The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend, March 27th 2009


Alternative MangaEric Skillman on designing a template for Top Shelf’s AX: Alternative Manga series at his blog Cozy Lummox.

FiledBy — a social network for authors and their readers, co-founded by Peter Clifton and Mike Shatzkin.

Extended Grey Skies — Henry Sene Yee on designing the cover of David Cullen’s  Columbine:

In the end, I didn’t want to say anything or felt the need to frame the book in any Point-of-View. What really needs to be said? The Publisher had already set the tone for me. As far as the cover copy, there was no author’s name, no descriptive subtitle, no high school, just the word COLUMBINE on the front cover. That said it all.

Router — Jeremy Mickel on the year-and-a-half process of designing his first typeface at I Love Typography:

Several designers have told me how important it is to have a specific use and point size in mind. The idea is that if you try and design a font that’s good for everything, it might not be REALLY good at anything. But if the font works really well for one specific use, then it can probably work well for lots of others.

In search of Chandler — Editorial Assistant Anna Kelly recounts her search for the original jackets of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, The Little Sister, The Lady in the Lake, and The Long Good-bye for Hamish Hamilton’s new reissued editions. Chandler died 50 years ago this week.

And finally, I’ve mentioned Tom Gauld’s Flickr page previously but,  honestly, it’s so good who cares? Tom’s just uploaded some of his sketchbooks and needless to say they’re genius. You can see Tom’s books at Cabanon Press.

Similar Posts:


  1. I joined Filedby yesterday. Five minutes after setting up my account I received spam (to an address that never gets spam) from a book PR firm soliciting my business.

  2. Hey Shaun. Thanks for your comment on FiledByAuthor.

    I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience with it — Since posting the link I’ve heard some other murmurs of author discontent and there was an interesting critique at the LA Times Jacket Copy blog.

    It’s early days though, maybe they will work through some of these issues? One can only hope…

Leave a Reply