The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Midweek Miscellany, July 29th, 2009


Geometric books covers at Design Daily.

The Debate That Will Not Die — Mike Shatkin weighs in on DRM and tries to find that elusive middle-ground. The discussion continues into the comments (of course)…

Unputdownable — A nice ad campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi for Penguin Books in Malaysia (via The 26th Story).

Great Ideas — The Caustic Cover Critic looks at the covers for all 20 of the new additions to Penguin’s Great Ideas series. Some fantastic typographic stuff here as you might imagine, although — to be honest — I think there are one or two weaker entries in this round and the purple motif works better for some books than others…

A New Page — (Much linked to elsewhere, but in case you missed it) Nicholson Baker’s meticulous vivisection (or “epic takedown” if you prefer) of the Kindle in The New Yorker:

The problem was not that the screen was in black-and-white; if it had really been black-and-white, that would have been fine. The problem was that the screen was gray. And it wasn’t just gray; it was a greenish, sickly gray. A postmortem gray. The resizable typeface, Monotype Caecilia, appeared as a darker gray. Dark gray on paler greenish gray was the palette of the Amazon Kindle.

This was what they were calling e-paper?

And if you can’t get enough of that Kindlenfreude feeling…

David L. Ulin, book editor  The LA Times, weighs in on Amazon’s troubling reach.

Niches — Richard Nash, formerly of Soft Skull Press, talks about his new community-based venture, tentatively called ‘Cursor’, in Publishers Weekly.

And finally…

A Journey Round My Skull has a nice post of vintage Swedish books covers from collected from the excellent  Martin Klasch. I particularly like this vampiric cover for Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep by Martin Gavler from 1963 (above).

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