival Scotland's fifth birthday identity toes the line between serious and silly

Over the past five years, Graphic Design Festival Scotland (GDFS) has solidified itself as the go-to event to see some of the UK’s best international talent in graphic design. Taking place from 19–25 October this year, the programme is as packed as ever, featuring talks from David Carson, Erik Kessels and GraphicDesign&, as well as workshops, Q&As, music and exhibitions, all in Glasgow’s Lighthouse.

Diary_aug_724x474 Regulars / Diary August diary: this month's must-see events and exhibitions

The month of August tends to be a bit quieter, dare we say it, than the rest of the year. Offices are semi-deserted as everyone heads off on their various holidays, from Marbella to Morocco via Margate, and the rest of the country adopts a slightly slower pace (how could we possibly function at full speed in this heat?). Make the most of the summer’s longer evenings, and actually leaving the office on time, by visiting some of the many art shows and exhibitions taking place around the UK and the rest of the world. h3. Drag: Self-portraits and Body Politics
22 August — 14 October
Hayward Gallery, London

Crystal-zapata-graphic-design-it'snicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Crystal Zapata's work joins the dots between radical Italian design and Chicago house

As a child, Crystal Zapata made collages out of magazine clippings, drawing everything she had collected together onto the page; this love soon grew into a passion for graphic design, and is visible in the delicately-layered posters she produces today.

Using her childhood knack for experimentation, Crystal’s aesthetic is, in her words, “a cocktail of ideas, references, and influences that have been manipulated, stretched, inverted, deleted, and reverted”. Her design is playful but contains beautiful formal moments. The abstract shapes are loud and fun, bouncing around each other, and the typography is minimal and robust, standing strong against a colourful background.

Pentagram-abbottmiller-mahjongg-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Pentagram's Abbott Miller's book on the game of Mahjong gets a reissue

The game of Mahjong has a long and fascinating history. Beginning in ancient China and originally developed in the Qing dynasty, it then made its way to the States. Fast forward to the 1920s and 30s and Americans became transfixed by the fast-paced nature of moving 144 tiles. More recently, it has experienced another resurgence in London too, where players arrange meet-ups or head to XU teahouse for a game. Just before it quickly grew in popularity here in the UK, Abbott Miller, a Pentagram partner since 1999, worked on a book which visually told this history, Mah Jongg: Crak, Bam, Dot released in 2010. This month, the “publication that celebrates the fascinating history and visual universe of the game,” has been reissued in a new edition by its original publishers, 2wice.

Spaghetti-bolo-poster-exhibition-graphic-design-itsnicethat-05 Work / Graphic Design The posters for Switzerland’s first ever spaghetti bolognese festival look tasty as hell

If we barged between you and your pals after work one evening, thick, syrupy IPA spilling over the lip of our pint glass, and asked if any of you had any idea of what “bolo-spirit” is, would you? The answer is probably not, unless you were enjoying a pleasant chat with Swiss design duo Katrin von Niederhäusern and Dominique Magnusson , the curators of what may well be the first ever spaghetti bolognese themed poster collection.

Championing creativity

Advertising • Animation • Art • Graphic Design • Illustration • Photography •View all categories


Captured-tracks-friday-mixtape-itsnicethat

This week’s Friday Mixtape is by Mike Sniper, the mastermind behind Brooklyn-based label Captured Tracks.

In Mike’s job of founding and running Captured Tracks, a label which boasts signings such as Mac DeMarco and Diiv, he also constantly introduces us to new musicians to fall for, talking about upcoming artists as enthusiastically as he does the big names. In celebration of ten years of the label this week, Mike gives us a behind-the-scenes peek at the records he loves, but maybe didn’t get the success they deserved.

It’s Nice That: Why have you picked these songs?

Mike Sniper: All of the tracks I picked are some of my personal favourites that have fallen short of breaking out to a wider appeal for one reason or another. Some acts didn’t tour enough (or at all) and some broke up soon after the music came out. Two of them are from reissues that didn’t sell out; I’ll never understand why. The Outsiders is Adrian Borland from The Sound and it’s fantastic. Skylon is a special 7", the only thing the band ever recorded and was unreleased prior to the 7". Confused how that’s still around too!

INT: When or where should this mixtape be listened to?

MS: Maybe at home in utter confusion and despair.

INT: What song or album did you listen to as a teenager and why?

MS: Oh wow, this list would be really long. I mean, I did have that James Franco Rise Above experience in high school like he had in Freaks in Geeks. I was mostly listening to punk and post-punk from the 80s even though I went to high school in the 90s. Current bands I liked back then was stuff like My Bloody Valentine, Aphex Twin, Pale Saints, Fugazi. Anyway, the task was to pick one song or album. It’d have to be The Chameleons’ Script of the Bridge and the track Second Skin in particular. I mean, that song is so high school lonely guy it’s not funny.

