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Graphic design exhibition 'City Identities' runs this week

Sam-jayne-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Graphic Design Sam Jayne's abstract and psychedelic design portfolio is inspired by nature

“My biggest reference is probably nature,” Washington DC-based designer and art director, Sam Jayne tells It’s Nice That. “Aside from its natural beauty and obvious visual impressiveness, I think there’s a certain weird magic that happens in my work when I manipulate natural elements using software and end up with this strange digital imagery that feels totally disconnected from anything remotely organic.”

Tsto-flowfestival-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Tsto returns to design Flow Festival's identity, pushing and playing with its typography

Back in 2011, Helsinki-based studio Tsto designed an identity for Flow Festival featuring a bold typographic treatment that has become synonymous with the festival’s name. Over the next five years the studio continued to roll out the festival’s identity under this visual language, before taking a three year break. 2018 marks Tsto back in the graphic design driving seat, and pushing the identity further seven years later from when it first sat down to do it.

Cecile-legnaghi-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Graphic designer Cécile Legnaghi questions the role of display and caption fonts in her practice

“The project was born from questioning the use of a typeface today, and its trends, especially concerning its body size,” explains Paris-based graphic and type designer Cécile Legnaghi of her diploma project. While studying at École Estienne, she became fascinated by designers’ choices to utilise display typefaces at caption size – and vice versa. In response, Cécile set out to design three of her own, with the intention of them being used in both contexts.

Polinavasilyeva-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Yale graduate and communications designer Polina Vasilyeva is a conductor of content

The portfolio of Russian-born Yale graduate Polina Vasilyeva is an amalgamation of communication design bits and bobs. The mix of styles and applications Polina dips and dives in and out of is easily seen on the designer’s website, which places them all together, on top of one another and side by side. “My website came from the initial desire to see the collection of my work as if it were laid on the table in front of the viewer,” Polina tells us. “A lot of my work as a designer deals with the performance, I believe that graphic design is a form of theatre, in which the designer is a conductor of the content that is being presented to the world.”

Sagmeisterandwalsh-thomashedger-itsnicethat-2list Features / Graphic Design Beauty through the eyes of Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh

Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh have been thinking about beauty. This might seem unsurprising, as both are designers who occupy the upper echelons of the design hierarchy, and aesthetics, you’d imagine, would be an ongoing concern. “One part of what we are doing is aiming to eradicate the tired notion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” says Stefan with a laugh. “Because it’s not.” I’m sat at the control centre of the Stefan and Jessica show, an office just off Broadway in Manhattan. Outside the meeting room where we are sat, a small team is working away diligently.

Carlossaez-humanapperanceoptional-digital-itsnicethat-1list Work / Digital Carlos Saez's textural digital collages reimagine the human form

Morphological freedom is the engine behind Carlos Saez’s digital collage series, Human Appearance Optional. Inspired by the post-humanist idea that the choice to alter or modify a body through the use of medical technology should be considered a civil right, Carlos has sourced a series of body-related imagery in order to create an anatomical mosaic using the technologies available to him.

Nicholasblechman-thenewyorker-goingsonabouttown-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Nicholas Blechman on applying subtle redesign tweaks to The New Yorker

Earlier this month Nicholas Blechman, the creative director of The New Yorker, introduced a redesign to one of the magazine’s regular features, ‘Goings On About Town’. A redesign, however small, is a rare occurrence within The New Yorker’s pages in comparison to the regular shift other publications apply to its design. Below, Nicholas talks us through the reasoning behind the most recent design tweak, as well as an overview of The New Yorker’s layout design history.

Johnmolesworth-illustration-it'snicethat-list Work / Illustration John Molesworth’s vivacious artworks hit you in the eyes like “a wild, visual guitar solo”

John Molesworth describes himself as an artist with “fingers in many pies”. Since It’s Nice That last spoke with him, John has illustrated the cover of Vanguards Magazine, delved into ceramics and started selling his drawings at Liberty London. Describing his work as “perhaps now closer to ‘art’ than ‘illustration’, John’s pieces, with their bold and vivacious colours, hit you in the eyes like a “wild, visual guitar solo”.

Arabellasimpson-illustration-it'snicethat-09 Work / Illustration Arabella Simpson’s colourful drawings fit together like a distorted Tetris game

Arabella Simpson’s colourful drawings fit together like a distorted Tetris game. Fascinated by “recycling, originality and copyright”, Arabella enjoys drawing immediately recognisable characters. “I want an image to communicate its meaning instantly”, she tells It’s Nice That. By using our eyes first, she feels that we then have time to “choose how we’d like to use our heads and voices”.

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.

Viktorhachmang-fragments-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Landfill Editions show us a bunch of its brilliant new illustration titles

When not publishing its brilliant magazine Mould Map, Landfill Editions are equally brilliant book publishers, working with illustration, graphic design and everything in between. With a stack of new titles for you to peruse, we caught up with the publishing house to see what has recently come back from the printers.

List-img Work / Art Strip clubs and bordellos: Tal R’s hypnotic paintings of sex shops from around the world

“For 10 years I tried to escape art. I thought I was no good at it. I thought it was pretentious,” Tal R admits during a phone call with It’s Nice That; “I tried to give up on art but art didn’t give up on me.” From London’s Victoria Miro gallery to Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Tal R’s artworks have toured the globe. Sexshop is Tal’s long-term project, which saw the painter visit strip clubs and bordellos across the world, transforming their facades into an emulsion of mesmerising shapes and rich colours.

