The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 24, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Q & A with James Paul Jones, Oneworld

The work of Welsh designer James Paul Jones for has featured regularly here in the past few years. A versatile cover designer and one of the co-founders of Vintage UK’s design blog CMYK, James was recognised as a ‘Rising Star‘ by … Continue reading

July 25, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Jennifer Heuer on Gendered Covers and Being a Woman Designer

At The Literary Hub, the talented Jennifer Heuer on gendered book covers and being a woman designer: I love what I do and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of amazing art directors on a lot of great projects. I’m … Continue reading

April 30, 2016
by Dan
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Jason Booher Interviewed at The Perch

Jason Booher, designer and art director of Blue Rider Press and Plume, talks to Penguin Random House blog The Perch about the book cover design process: A design can be thought of as a set of constraints or parameters. In … Continue reading

March 8, 2016
by Dan
22 Comments

52 Women Book Cover Designers

If you follow the Casual Optimist on Twitter, you will know that a couple of weeks ago design studio Aishima asked people to tweet about inspiring women graphic designers using the hashtag #celebratewomen. As today is International Women’s Day, I thought … Continue reading

February 19, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Matt Dorfman American Illustration Interview

Robert Newman interviews mighty Matt Dorfman, illustrator, book cover designer and art director for The New York Times Book Review, for American Illustration: I’m a big disciple of using abstraction to highlight emotional conditions. To that end, I love the kitchen sink … Continue reading

August 18, 2015
by Dan
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Dan Stiles Covers for Undermajordomo Minor

Next month sees the publication of Undermajordomo Minor, the new novel by award-winning Canadian author Patrick deWitt. An “ink-black comedy of manners”, it apparently involves an Alpine castle, a mysterious Baron Von Aux, and a lot of bad behaviour — including, if the Quill and … Continue reading

August 12, 2015
by Dan
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Françoise Mouly: No House Style

It’s Nice That has a great interview with the remarkable Françoise Mouly, co-founder of comics anthology Raw, editorial director of TOON Books, and, of course, art editor at The New Yorker: “One of the things we had at Raw which I … Continue reading

April 16, 2015
by Dan
0 comments

Françoise Mouly on Voice

Grace Bello interviews the always interesting Françoise Mouly, art director of The New Yorker and founder of Toon Books, for Guernica: I know what I respond to is a voice. A voice is not just a stylistic thing, but it … Continue reading

March 14, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Creating The Grand Budapest Hotel

Just to quickly follow up my post about Wes Anderson and The Grand Budapest Hotel earlier this week, there is an interesting interview with art director Adam Stockhausen about working with on the film at The Dissolve: [The references] come from all … Continue reading

November 22, 2013
by Dan
0 comments

Françoise Mouly: “Can I just show you, and not have to tell?”

At the L.A. Review of Books Sarah Boxer interviews Françoise Mouly, art editor of The New Yorker and the editorial director of Toon Books: At RAW, I felt I was the advocate for white space. There’s a certain kind of comic esthetic that is … Continue reading

July 5, 2010
by Dan
4 Comments

Jason, The Dharma Bums

As you may have noticed, I’m on something of Jason kick right now. I’m also preparing to interview Paul Buckley, Creative Director at Penguin US, about his new book Penguin 75, so I thought I would take the opportunity to … Continue reading

December 1, 2009
by Dan
8 Comments

Q & A with Jacob Covey, Art Director Fantagraphics Books

I get excited just about every time I post an interview on The Casual Optimist (I am officially a cheap date), but it is a special thrill to post a Q & A with Jacob Covey, designer and Art Director … Continue reading

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