The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

June 22, 2016
by Dan
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50 Books / 50 Covers Winners 2015

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s 50 Books | 50 Covers competition organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA. All fifty winning books can be found here; the winning covers here.

July 15, 2015
by Dan
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50 Books / 50 Covers Kickstarter

I should have mentioned in my 50 / 50 post yesterday, that Design Observer has launched a Kickstarter campaign to create catalogue of this year’s winners: As others have noted, it is a little odd that the project is being announced … Continue reading

July 14, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

50 Books / 50 Covers 2014 Winners

Design Observer has announced the winners of their 2014 50 Books | 50 Covers competition, organized in association with AIGA and Designers & Books. The fifty winning covers can be seen here… …and the fifty winning books, here. My 2014 cover selections are here.

January 12, 2015
by Dan
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2015 Design Awards

Happy New Year! Now that all the amateur ‘best of 2014’ lists are out of the way, it’s time for the professionals submit their covers to the actual design competitions. Last week 50 Books / 50 Covers opened for entries. Meanwhile the … Continue reading

September 19, 2014
by Dan
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50 Books / 50 Covers 2013 Winners

If you’re an American book designer you probably know already that the winners of the 2013 Fifty Books / Fifty Covers show were announced yesterday. Organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books,  50/50, which recognizes the best work in … Continue reading

December 20, 2013
by Dan
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ABCD and 50/50 Design Contests 2013

Design Observer has announced that they are now accepting entries for this year’s 50 Books/50 Covers competition. The submission deadline is February 20th 2014. Design Observer, in partnership with AIGA and Designers & Books, began hosting the competition in 2011, and … Continue reading

August 3, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Somehow I missed that the second volume of Baltimore came out in June. It will soon be on the ‘to read’ pile along with the new Darwyn Cooke ‘Parker’ book The Score. And just so you have ample advance warning: The … Continue reading

April 27, 2011
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Designer Catherine Casalino discusses her cover design for Darren Shan’s Procession of the Dead at Faceout Books. 50 / 50 — An interesting Design Observer piece by Ernest Beck on the controversy around AIGA’s 50 Books/50 Covers and the changing … Continue reading

April 8, 2011
by Dan
2 Comments

Something for the Weekend

FF Spinoza — A nice looking new type family designed by New York-based art director Max Phillips: With the goal of readability in mind, Phillips named the typeface after 17th century rationalist and lens-grinder Baruch Spinoza, a man whose job … Continue reading

March 30, 2011
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

L’Exception Française —  The Guardian on an exhibition in Paris celebrating the centenary of French publisher Gallimard: Gaston [Gallimard] himself always protested that he had never had any ambition or even vocation to be a publisher. And when in 1910 … Continue reading

March 7, 2011
by Dan
2 Comments

50/50 Reinstated

Richard Grefé, executive director of AIGA, has announced that the 50 Books/50 Covers competition will continue: In seeking to balance AIGA’s celebration of design in all its dimensions, we recently merged the historic AIGA competition for books and covers… into … Continue reading

March 3, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Save 50/50 Petition

Book designers Christopher Sergio and Catherine Casalino have created an website and online petition asking AIGA to reconsider its recent decision to end its annual design competition  50 Books / 50 Covers: This year—after nine-decades—AIGA has decided to quietly discontinue … Continue reading

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