The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend, August 28th, 2009


Now, About That Cover — Ted Striphas, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, discusses the cover of his new book The Late Age of Print, which uses a dramatic photograph by artist Cara Barer:

The Late Age of Print is a book about the past, present, and future of book publishing, and so I knew early on that I wanted some type of cover image that would represent the themes of permanence and change.  Much later, as I looked at the books about books appearing on my bookshelf at home, I decided that I wanted a more abstract type of design, since many titles in my opinion overly-literalized their subject matter.

Another other Cara Barer’s images can also be seen on the cover Michael Greenberg’s  Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer’s Life released in September.

You can download a PDF of Striphas’ book under a Creative Commons license from his site, cunningly called The Late Age of Print.

Why Are Artists Poor? — Author and professional  contrarian Andrew Keen (The Cult of the Amateur),  looks at how the creative class make a living in the “new digital economy” for The Telegraph.

Keen is as provocative as ever, but his conclusions — that self-promotion is a requirement for all artists and that being paid for content can be replaced by getting paid to perform in person — are a little underwhelming.  Ernesto Priego offers more thoughts on Keen’s article in his blog post “Portrait of the Artist as a Digital Native”.

And finally…

Having mentioned the  Richie Fahey illustrations that adorn the covers of  Megan Abbott‘s crime novels earlier this week, it would be remiss of me not mention the remarkable R.A. Maguire Cover Art site, which includes an amazing collection of the artist’s book covers, paintings, and source photos from the 1950’s and 60’s:

(And if you can’t get enough of pulp covers and vintage paperbacks, you probably should check out the slightly potty-mouthed Pop Sensation.)

Self promotion and making money in the new digital economy

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  1. I LOVE that cover… The Late Age of Print. It needs to be framed.

  2. Thanks for the link to Cara Barer. Beyond gorgeous portfolio. Featured on a Sunday Salon post and linked back to you.

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