The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 24, 2016
by Dan
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Illuminated Manuscripts

Tom Gauld for The Guardian.

April 5, 2013
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

The Man — An interview with the talented Seb Lester, typographer and artist, at The Raw Book: People may associate me with flourished calligraphy and intricate formal script styles, but I don’t want to be known as a stylist because I … Continue reading

March 13, 2013
by Dan
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Q & A with Misha Beletsky, Part Two

In part one of our conversation, Misha Beletsky, art director at Abbeville Press, discussed his interest in the work of German-born designer and calligrapher Ismar David, the subject his recent book The Book Jackets of Ismar David, published by RIT Press. In … Continue reading

March 12, 2013
by Dan
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Q & A with Misha Beletsky, Art Director Abbeville Press, Part One

Misha Beletsky is the art director of New York’s Abbeville Press, an independent publisher of fine art and illustrated books. Towards the end of last year, Misha was kind enough to send me a copy of his recent book, The … Continue reading

January 23, 2013
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Patchwork — Artist Lilli Carré talks about her story collection Heads or Tails with Robot 6: I wanted to include the majority of the short stories I’ve produced over the past five years, and so I went through all my stuff … Continue reading

November 2, 2012
by Dan
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New Work from Seb Lester

A lovely new video featuring the work of British type designer, illustrator and artist Seb Lester:

June 14, 2012
by Dan
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New Ways To Kill Your Mother

New Ways to Kill Your Mother: not only a great title, the UK edition of Colm Tóibín’s most recent book  sports  a wonderful jacket design by talented Scottish designer, illustrator and letterer Steven Bonner. The typography and decorative lettering is beautiful, but the … Continue reading

August 10, 2011
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

A profile of calligrapher DeAnn Singh at The LA Times: When the producers of “Mad Men” needed a note in cursive and a signature from Don Draper, they turned to Singh. “Something masculine and from the 1950s” was the request, though … Continue reading

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