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M&C Saatchi and Fontsmith collaborate on font collection for House of St Barnabas

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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.”

Graywielebinski-slade-baseball-art-int-list-2 Work / Art Locker room talk: Gray Wielebinski on appropriating the visual, spoken and body language of baseball

For their graduating exhibition at the Slade School of Fine Art, Gray Wielebinski turned the iconography and perception of baseball on its head, in an installation that creates what they describe as “a dream-like queer locker room setting”. A Dog Pees on Things for More than One Reason appropriates the visual codes of the sport to explore themes of “national identity – specifically in the USA, and Americana – desire, myth-making, sports, memory and childhood, fashion and masculinity”; and Gray describes the intention behind the work as being “to blur the lines between reality, memory, projection, hope and mainstream media representations, and to reconsider the framework for how the locker room occupies our cultural imaginations.”

Clifford-jago-bookshelf-itsnicethat-22 Regulars / Bookshelf "Shout out to Hannah Montana's forward-thinking design": Clifford Jago's Bookshelf

Clifford Jago is a stylist and self-confessed “messiah of fashion”. He’s also not real. The culmination of two photographers – who have chosen to remain anonymous – Clifford’s character, and resulting work, is a response to the modern culture of magazines in which publications have to shoot brands simply because they advertise with them.

Nicer-tuesdays-july-launch-list-img Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Get tickets now for Nicer Tuesdays July

Tickets are now available for our next Nicer Tuesdays event, taking place on the evening of 31 July at Oval Space. Our speaker line-up this month features illustrator Nadine Redlich, animator Sophie Koko Gate and design studio Flat-e with our fourth speaker to be announced shortly.Nadine Redlich is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Dusseldorf and will be joining us for July’s Nicer Tuesdays to give an insight into her quick-witted illustrations. With a knack for turning uncomfortable feelings into simple yet altogether hilarious images, she has previously created work for The New York Times and Zeit magazine. Her talk will highlight how she turns the silliest and most embarrassing of moments into comic strips so relatable, they make you squirm. London-based animator and director Sophie Koko Gate graduated from the Royal College of Art and has been impressing with her immense illustrative skill ever since. Having worked for the likes of Google Pixel, Ace & Tate and Airbnb, Sophie’s work is intricate and accomplished, not to mention funny and ever so slightly weird. At this month’s event, she’ll be talking us through an animation for Adult Swim and performing a mini set with her band John Daker. To accompany Daniel Avery’s latest album Song for Alpha, London-based design studio Flat-e created a fully visual, merging and looping interpretation of the album spanning just over an hour. With a portfolio packed full of live show visuals for various musical artists, its this latest project that the studio will be telling us all about at this month’s event. As the album plays with exploring “the space in which home listening and club music intersect,” Flat-e will explain its response to this and how it created something which can be watched at home, or on a night out.

Mayafuhr-int-list Work / Photography Maya Fuhr’s sensual still lifes open us to a world of pleasure and vulnerability

It is not a secret that we are desperately fond of the nostalgic pastel photographs taken by Maya Fuhr, and her recent collaboration with Nox Shop has stolen our gaze. Making sex toys appear candy sweet, Maya’s recent series features soft, sensual still lifes that juxtapose dildo’s with idiosyncratic memorabilia. Excited by our interest in this project, Maya has drawn from her archive several other collaborations with sex shops. “I want to normalise using sex toys both in solitude and with partners, and create more open conversations among people in regards to what really pleasures them”, she explains.

Jane-stockdale-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Jane Stockdale's series Watching the World Cup released as book celebrating fans of the beautiful game

Jane Stockdale is a photographer we’ve championed again and again here It’s Nice That and, on multiple occasions, the focus of her work has been sport. From capturing cyclists with Rapha, Nascar drivers with Red Bull or the variety of athletes which make up the Kosovo Olympic team, her work is celebratory of every sportsperson out there.

List Work / Opinion Is design still a (cis)man's world?

In Design as an Attitude, design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn sets out to squash the stereotypes, by celebrating design’s ability to better the world we live in, especially in light of its currently tumultuous future. Arguing that design is a powerful force in all of our lives, she questions why it is often dismissed as a “manipulative commercial ploy”.

Clash-pub-int-list Work / Publication Individual and creative freedom is the lifeblood of the summer edition of Clash

Clash #108 is themed around freedom; “individual and creative freedom is the lifeblood of the summer edition of Clash”, creative director Rob Meyers tells It’s Nice That, “in this issue, we praise the inspiring artists that assert their own unique essence through inventive and distinctive means of expression”. The four cover stars traverse the four poles of what Clash represents musically — high profile pop music, hip-hop/urban music, independent music and a “next wave” artist, and each musician stands true to the theme.

List-img-accent-mag Work / Publication Accent Magazine on mocking, mimicking and surpassing the mainstream

Since its launch as an online photography journal in 2013, the look, feel and approach of Accent Magazine has been constantly evolving. In its fourth print issue, which launched last month, Accent editors Lydia Garnett and Lucy Nurnberg, and art director Luke Tudor Griffiths, are doing their own spin on the celebrity gossip magazine, drawing inspiration from the likes of dentist-waiting-room-giants Hello! and OK!

