The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend


It’s been a slightly shite week in the book trade this week.

Amidst the plethora of end of year/decade “Best of…” lists and gift guides, it was announced that Kirkus and Editor & Publisher Magazine are going to close (are we surprised? No); B&N’s Nook e-reader turned out to be not be quite as good as it was cracked up to be (are we surprised? No); and Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins upset the usual suspects (for all the usual reasons — only Moby Lives seemed to get that it might be about something else) by announcing their decision to hold back the release of a few e-book editions (are we surprised? No)… Is any of this particularly interesting? No. (Although — for the record — I am grateful to the WSJ‘s Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg  for reporting on the e-book developments, and to indefatigable Largehearted Boy for compiling a comprehensive list of Best of… lists)…

So needless to say, there isn’t much about the book industy in today’s links. Ah well…

Another addition to the weirdly brilliant (or brilliantly weird?) vintage book/pop culture mash-up phenomenon:  Web Services Book Covers by French illustrator Stéphane Massa-Bidal AKA Hulk4598, or Rétrofuturs. They’re sort of like Olly Moss meets Cristiana Couceiro. (First seen at Design You Trust and then just about everywhere else this morning).

The Sixties — Another fantastic new cover by Henry Sene Yee for Picador’s BIG IDEAS // small books series.

Type for the Tube — an interesting history of Edward Johnston’s typeface for the London Underground from its design to current usage.

And finally…

F is For Fail — A really charming “alphabetical odysessy through the creative process” by Brent Barson (via the lovely Aqua-Velvet):

Can I go home yet?

(Have a great weekend!)

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  1. Great newsy linkpile as always, Dan. And good to see these posters of Rétrofuturs getting the attention… humorous and necessary, I mean someone had to do it, might as well be someone with talent. :~)

    Thanks for the linkola on Brent Barson’s great film work! Okay, now off to follow the other links… have a terrific weekend!

  2. Good round-up.

    Although the graphic collages are quite neat, the Web Services Book Covers cause my eye to twitch; seeing the Marber grid abused like that makes me sad.

  3. Thanks Amy + Tim.

    Tim: Sorry about that twitch! I think these are some of the better abuses of the Marber grid I’ve seen recently, but still, I know what you mean… AND I owe you an email… I’ll try and get on that ASAP. :-)

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