The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

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

February 5, 2014
by Dan
1 Comment

The 10 Best Spanish Book Covers 2013

Ferran López and friends asked journalists, publishers and other designers for their favourite book covers of 2013. You can see the full list on Ferran’s Tumblr. (Pictured top: Design: Odisea; design by Manuel Estrada)

January 6, 2014
by Dan
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Favourite Covers of 2013: A Postscript

I didn’t exactly know what to call this post, but ‘postscript’ seems appropriate. Every time I post my annual list of favourite covers I immediately see (or remember) a dozen designs that would have been on the list (or would’ve been … Continue reading

January 2, 2014
by Dan
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Spanish Book Covers of 2013

One of the enduring shortcomings of my end of year covers list is its failure to represent designers from the non-English-speaking world. Having interviewed Spanish designer Ferran López Creative Director for Editorial Planeta (and previously a designer at Random House Mondadori) a … 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

December 13, 2013
by Dan
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Nicholas Blechman’s Best Book Covers of 2013

The great book designer George Salter once said that a good jacket “must be in perfect accord with the literary quality of the book. It must be even more if it is to function as an important sales factor, if … Continue reading

December 10, 2013
by Dan
33 Comments

50 Covers for 2013

I decided to go in a slightly different direction with my covers list this year (see my lists for 2012, 2011, and 2010). It’s just a straight up list of the fifty covers designs with a few annotations and links … Continue reading

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