"nice", co-authored by Lucienne Roberts and Lavinia Lascaris, documents the research, concept development, curation, and final outcome of its namesake exhibition which was presented by the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California from June through September, 2018.
For the exhibition, Roberts used a poster with the following provocation: "Slogans in nice typefaces won't save the human races." The poster appeared on UK city streets in late 2017 via flyingleaps, an artists' street project founded by Adrian Burnham, whose particular interest is visual activism in urban environments. It was created by British artist and graphic designer Tim Fishlock, working under his alter ego Oddly Head. The bold graphic slogan was a response to what he calls 'an epoch of demagoguery and debacle' and was popular across social media. Relevant to the UK and USA, if not the whole world, the message of this poster is apocalyptic—the human race needs to be rescued. Furthermore, it warns of the dangers when meaning and aesthetics become disassociated and designers design primarily for themselves.
The exhibition was the outcome of deconstructing the poster and identifying the power of slogans, the definition of a "nice typeface," the influence of texts in relationship to typography, and the threats from which the human race needs to be saved. In essence, "nice" is an exploration of the ways that slogans (or texts) in nice typefaces might save the human races after all.