London is arguably one of the world’s most creatively exciting cities, and we’re proud to call it home.
There are thousands of creative practitioners living and working within the capital and we wanted to share some of our favourites here on the ICON Printing blog. Of course, with so much going on, picking just six was not easy. But we gave it our best shot, and have put together a tip of the iceberg glimpse at the creative scene in London.
Alakazam is a creative clothing label co-founded by artists Ayako Terashima and Will Sweeney. Browsing through their range of products — which includes comics and screen prints in addition to t shirts — is like stepping through a portal into another dimension, where sentient hot dogs and mechanical men live together in glorious technicolour. They’ve previously worked with a whole host of excellent illustrators including James Jarvis, Matt Furie and Susumu Mukai, as well as established brands such as Stüssy.
2. This Is It Collective
We came across this East London-based collective by way of Becky & Joe, the brains behind the brilliant series of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared shorts (above). We printed some t shirts for the directorial duo, which were given away to those who pledged money towards their recent Kickstarter campaign. We soon found out they’re part of This Is It — a creative clique of illustrators and animators who work together and individually on an array of amazing moving image projects. We’re particularly fond of member Nicos Livesey’s stop motion music video for Throne’s Tharsis Sleeps, which uses thousands of individual embroidered patches as frames.
3. Human After All
In 2013, the founders of The Church of London (who publish two of Team ICON’s favourite periodicals — Huck and Little White Lies) set up a new creative company called Human After All. Through this venture, they’ve been able to successfully parlay their passion for publishing and penchant for clever design into creating branding-based projects for a multitude of clients. The proof is in their portfolio, which is brimming with campaigns and publications produced for the likes of adidas, Facebook and YouTube. We love their BAFTA 2014 Film Awards campaign, which features incredible interpretations of some of the year’s biggest films (American Hustle is pictured above) by London-based illustrators La Boca.
4. Edward Carvalho Monaghan
Edward Carvalho Monaghan is one of our fair city’s finest emerging illustrators. Since graduating from the Graphic Design course at Central Saint Martins last year, he’s seen his unique brand of far out imagery (inspired, appropriately, by psychedelic music and the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky) commissioned by such clients as Mr Jones Watches, Secret 7”and The Observer. Pictured above is a piece Edward created for Adobe, based around the idea of taking an extreme selfie.
If you’re a fan of comic books but crave an alternative to the spandex-heavy superhero stories of the mainstream, then look no further than Nobrow. From their headquarters in Shoreditch (and their recently opened New York office) they publish an astounding assortment of magazines, children’s books and comics, all featuring the work of some of the world’s brightest and best illustrators. There’s something for everyone in their diverse back catalogue, but we’re into Jessie Moynihan’s Forming books (the second volume is pictured above) in a big, big way.
6. Code and Theory
Welcome to the neighbourhood, Code and Theory! After experiencing huge success in New York, San Francisco and Manila, the people behind the digital design practice have decided to expand their empire even further and set up shop in London. Over the years, they’ve not only assembled an impressive roster of clients (the list includes Burger King, Calvin Klein and Vogue to name but a few) but also bagged several awards for their web-based work. We’re expecting great things to come out of their new base of operations near London Fields over the coming months.
At ICON Printing, we like to showcase what’s going on within the world of design (both in London and beyond) and share our findings on our blog. Be sure to check back for more soon!