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From 3D scans to musical soundscapes: Migrant Journal shares its favourite books

Peter-funch-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Bookshelf Peter Funch shares the photo books that inspire his own practice

“I buy many books: new, used, fictions, art – everything – and I really enjoy diving into my always expanding collection of books. My own library,” says Danish photographer Peter Funch. Back in October of 2017, we wrote about Peter’s extraordinary book 42nd and Vanderbilt in which he photographed the same people on the same street in New York for nine years.

Natasha-jen-pentagram-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list Work / Bookshelf Pentagram partner Natasha Jen shares her most inspirational books

Natasha Jen became a Pentagram partner in 2012, having previously established her own studio Njenworks back in 2010. The projects Natasha takes on often cross media and use a range of graphic, digital and spatial interventions. Working on brand identities, digital interfaces, exhibition design and way-finding systems, among other things, Natasha’s client list includes all the big names you’d expect such as Nike, MIT Architecture, Chanel, Harvard Art Museums and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Benjamin-nieves-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Bookshelf Nieves founder Benjamin Sommerhalder shares his passion for books and zines

Benjamin Sommerhalder founded Nieves back in 2001. A publishing house based in Zurich, Switzerland, Nieves’ output sees it publish artists’ books and zines and we’ve lost count of the times we’ve shared its releases. Its back catalogue houses the work of Geoff McFetridge, David Shrigley, Andy Rementer, Nathalie du Pasquier and hundreds more. Created out of a love for printed matter, Benjamin publishes books and zines that are free from traditional constraints and full of absolute joy.

Simpsons-library-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Bookshelf Lisa Simpson’s bookshelf: from the curator of Instagram’s Simpsons Library

Guatemala City-based Carmen López is the curator behind the popular Instagram account, Simpsons Library. Similar to the anonymous curator of Scenic Simpsons, Carmen trawls through old episodes of The Simpsons cataloguing the various book covers that appear in the show.

Buffalo-zine-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Bookshelf Buffalo Zine editors Adrián González-Cohen and David Uzquiza on their favourite books

Buffalo Zine is the magazine that continually reinvents itself. From issue to issue it takes on a new logo, design and format that suits the chosen theme, taking its readers on a journey through fashion and art like no other. The chameleon publication is now biannual and it’s just launched its sixth issue for AW17, which is themed around the world of interiors. With six covers to choose from, each one adopts the aesthetic of well-known interiors magazines and is “full of amazing people, beauty, ugliness and open doors”.

Benedict-redgrove-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Bookshelf Benedict Redgrove shares the books that have helped shaped him

Working in both London and Los Angeles, photographer and filmmaker Benedict Redgrove has a discerning eye for composition in the most unexpected surroundings. His projects have seen him work with BMW, Red Bull Racing, Hewlett Packard and Sony, and his personal projects have seen him create a survey of Nasa Technology and film the Wilson tennis ball factory in Thailand among others. Benedict is passionate about his work and here he shares a selection of books that have inspired him, along with a short intro about what these books mean:

Migrant-journal-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list Work / Bookshelf From 3D scans to musical soundscapes: Migrant Journal shares its favourite books

Since launching in 2016, Migrant Journal has well and truly made a name for itself as a firm favourite at It’s Nice That. Published as a preplanned series of six, it explores “the circulation of people, goods, information, but also fauna and flora, around the world and the transformative impact they have on space.”

Andersbraschwillumsen-list Work / Art Anders Brasch-Willumsen on channelling emotion through 3D image-making

Copenhagen-born Anders Brasch-Willumsen is an art director, image maker and the founder and creative director of Stockholm-based Studio Brasch, a creative studio offering “creative direction, conceptual thinking and a distinct design language that results in brand images, campaign images, moving images, set designs and more.”

Motherdesign-callenlorde-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-08 Work / Graphic Design Mother Design creates an empowering identity for LGBTQ health organisation, Callen-Lorde

Mother Design’s New York office has created a boldly colourful and impactful identity for Callen-Lorde, a community centre for LGBTQ healthcare. Across its programmes, services and two locations in New York, it’s an organisation dedicated to providing healthcare to the city’s “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities — in all their diversity — regardless of ability to pay”. An institution of such devotion and sensitive care deserves approachable, awe-inspiring graphic design, and Mother Design have done exactly that.

Stephentayo-photography-itsnicethat-11 Work / Photography Stephen Tayo's photographs "create a visual narrative" of everyday encounters

Stephen Tayo is a true flaneur, wandering around the Lagos streets observing and examining everyone he sees. The young documentary photographer recently graduated from the University of Lagos in Nigeria with a philosophy degree, but has chosen a different path for himself: “I got into photography to express what I felt as a young boy growing up. I also wanted to create a story made up of the people I see and the places I visit,” Stephen tells It’s Nice That.

