The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend

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More Than Words — Yves Peters takes a typographical look at the winners of British Book Design and Production Awards 2010 for FontFeed. The winners all look wonderful, but, as Peters notes, it is a shame that only the publishers are credited, not the designers of the books.

An Archaeology of Business Cards — Penguin book designer Coralie Bickford-Smith discusses her workspace and her work with From the Desk Of…:

Right now I’m in the middle of designing a 20-book series, as well as sundry standalone titles, and my desk is usually a mess of ideas and scribbles on innumerable scraps of paper. There’s a whole archaeology of business cards, post-it notes and other treasures under there. I like to be surrounded by the current proofs to make sure the designs are working and that any tweaks are made in time for the final print. I like my desk – it’s my own tiny world in a big office.

My Q & A with Coralie is here.

Reading the ProcessThe New Yorker’s Book Bench interviews book designer Rodrigo Corral:

Reading is always part of the process when we’re working on a book jacket or cover for fiction. I read, I take notes, I take breaks. I’ll stop on the title, re-read it, and think about how it plays into the book and its overall message and intent. It’s rare to be able to illustrate the tone of the entire story by only depicting one moment from the book, so I prefer using a new image or design that I feel represents the story accurately.

The Rejection of Literalism — Steven Heller talks about his biography of designer Alvin Lustig Born Modern* with Imprint:

I did not get the impression that Lustig went into the book jacket biz with a literary bent. He did, however, have the temerity to try just about anything. And since, as a kid, he was interested in designing his way, he just, well, designed his way. So, I guess “confidence” is the right word. It was ballsiness. He had a vision—wherever it came from—and he pursued it. He was largely self-taught.
And, also via Imprint

Design Dossier: Graphic Design for Kids by Pamela Pease published by Paintbox Press, seen at The Daily Heller.

12 Reasons to be Excited About Publishing’s Future — Following up an earlier post about the love of books, Digital Book World‘s Guy LeCharles Gonzalez asks book industry folks why they’re excited about publishing.

And finally…

Help Me Destroy Public Radio” — Alec Baldwin channels Jack Donaghy for his “Do Not Pledge To Public Radio” pledge drive promo for NPR.

* Born Modern is published by Chronicle Books, who are distributed in Canada by my employer Raincoast Books.

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One Comment

  1. I wonder where The New Yorker came up with the concept for their new column, Under Cover…hmm.

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