The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Midweek Miscellany


EndGrain — A “directory and aggregator for wood type and letterpress works and information on the web.” Lovely.

Crash — Iain Sinclair (author, most recently, of Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire — just out in paperback by the way) on JG Ballard’s artistic legacy:

A late moralist, he practised undeceived reportage, not prophecy: closer to Orwell than HG Wells. Closer to Orson Welles than to either. Closer to Hitchcock. Take out the moving ­figures on staircases that go nowhere and stick with hollow architecture that co-authors subversive drama

Picture Book Report — 15 artists create illustrations inspired by their favourite books. Pictured below: Kali Ciesemier‘s take on Sabriel by Garth Nix. I’m also looking forward to Robot Johnny‘s take on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (via The Art Department).

Indigo 2.0Canadian Business magazine on Indigo and their digital book division Kobo:

“Kobo has been across the smartphone space from the beginning,” says Lisa Charters, senior vice-president and director of digital for Random House Canada. “And that unique offering is really important to us as publishers, because we want consumers to have all options to read e-books, and not necessarily have to purchase a $300 device.”

What’s more, says New York publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin, “they beat Google into the cloud.” Kobo’s library system is based in cloud computing. When you buy a Kobo book, it resides on Kobo’s servers and you access it via your device of choice. So when you squeeze in 20 pages of The Lost Symbol on your laptop in the morning, and later that day open the Kobo application on your BlackBerry, Kobo automatically plops you down on page 21.

Interesting stuff, although I do wish journalists could stay away from the Gutenberg clichés (and Dan Brown. Barf).

And finally…

Reserve Window Design — “We hired our good friend John Downer, who is a professional sign painter & typographer, to fly to LA to do gold leaf lettering on our store window & transom. Glass gilding is becoming a lost art that only a few dozen people in the United States still know how perform” (via We Love Typography):

Similar Posts:


  1. Hey it´s me, Jorge Plata again =)

    i just wanted to say i link alot of your stuff here and have a blog of my writings and books here

    I´m glad the blog still continues, hooray!

  2. Man, I love your blog.

  3. Hey, thanks Jorge + Hugh. Appreciate it. :-)

  4. Pingback: John Downer Glass Gilding Video | The Casual Optimist

Leave a Reply