The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Midweek Miscellany


Eye, Eye! — The Creative Review looks at the vibrant work of printing studio/small press Nobrow.

It’s an Anagram! — Indigo’s e-book initiative Shortcovers has become ‘Kobo’. Much fuss has been made about the name (and the slightly iffy redesign), but what’s more interesting is that Kobo is being spun-off from its parent company in an attempt to expand its global reach… The intrepid Mark Bertils and PW have more on the international angle; Wired think Amazon should be worried; and The National Post have a good Q&A with Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis…

Collector’s Items — Vote for your favourite Nabokov cover from John Gall‘s set of individually commissioned redesigns for Vintage.

The Decade of Dirty DesignSteven Heller, author of Handwritten and New Vintage Type (to name just a couple) on the “anti-digital” Oughts (via Charles Brock):

With the increase of the D.I.Y. sensibility, with renewed emphasis on “making things from scratch,” designers were feeling a need to make physical (not virtual) contact with their materials and outcomes…

[Perhaps less “anti-digital” than “post-digital“? Any thoughts designers?]

And finally…


The Hitchcock Collection — a self-initiated project by London-based graphic designer Ryan Tym (via FormFiftyFive):

After recently purchasing a badly designed Alfred Hitchcock
DVD box set, I set to work on creating my own collection of
original covers. Each design features an iconic image related
to the film it represents and includes a bold typographic

I would love to see Ryan design some book covers… Wouldn’t you?

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  1. Those Hitchcocks DVDs are awesome – I like how he’s referenced the Saul Bass opening titles but in a more up-to-date way without pastiche. Book covers ahoy!

  2. Thanks for the kind words guys! I’ll let you know if and when I hit the book covers!

  3. Hey Ryan thanks for your comment – your work looks great. Really. I’m glad that I stumbled across it. Please do let me know if/when you hit the book covers (my email is on the contact page)!

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