Daniel-weiss-photography-itsnicethat-7 Work / Photography Photographer Daniel Weiss tells the story of the New York he grew up with

“[The images in my series] may be slightly romanticised, but I really do love New York,” photographer Daniel Weiss tells It’s Nice That. Daniel’s images are American through and through, documenting everything from Elvis impersonators to bowling alleys and motorcycle racers. Although his subjects are wide-ranging as well as captivating, it is his ongoing series New York, depicting the city where he was born and bred, that particularly caught our eye.

Studiofeixen-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design The year of the gif: Studio Feixen’s multitude of moving posters

During 2017 Swiss graphic designers Studio Feixen expanded its impressive portfolio even wider. The studio redesigned the widely read Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten for the day, it created a Hermés Christmas perfume campaign with ping-pong balls and diamonds, it made a digital music playing poster for cultural evening Oto Nové Swiss, and contributed to a campaign for trainer fanatics’ favourite day of the year, Air Max Day. Due to these landmark design achievements it’s safe to say the studio had a pretty brilliant year, one that was met with personal achievements too, and to celebrate they made an animation for each.

Veronikaminder-artdecor-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Veronika Minder's book, Art Décor, explores the life of bon viveur Bob Steffen (NSFW)

Veronika Minder’s book Art Décor explores the life of Bob Steffen, an upscale hustler, nude model, accomplished window dresser and central figure in the bohemian scene of post-war Bern. When he passed away in 2012, Bob left behind 6,000 photographs of himself, his friends and his lovers at dinners parties, cocktail soirées and masquerade balls. “Bob was a friend of mine since the early seventies. I knew he had a lot of photographs because he never threw anything away. He was interested in all the changes he went through during the years,” Veronika tells It’s Nice That.


Annahofmann-illustration-cybersexhidden-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Anna Hofmann's slightly grotesque but very, very funny characters

Our love affair with the work of Anna Hofmann came from one illustration of a little creature leaning cautiously out of its car window to lick a cactus. It’s this use of humour, something so silly but brilliant, that means since seeing her work in Eike Konig’s class calendar at the end of last year, we’ve fallen head over heels for Anna’s work.

Cristiantoronicolasgonzalez-manualdeautodefensafeminista-publication-itsnicethat-1list Work / Publication Learn feminist self-defence with Manual de Autodefensa Feminista zine

#MeToo and #TimesUp have placed feminism at the top of the public agenda. Just last week, the media were filled with women wearing black dresses at the Golden Globes in protest of sexual assault and harassment. So what better time to brush up on feminist self-defence moves? Chile-based illustrators Cristian Toro and Nicolas Gonzalez collaborated to visualise women as agents of self-protection in a two-colour folded silkscreen zine named Manual de Autodefensa Feminista.

Lucid and concise, Manual de Autodefensa Feminista systematically lays out a step-by-step guide to self-defence in the event of an assault. Nicolas explains the importance of making the zine a universally accessible publication “that does not need the text to be understood.” He sees the zine “more like propaganda, coherent information with a purpose.” The illustrations themselves are first and foremost functional. They portray women tackling their aggressors by use of single, effective defensive moves that resemble martial arts. The use of only two colours, blue and yellow, keeps the drawings simple and clear, highlighting crucial motions by encircling the relevant body parts. One image, “El Escape,” shows a woman back-kicking an aggressor’s knee while another, “El Rodillazzo” depicts a woman kneeing a man’s face. 

Nicolas and Cristian’s Manual de Autodefensa Feminista is a choreography of instructions that invites the reader to follow its steps and perform the art. In this way, the publication is a crossing of illustration and live art, encouraging women to be a part of the spectacle of feminist empowerment. This participatory quality is also reflected in the zine’s printed form, inviting the reader to touch, scribble, fold and engage with the publication. “I find its material dimension important,” Nicolas explains, “not only in terms of the illustrations themselves but also in terms of its method of printing and circulation.”

Philippeweisbecker-adirondacks-nieves-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Renowned illustrator Philippe Weisbecker's delicate drawings of Adirondack furniture

One of Nieves’ latest published books is a furniture blast from the past. A sketchbook-like publication, it displays drawings by renowned illustrator Philippe Weisbecker, sketching versions of Adirondack furniture. It’s a style many will be familiar with from the popular Adirondack chair, a wooden outdoors seat and a regular fixture in many suburban gardens.

Lara-kothe-publication-itsnicethat-2 Work / Publication The Lething Compendium by Lara Kothe teaches you how to forget everything

“Books are static, stable objects, which cannot be changed easily after being printed. It is a system that has proven its worth over so many years – more so than any other medium,” states German graphic designer Lara Kothe. Originally from a small town in Bavaria, she studied communication design in Hamburg and now resides in Berne, Switzerland where she is undertaking a part-time master’s degree in design research. Lara’s portfolio is packed full of experimental publications that are intellectually challenging, designed with purpose and with the utmost attention to detail.

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