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Some truly lovely new work here by Riikka Laakso, a Berlin-based illustrator with a light touch. Riikka’s fondness for coloured pencils sets her poles apart from many of her tablet-wielding contemporaries, lending her editorial illustration a tactile edge which contrasts neatly with her incisive storytelling style. The commissioning moguls over at Die Zeit have already picked up on this cool combination, resulting in a number of pieces by Riikka for Zeit Campus, as well as work for Psychologie Heute and Berlin’s International Festival. If you don’t know her work yet, rest assured that this won’t be the case for long – if her grasp of textures and retro style are anything to go by we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Riikka in the months to come.
There’s something delightfully scientific about Erik Söderberg’s GIFs, however firmly I remind yourself that they’re composed of thousands of pixels. The repetitive way they pulsate and fizz quietly on the screen takes me right back to double Biology on a Thursday morning, watching in shellshocked fascination as tiny living cells mutate on a tiny strip of glass under a microscope, and grandly imagining myself to be the second coming of Louis Pasteur.
They’re nothing of the sort, of course, but there’s a certain draw to the notion of an image created solely for the purpose of aesthetic pleasure, too. In fact, Erik is a multi-disciplinary artist working across graphics and 3D design. “In early 2011 I was exploring the relations of geometry, nature and the human being in a series of 25 pictures that I called Fractal Experience,” he explains. “This is part two – continuing the exploration of geometric shapes, patterns, and fractals with an added element – space-time.” The technical know how required to created moving digital imagery to this advanced level deserves recognition, and we’re more than happy to give it to him.
One of the best things about being at It’s Nice That is the incredible multitude of brilliant, hilarious, weird and insanely talented people we get to talk to on a weekly basis, whether we’re dragging them around the corner from our studio for lunch in Euro Cafe, trying to squeeze as many questions as physically possible into a 20 minute Skype call or emailing back and forth for weeks at a time. The end of the year is a time for looking back, or so I’m told, so here’s my selection of the very best interviews from the site this year across photography, art direction, game design and illustration. feet up and off you
Hello and welcome to the top 50 articles that have been most viewed on It’s Nice That this year. As always, it’s a pretty unexpected mishmash of really great work, viral gems and utterly weird nonsense. Congrats to everyone featured, there are a lot of people out there who have clicked on your project an awful lot of times. Alright, on yer marks, starting from number 50, here we go…
New year, new projects from the irrepressible Pentagram, this time in the form of some striking 3D work for the recently renovated and reopened Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and Eddie Opara have announced their graphic identity for the newly-expanded space, developing a physical word mark that works hard with the limitations of the listed building that houses the collection.
Most impressive is the signage that now fronts the museum – a pair of three-dimensional type treatments that hover in space as if on a screen, weaving between the railings of the museum’s fence – sculptural wayfinding devices designed to engage with pedestrians on 90th Street and Fifth Avenue. Inside the supergraphics continue, with colourful directories, 3D signage and large-scale icons to direct the public through the space.
All of these elements are brought together with the use of a single custom-designed typeface, Cooper Hewitt, made by Pentagram in collaboration with Village. As well as appearing on all branded materials the new font is available to the public for free as an incentive for users to create their own designs with it – a nice touch for such a public-facing space.