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.

March 4, 2016
by Dan
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ABCD Award Winners 2016

Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted covers at the third annual Academy of British Cover Design Awards! Make sure you read Daniel Benneworth-Gray‘s report on last night’s “shindig” at the Creative Review, but in the meantime, all the winning designs are below: Children’s The Fox and the Star, written, … Continue reading

January 22, 2016
by Dan
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The Cycling Anthology Jersey Designs by James Paul Jones

James Paul Jones‘s unused covers for The Cycling Anthology (pictured above) were some of my favourite designs from 2015. Based on famous cycling jerseys, I liked that they were a nod to insiders, but that you that didn’t need to be a cycling fan … Continue reading

December 22, 2015
by Dan
3 Comments

Series Design 2015

In my last post on the book covers of 2015, I thought I would take a look back at some of the series that caught my eye this this year… Stephen Baxter / Manifold; design by Mike Topping (Harper Voyager … Continue reading

December 14, 2015
by Dan
3 Comments

52 YA Covers for 2015

As my 2014 post was such a hit, here is my second annual look at the past year’s young adult book covers. This isn’t my speciality, so this list is a lot more of a crowd-sourced effort than my very personal adult list. A special thank you to … Continue reading

December 1, 2015
by Dan
16 Comments

Notable Book Covers for 2015

Back in 2014, there were signs that book cover design was maybe, just maybe, having a moment. Suzanne Dean was on the BBC. Peter Mendelsund was on… well, everything. But if 2015 has felt a little quiet by comparison, there … Continue reading

November 27, 2015
by Dan
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Pluto Press Wildcat Series Design by Jamie Keenan

When I posted included the cover for The Southern Insurgency by Immanuel Ness in my round-up earlier this month, I hadn’t realised it is in fact part of a fantastic series of covers by Jamie Keenan for Pluto Press designed … Continue reading

November 9, 2015
by Dan
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Picador Twentieth Anniversary Modern Classics

  Originally founded in 1995 as a publishing house for sophisticated hardcovers and reprint paperbacks, Picador USA is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month with a set of four small limited edition modern classics with covers designed by Kelly Blair. … Continue reading

November 9, 2015
by Dan
3 Comments

Book Covers of Note November 2015

Next month I’ll say goodbye to 2015 with my annual list of my favourite covers of the year. Until then, here’s November’s book covers of note, my last monthly covers post for the 2015: Baddeley Brothers by The Gentle Author; design David Pearson (October 2015) … Continue reading

October 16, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

Deep Vellum Book Cover Design by Anna Zylicz

At the Toronto launch of John Freeman’s new anthology last night — encouragingly called ’10 Reasons to Not Shoot Yourself in the Face Over the State of Literature’ — Literary Hub‘s Jonny Diamond mentioned design as a reason to be optimistic about current state of publishing. … Continue reading

October 7, 2015
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note October 2015

A little bit later than scheduled, here is my October selection of book covers. There are three from Verso, and two by James Paul Jones, but I think it’s still another month of interesting, diverse, and eclectic work. I hope you agree… … Continue reading

October 2, 2015
by Dan
3 Comments

The Pelican Shakespeare Series Design by Manuja Waldia

Continuing with the recent series design theme here on The Casual Optimist, creative director Paul Buckley let me know about new set of covers for the Pelican editions of Shakespeare. The covers were designed by newcomer Manuja Waldia, who studied Graphic Design at NIFT, New … Continue reading

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