The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

December 8, 2017
by Dan
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Notable Book Covers of 2017

Since 2010, I’ve posted an annual survey of the year in book covers. The post has expanded and developed over the past 7 years, but essentially it is a collection of the covers published in the previous 12 months that … Continue reading

November 14, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note, November 2017

It’s my last monthly cover round-up of the year! Watch out for my review of 2017 next month…  After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry; design by Pete Dyer (Serpents Tail / November 2017) Basket of Deplorables by Tom … Continue reading

October 20, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note, October 2017

I have steadily fallen further and further behind with my cover posts this year. There is some cracking work in this month’s round-up. But I can’t help feeling that there are some covers missing. Somehow it almost November, and I … Continue reading

September 19, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note, September 2017

Here are September’s cover selections with a few extra covers from earlier in the year, just for good measure… The Aeneid by Virgil, translated by David Ferry; design by Matt Avery (University of Chicago Press / September 2017) The Age … Continue reading

September 7, 2017
by Dan
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Coralie Bickford-Smith’s Working Day

At The Guardian, writer, illustrator and Penguin Books designer Coralie Bickford-Smith talks about her working day: When I am at Penguin I design covers for classic literature. When I am at home I write, illustrate and design my own books. … Continue reading

August 4, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note August 2017

Oh hey, August. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson; design by Milan Bozic (Amistad / May 2017) Robin Billardello‘s cover design for the hardcover of Another Brooklyn, released last year, is also great.  Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison; design by Jo … Continue reading

August 3, 2017
by Dan
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David Pearson on Books and Typography

At the Monotype blog, Theo Inglis talks to designer David Pearson about his career and his type-centric approach to book covers: We are increasingly being urged to create objects of desire and the cover obviously plays a key role here, … Continue reading

July 20, 2017
by Dan
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50 Books / 50 Covers Winners 2016

AIGA and Design Observer announced the results of the 2016 50 Books | 50 Covers competition while I was on vacation. You can find all the book selections here, and the cover selections here. I always look forward 50 Books | … Continue reading

July 18, 2017
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note July 2017

Something… something… vacation… something… jetlag…. something… inbox… something… Oh look! It’s July’s book covers! Album for the Young (and Old) by Vera Pavlova; design by Janet Hansen (Knopf / April 2017) Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota; design by Kimberly … Continue reading

June 29, 2017
by Dan
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Typographic Terminology A to Z

A nice animated guide to typographic terminology: (via Quipsologies)

June 28, 2017
by Dan
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ABDA Awards Interview

I talked to the Australian Book Design Association about book cover design and judging this year’s ABDA Awards: I think we’re seeing a more global approach to covers as a result of publishers deciding to hold on to the international … Continue reading

June 27, 2017
by Dan
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SPINE Interview with Suzanne Dean

Designer Holly Dunn talks to Suzanne Dean, Creative Director at Vintage Books and one of the UK’s leading cover designers, for SPINE Magazine:

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