The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

10+ Flickr Groups for Book Design and Inspiration


10 Websites for Vintage Books, Covers and Inspiration” is one of the most popular posts on The Casual Optimist, and here, at long last, is the promised follow-up: “10 Flickr Groups for Book Design and Inspiration.”

There are a lot of amazing photostreams with book sets — Covers etc, insect54, Kyle Katz, mjkghk, Montague, Paula Wirth, and Scott Lindberg to name just a few that I’ve come across — but I’ve decided to focus this post on my favourite group pools because they collate the best of these individual streams together.

I’ve also decided to highlight groups that are about specific subjects, genres, publishers, or designers, because I think these are more useful than the more general (but still interesting) book pools such as A+ Book Covers, Book Cover Club, and My Books

ABC Verlag Graphic Design books

1. ABC Verlag, Zurich — A collection of scans and images from Zurich-based ABC Verlag who specialized in graphic design and fine art books between 1962 to 1989.


2. Antique Books — images of books, covers and illustrations that are a hundred years old or more.

Design and Paper: Number 13: Spread

3. Designers’ Books — “what’s on the shelves of designers and other smart creatives.” Not to be confused with the also excellent pool or Book Design pool.

Literature in America

4. Alvin & Elaine Lustig Design — celebrates the work of Alvin and Elaine Lustig, both renowned for their incredible book cover designs.

They Shoot Horses Don't They

5. The Penguin Paperback Spotters’ Guild — An astonishing collection of vintage Penguins, Pelicans, Peregrines, and Puffins. Also of interest: The Great Pan! Illustrated Pan Book Covers and Vintage Fontana Books.

Playback by Raymond Chandler Cover art by William Rose

6. Pulp Fiction — As you would expect: detective novels, crime fiction, adventure comics, trashy romance, weird science, blaxploitation and more. See also: The Old-Timey Paperback Book Covers and The Crime & Mystery Book Covers.

Thoughts on Design by Paul Rand

7. The Paul Rand Modern Graphic Design Fan Club — Like the Lustig Design group, this is not just a book pool, but it does, however, include many of Paul Rand’s iconic book designs, making it essential to this list in my opinion.

I Know an Old Lady, by Rose Bonne. Pictures by Abner Graboff.
8. The Retro Kid A collection of cool illustrated children’s books from the mid-1940’s through the mid-1960’s, curated by The Ward-O-Matic illustrator Ward Jenkins.

metropolis thea v marbou

9. The SciFi Books Pool Vintage science fiction covers from the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s.


10. Vintage Paperbacks — The place for amazing paperbacks that aren’t Penguins. Curated by graphic designer and art director Gregory Boerum, the focus is on quality stuff with design interest from the 1960’s and 70’s.

So there we have it: 10 of my favourites. What are yours?

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  1. Thanks for the treasure trove!

  2. Excellent list!

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  7. These are awesome, especially the retro kid section. I love designing children’s books.

  8. Fantastic list – Thank you!

  9. Great images. Thank you for your exellent taste.

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