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Features / It's Nice That

It’s Nice That is Ten: highlights from the last decade

It’s Nice That launched on 3 April 2007. It was conceived as an unassuming answer to a university brief to “put something in the public domain to make people feel better about themselves.”

Ten years later, It’s Nice That has grown into something beyond our wildest ambitions. It remains true to our original passion and purpose – to champion creativity.

It’s Nice That was created when Alex and I were students at the University of Brighton with a passion to share some of the amazing work happening in the creative world with anyone who was interested.

We’re proud to say that over 16 million people have visited It’s Nice That in the last decade. A big thank you for reading It’s Nice That in that time, whether you’ve been with us from the start or today’s the first day you found us. Also, this is an opportunity to thank everyone who works, and has worked with us, offered us advice and help, attended our events and bought our magazines – we are continually inspired by you and hope to provide bigger, better, nicer things in the future.

By way of celebration Alex and I have compiled a list of ten personal highlights from along the way.

Here’s to the next ten years!

1. The amazing people we’ve met along the way

Our first ten years have been defined by something we hope will continue beyond the next ten years – meeting amazing creatives every single day and publishing their great works and ideas. One of the biggest joys of doing what we do is that it has given us the chance to meet our creative heroes as well new and emerging talent.

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2. Enabling creativity to thrive

Whether its hearing about our annual graduates class get their first jobs; our staff leaving for new, exciting opportunities; commissioning talented people to collaborate on features and partnerships, or learning about someone getting that dream commission after we have written about them – enabling creativity to thrive is what gives us the most pleasure. If you have a story of something exciting happening from being on It’s Nice That, we’re always keen to hear.

3. Seeing where the Nice Face has turned up

Back in 2009 we commissioned Print Liberation to design a T-shirt for us. The result was the ‘Nice Face’ we’ve now become synonymous with. It’s been used across t-shirts, bags, social media avatars and even turned up on a number of Australian walls – big thanks to Nick and Jamie. You can learn about how they developed it here

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4. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared Printed Pages Cover

Cover images had never come that naturally to us and always tended to be a last minute decision. This all changed last year when Neil Bedford shot the stars of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared. Yellow Guy, Red Guy and Duck appeared on three covers that showed off their personality and captured them in a manner befitting their global infamy. The SS16 issue of Printed Pages sold out in record time and the interview is currently the most read article ever on It’s Nice That.

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5. Working with talent from the outset of their careers

We’ve always been proud of the people we work with on the It’s Nice That team and dedicate themselves to championing creativity. However, it’s most special when the people who take a punt on us as interns end up being permanent members of the team. A big shout out to everyone who made that leap over the years, and those who still work with us every day – Bryony, Jamie, Liv, James, Maisie, Beccy, Lucy, Charlie, Connor, Callum and Ali.

6. Sir Paul Smith

One person in particular we’ve enjoyed meeting more than any is Paul. A constant inspiration and long-time supporter of It’s Nice That from the moment we first started chatting at the Design Museum over a copy of our first magazine. His wisdom, wit and excellent Christmas lunches have been a huge influence on us all. Paul has supported the magazine for seven years and provided the much loved back page advert for each issue.

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7. Designs of the Year Nomination

In 2012 we were nominated for Designs of the Year at the Design Museum. It arrived totally out of the blue and when the team was still very small. It made us feel pretty special and gave us confidence to work even harder with what we were doing. Thanks to Simon for the nomination!

8. Selfridges Windows

One of the biggest honours in the creative world is to be asked to design the windows at Selfridges department store in London. We happily obliged in 2012 with our 14 foot-high, hand-built wooden rollercoaster (constructed by model makers Atom) surrounded by a sea of 30,000 brightly coloured balls filled with 30,000 unique fortunes that could be picked up in store for free, as well as three windows for the Words, Words, Words campaign.

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9. Apple Ads

We always treasure moments when It’s Nice That bursts out of our own four walls to a mass audience. One especially nice occasion was seeing our site included in the Apple Keynote in 2013 in front of millions. We have also been (briefly) featured in advertising campaigns for the tech giant and the informative ‘how to use your trackpad’ tutorial in the System Preferences. It may only be fleeting, but it also means a lot.

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10. Lecture in Progress Launch

Our final highlight looks forward to the near future. The team that work on the day-to-day of It’s Nice That has allowed us the time and energy to focus on launching Lecture in Progress , an online resource inspiring and informing the next generation of creatives. Watch this space…