List_climbing_the_ladder_2018_oil_on_canvas_40_x_55cm Work / Art Mia Wilkinson’s unapologetic nudes are a study of how women are sexualised on and offline

From Marlene Dumas, to Jeff Koons or even Titian, the line between what constitutes art and what is porn has been much debated over the centuries and rarely has a simple answer. With their voluptuous, fleshy figures and expressive brush strokes, Mia Wilkinson’s depictions of the female form are an exploration of this malleable line, using her joyous, powerful and sometimes grotesque portrayals of the female body as a method of challenging male objectification and reconfiguring the gaze. “I love the female form because it’s an interesting shape, it doesn’t all look the same. There are so many different bodies out there,” she says.

Ally-cappelino-list Work / Advertising David Lane and Agnes Lloyd-Platt go back to school for Ally Capellino’s AW18 campaign

Photographer Agnes Lloyd-Platt and creative director David Lane, of Lane and Associates, have teamed up once again to bring us the latest campaign for accessories brand Ally Capellino. Each one is set in a distinct and authentic world (you might remember last season’s which was shot in a garden, or the previous one set in a restaurant kitchen) and this is usually determined by the founder herself. “We tend to take whatever Ally is obsessing about and run with it” explains Agnes (who is also Ally’s daughter); the concept for the SS15 campaign, for instance — which paired models with different pastel-coloured shades of hair, with accessories in corresponding colours — was inspired by the fact Ally herself had pink hair that week.

Diary_july_724x474 Regulars / Diary July diary: this month's must-see events and exhibitions

Summer is officially in full swing, and we’re enjoying the long evenings and our fair share of ice creams here at It’s Nice That. It’s not just the sun that’s getting us excited for July, however, as there are a host of art shows and exhibitions taking place around the UK and the rest of the world. From Michael Jackson’s impact on the art world, to an investigation on how Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighbourhood has changed over the last 20 years, check out the It’s Nice That team’s top picks for July below. h3. Michael Jackson: On the Wall
28 June — 21 October 2018
National Portrait Gallery, London

Hellocollective-art-int-list Work / Art Hell’O Collective paints poetic nonsensical worlds inspired by mythology

Hell’O Collective is an artistic duo composed of Jerôme Meyden and Antoine Detaille; the friends met over graffiti, but soon left “spray paint in favour of paper” and painting. Currently on show at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Mons, a Belgium city where they both studied, is a presentation of their “last, or first” ten years of work. Too young for it to be called “a retrospective”, the duo describe it more as a “state of play”. Being their first museum project, it features a diverse range of mediums — drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos and murals. It illustrates the collective’s evolution over the course of the last ten years. “Homogeneity is one of the most important things we have developed” Jerôme and Antoine explain, “it is not easy for a lot of people to work together, but for us, it’s easier than working alone; after all these years we’ve found almost the perfect combination”.

Holliefernando-12--photography-itsnicethat Work / Photography An exclusive look at Hollie Fernando's series documenting her brother's pre-teenage years

Over the past year, London-based photographer Hollie Fernando has been taking the most thoughtfully candid portraits of her younger brother, Max. Hollie’s brother is 12 years younger than her, but the age gap and a sibling in-between (who is also a regular muse of the photographer’s) the two hasn’t stopped the pair from being close, incredibly close really.

Steve-smith-animation-itsnicethat-list Work / Animation Steve Smith's music video for Moaning references the chaotic energy of 90s MTV idents

Sometimes it only takes a few seconds before we’re completely sold on a piece of work and that was definitely the case with Los Angeles-based animator Steve Smith’s latest video. We last wrote about Steve in February of this year where he explained how his work is inspired by “Home Depot and his dog, Shoe” and we’ve been hooked ever since.

List09_sha_svaneti_georgia_full_3500_2016-4416 Work / Photography Natasha Sharapova on shooting the last two inhabitants of a rural village in Georgia

Svaneti, an area in the north-west of Georgia, is a place quite unlike anywhere else. Tucked in the rare habitable pockets of the Caucasus mountains (sometimes even clinging to the sides), its villages are a patchwork of higgledy-piggledy dirt tracks complete with free-range cows, bear-like mountain dogs and the hairiest of pigs. Medieval defensive towers punctuate the landscape, built as places for the whole village to wait out enemy invaders – a tactic that worked so well that the Svan language, polyphonic singing style and many of its unique customs (blood feuds included) were just as impossible to conquer as the mountains themselves. The nearest town Mestia is between three and five hours of stomach-churning roads away, and in the harsh winter metres of snow damage this one road so completely that it needs to be laid again every spring. Here you can try to domesticate nature, but it has a will all of its own.

Listthe_twins_220x190_oil_on_canvas_2018 Work / Art Francisco Rodríguez’s eerie paintings combine his childhood diet of cartoons and industrial landscapes

Growing up in Santiago, Chile, artist Francisco Rodríguez loved watching cartoons from the US and Europe but especially from Japan. “Japanese animation was extraordinarily famous during the 90s in Chile, maybe because they were cheaper to buy,” Francisco tells us. “Throughout my childhood, I was very influenced by these cartoons – it makes me think this could be one of the reasons why my paintings are quite graphic with solid colours and very delimited drawings.”

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