INT: What Captured Tracks releases have you got coming up, who should we keep an eye out for?

MS: Keep an eye out for Drahla and Wax Chattels.

INT: What song or album is consistently playing in your office and why?

MS: This is a tough one. We keep it pretty fresh, play a lot of stuff. I was playing that Sharon Signs To Cherry Red compilation a lot. Whenever there’s new Cate Le Bon, it gets played a lot. Boring answer: test pressings.

INT: If a feature film about Captured Tracks was to be made, what song would be on the trailer and why?

Work To Do by The Isley Brothers with a one-shot panoramic of everyone in the office working because it’d be realistic and also stupid/funny. Plus I like that song. Not the Vanessa Williams cover though.



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Nicer-tuesdays-july-2018-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays From Finding Nemo paddling pools to animations by robots: here's what we learnt at Nicer Tuesdays July

Last night saw the return of our monthly curated event, Nicer Tuesdays — and what a banger it was. As we all attempted to fill the Love Island shaped hole in our hearts, August’s line-up – Flat-e, Nadine Redlich, Vicki King and Sophie Koko Gate – provided the perfect remedy. As usual, the crowd at Oval Space were treated to a down-right bonkers mixture of stuff, from clever in-camera visual distortions to a live set from Sophie’s band John Daker. Find out what we learnt at this month’s Nicer Tuesdays below.h3. Making animations “real” is important

Superimpose-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list-alt Regulars / Bookshelf From data collection to the role camo plays in fashion: Superimpose's Bookshelf

From video content for Adidas and visual campaigns for Burberry to its own platform Services Unknown; Superimpose Studio constantly impress us with its work. Champions of fresh and exciting work, the studio creates innovative and forward-thinking commercial work that challenges brands to go further and think deeper.

Morgan-hill-murphy-photography-itsnicethat Work / Photography Morgan Hill-Murphy's Italian summer: "a playground of incredible light and fantastic wrinkly old men"

London-based photographer Morgan Hill-Murphy has been on a long trip to Italy. Living in Bagheria, a town next to Palermo for just over a month, the photographer headed out with an open mind, thinking a loose photography project would come of it, maybe. With no forced plan in mind, he adopted the Sicilian routine. Days begun by going to the market, popping back to the same cafes, he regularly went to church. Morgan wanted to “understand what it is to be a Sicilian,” and in turn, he’s created a series that makes us all wish we were.

Potionpictures-loveisland2018-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design My typeface on paper: the makings of the Love Island logo

Once again this year, one television programme had us glued to screens. It’s been another season of not just summer, but love. Each night across the UK, viewers have been making sure they’re home for nine PM for Love Island, to tune into a villa in Mallorca where singletons cracked on, did bits, got texts and four final couples yesterday finally found love.

Richard-kovacs-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Richard Kovacs uses experimental lighting to showcase Lagos' fashion scene

London-based Hungarian photographer Richard Kovacs’ practice encompasses traditional fashion photography combined with some other approach or genre, resulting in work that is as distinctive as it is accomplished. “Most fashion imagery is very boring these days and many image makers are copying, consciously or unconsciously, a few of the successful trendy photographers, which is a shame,” he tells It’s Nice That. It’s this desire to do different that has propelled his recent series I Will See You in My Dreams, which combines experimental techniques, documentary and fashion photography.

Laurence-stephens-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Laurence Stephens documents weary holiday-makers and stuffy museums in his book Bored Tourists

Holidays are weighted with expectation. Every hour in every airport and train station around the world, tourists arrive with brimming suitcases and hopes of what will potentially be the best trip of their life. When visiting Barcelona, London-based photographer, Laurence Stephens, found himself ducking off the bustling streets and into the cool, dark interior of the city’s Cathedral. Here, he quickly realised the humorous photographic potential that tourist traps like these could offer. “Juxtaposed against the beautiful architecture was an array of bemused, disillusioned tourists, bored, half-asleep, unintentionally waiting to be photographed,” he recalls.

Its_nice_that_adobe_stock_your_design_here_manshen_lo_list Sponsored / Found in Adobe Stock Your design here: a timeline exploring graphic design template trends

This Summer It’s Nice That is partnering with Adobe Stock on a series of articles that celebrate their library of over 90 million high-quality images, graphics, video motion graphics, templates, and branding materials. Over the coming weeks, we will be providing an insight into how the Adobe Stock library can benefit your creative practice.

Listimage_2 Partnership / Dropbox: Monthly Poster Alexandra Waespi and Alexa Viscius use cyanotype and long exposure to create a melting poster

For Chicago-based graphic designer Alexa Viscius, London-based photographer Alexandra Waespi, and pretty much everyone else in the world, the month of July has been an absolute scorcher. It’s been weeks of glorious weather but it’s also been a stickily hot one, a feeling both Alexandra and Alexa experienced in their respective cities across the globe.

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