The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Book Covers of Note July 2016


I swear that these posts are taking me longer and longer to compile, but rest assured there are some wonderful covers this month:

All the Time in the World design Lucy Kim
All the Time in the World by Caroline Angell; design by Lucy Kim (Henry Holt / July 2016)

American Girls design Philip Pascuzzo
American Girls by Alison Umminger; design by Philip Pascuzzo (Flat Iron / June 2016)

Beast design Mark Ecob
Beast by Paul Kingsnorth; design Mark Ecob; illustration Alan Rogerson (Faber & Faber / July 2016)

Boy Erased design Rachel Willey
Boy Erased by Garrard Conley; design Rachel Willey (Riverhead / May 2016)

cops eyes design Peter Mendelsund
A Cop’s Eyes by Gaku Yakumaru; design by Peter Mendelsund (Vertical / May 2016)

ContestedTastes design Jason Alejandro
Contested by Michaela Desoucey; design Jason Alejandro (Princeton University Press / July 2016)

Corbyn by Richard Seymour; design by Dan Mogford (Verso / July 2016)

Creativity design Amanda Weiss
Creativity Class by Lily Chumley; design by Amanda Weiss (Princeton University Press / July 2016)

Dialogue design Catherine Casalino
Dialogue by Robert McKee; design by Catherine Casalino (Twelve Books / July 2016)

Fates and Furies design Melissa Four
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff; design by Melissa Four (Windmill Books / July 2016)

It’s interesting to compare/contrast this new cover for the UK paperback with the covers of the UK hardcover, designed by Suzanne Dean, and the US hardcover, designed by Rodrigo Corral and Adalis Martinez:

Food and Wine of France design Samantha Russo photograph Oddur Thorisson
The Food & Wine of France by Edward Behr; design by Samantha Russo; photograph Oddur Thorisson (Penguin / July 2016)

grace design elena giavaldi
Grace by Natashia Deón; design by Elena Giavaldi (Counterpoint / June 2016)

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone; design by Chelsea McGuckin; art by David Wu (Atria Books / July 2016)

Hot Little Hands design Ben Wiseman
Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman; art direction by Greg Mollica; design by Ben Wiseman; photograph by RJ Shaughnessy (Spiegel & Grau / May 2016)

It’s also interesting to see US hardcover next to the purely typographic cover from Australia designed by Laura Thomas, and the racier, retro Penguin UK cover designed by Richard Bravery:

How to Start a Fire design Kelly Blair
How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball; design by Kelly Blair (Pantheon / July 2016)

This struck me as something as quite a bold change of direction for the covers of Jesse Ball’s novels, which have often been quite minimal and typographic. It feel quite different to the recent paperback edition of A Cure for Suicide by Jesse Ball, designed by Helen Yentus and Jason Booher (Vintage / June 2016), for example:


In the Flow design Verso
In the Flow by Boris Groys; design by Everything Studio (Verso / March 2016)

InvincibleSummer design Lauren Harms
Invincible Summer by Alice Adams; design by Lauren Harms (Little, Brown & Co. / June 2016)

The UK cover of Invincible Summer, designed by Justine Anweiler, was included in last month’s post.

Listen to Me design Catherine Casalino
Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard; design by Catherine Casalino (HMH / July 2016)

Multiple Choice design by Nayon Cho
Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra; design by Nayon Cho (Penguin / July 2016)

Smoke by Dan Vyleta; design by Mark Swan (Weidenfeld & Nicolson / July 2016)

storm of steel design Neil Gower
Storm and Steel by Ernst Jünger; design by Neil Gower (Penguin / May 2016)

street furniture design Daniel Gray
Street Furniture Design by Eleanor Herring; design by Daniel Benneworth-Gray (Bloomsbury / July 2016)

SuninYourEyes design mumtaz mustafa
The Sun in Your Eyes by Deborah Shapiro; design by Mumtaz Mustafa (HarperCollins / July 2016)

This Savage Song design Jenna Stempel
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab; design Jenna Stempel (GreenWillow / July 2016)

Undying design Rafi Romaya Yehrin Tong
Undying by Michel Faber; design by Rafi Romaya; art by Yehrin Tong (Canongate / July 2016)

The paperback of Michel Faber’s Some Rain Must Fall is out this month too. The cover is another Rafi Romaya / Yehrin Tong collaboration: 

some rain design by Rafi Romaya Yehrin Tong

vinegar girl design by Kris Potter
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler; design by Kris Potter (Hogarth / June 2016)

As I noted on Twitter earlier this week, this combination of type and overlapping floral image — lovely as it is — is becoming a bit of a thing…

If anyone has a good name (and/or pithy description) for this trend let me know. In the meantime, designer Dan Blackman pointed me to his beautiful poster designs for DelVal College from 2011, which are early examples of this idea…

What Language Do I Dream In design Gray318
What Language Do I Dream In by Elena Lappin; design by Gray318 (Virago / June 2016)

Who Will Catch Us design James Paul Jones
Who Will Catch Us As We Fall by Iman Verjee; design by James Paul Jones (Oneworld / July 2016)

Windows into the Soul design Isaac Tobin
Windows into the Soul by Gary T. Marx; design by Isaac Tobin (University of Chicago Press / July 2016)

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