Timothyschaumberg-cactus-photography-itsnicetthat-1list Work / Photography Photographer Timothy Schaumburg takes us behind the scenes of plastic surgery prep

Last year, 17.5 million Americans underwent plastic surgery. The most popular procedures were breast augmentation, liposuction and nose reshaping. With lunchtime facelifts and cosmetic surgery loyalty schemes, it’s no surprise that the number of people going under the knife to “improve” their physical appearance has been steadily on the rise for some time.

Its-nice-that-al_hirschfeld_list Features / Illustration The Line King: A profile of Al Hirschfeld, on the prolific characterist’s 115th birthday

Sitting in an old barber’s chair, on the fourth floor studio of his townhouse on East 95th Street, New York, caricaturist Al Hirschfeld does with a quill and ink what a barber would do with scissors and a comb. Leaning over a drafting table, he first looks over his sketches; pages cluttered with frantic-looking marks. On a new piece of paper, he begins to draw. Streamlining chaos into clarity, he snips away the inessential, leaving just a few lines. The result? Marilyn Monroe. Charlie Chaplin. Ella Fitzgerald. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Orson Welles. Whoopi Goldberg. Luciano Pavarotti. Nat King Cole. Barbra Streisand. Sometimes all at once. With just a quill and some black ink, Al Hirschfeld brought to life some of entertainment’s most colourful characters. Over a career that lasted eight decades, Hirschfeld is said to have chronicled countless 20th century Broadway and Hollywood personalities for print and press. In 1956, he was the first to draw a caricature of Elvis Presley; to be “Hirschfelded” was a sign that you’d made it. His work has covered Playbill programs, film posters and advertisements, magazines like TIME and Life, newspapers (most notably The New York Times), albums for Aerosmith, and postage stamps for the US Postal Service. Almost every museum in the world has a Hirschfeld – such is the American artist’s ubiquity. He was even made the subject of his own Academy Award-nominated documentary film, ‘The Line King’. In 2003, Hirschfeld passed away, just a few months short of his 100th birthday. He worked for the likes of The New York Times right up until the day of his death. But he left an unparalleled legacy; an ineradicable mark on American theatre history, illustration and cartooning. So today, on what would have been Hirschfeld’s 115th birthday, we look back at the life and work of the affectionately dubbed, ‘Line King.’

100clubstories-dittopress-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Ditto publish 100 Club Stories in celebration of the iconic London venue

The 100 Club, tucked away in a doorway nestled between the high street shops on Oxford Street, London, is a venue in which many have had the best nights of their lives. This is something that applies to both tightly packed crowds and bands who have graced its stage. Getting tickets to a gig is an honour as it’s capacity is small, and if you’re lucky enough to be invited to play the honour is even greater. In celebration of the venue, Ditto has published a book displaying its history, character and anecdotes of its 75-year history.

Adobestock-multilocalism-sponsored-photography-joddism-itsnicethat-0 Sponsored / Photography Adobe Stock identifies 'multilocalism' as the next trend to shape visual culture

In today’s society it’s rare that someone is just from a particular city, country or even continent. The world is all the better for it too, merging cultural experiences in square miles rather than across oceans. In its third visual trend analysis this year, the Adobe Stock team believe, as a reflection of this, the concept of ‘multilocalism’ will be the next visual trend for creatives.

Charlotteager-itsnicethat-illustration-12list Work / Illustration “I want my work to function like a good book": illustrator Charlotte Ager

Charlotte Ager is no stranger to It’s Nice That; we have written about her idyllic illustrations time and time again. From Reykjavik’s beaches to Indonesian villas, it was her colourful drawings of landscapes that caught our eye this time.

Stephen-isaac-wilson-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Stephen Isaac-Wilson's new film for Boiler Room remembers Manchester's 90s queer clubbing scene

In the mid-90s, Canal Street was the flamboyant heart of Manchester’s gay scene. Home to the city’s queer party lovers, Canal Street existed outside Manchester’s world-famous club scene, until, that is, 1999, when the characters of Russell T Davies’ Queer as Folk swaggered onto TV screens and kicked open the doors of queer nightlife to wide-eyed viewers across the nation.

Encyclopedia-pictura_diy_cartoon_network_animation_itsnicethat_list-2 Work / Animation From Kanye West to Cartoon Network: Encyclopedia Pictura’s latest animations champion the power of DIY skills

Animation studio Encyclopedia Pictura is renowned for its work with the likes of Kanye West, Björk and Grizzly Bear, but its latest work diverges down a very different path, with a series of shorts for Cartoon Network. It comes off the back of the success of DIY.org, an online community started by one of the studio’s founders Isaiah Saxon together with Vimeo co-founder Zach Klein, where kids can learn new making skills and share their creations. Started in 2016, it now has over a million members.

Harunakawai-illustration-itsnicethat-1list Work / Illustration Haruna Kawai breaks down the boundaries between illustration and sculpture

Haruna Kawai’s illustrations are distinct in their simplicity. Her colourful portfolio of work is filled with drawings of abstract sculptural creations; whether it’s ceramic-like structures balance on three-dimensional triangles or padlock-inspired art objects, Haruna has a knack for illustrating minimalist constructions.

Sam-jayne-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Graphic Design Sam Jayne's abstract and psychedelic design portfolio is inspired by nature

“My biggest reference is probably nature,” Washington DC-based designer and art director, Sam Jayne tells It’s Nice That. “Aside from its natural beauty and obvious visual impressiveness, I think there’s a certain weird magic that happens in my work when I manipulate natural elements using software and end up with this strange digital imagery that feels totally disconnected from anything remotely organic.”

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