The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

June 8, 2016
by Dan
6 Comments

Book Covers of Note June 2016

Something of a bumper post this month, with lots of black and white covers for some reason. Perhaps it’s a thing…? Addlands by Tom Bullough; design by Jenny Grigg (Granta / June 2016) Barkskins by Annie Proulx; design Jaya Miceli … Continue reading

April 2, 2015
by Dan
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Olivia Laing on the Future of Loneliness

Olivia Laing whose new book The Lonely City is out in 2016, has a personal essay on loneliness and technology in The Guardian that, like her books To the River and The Trip to Echo Spring, weaves a lot of surprisingly disparate threads … Continue reading

January 24, 2013
by Dan
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Marion Deuchars, who has created books for Laurence King as well as book covers for the likes of Canongate, Orion and Penguin, talks about working in illustration in this short film by Chris Thomas:

July 21, 2011
by Dan
2 Comments

The Helmet of Horror | Angus Hyland

As a follow up to yesterday’s Design Matters post, I just wanted to share Angus Hyland’s extraordinary design for The Helmet of Horror by Victor  Pelevin, published as part Canongate’s Myths series a few years ago: The illustration is by Sara … Continue reading

July 20, 2011
by Dan
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Design Matters with Angus Hyland

Pentagram partner Angus Hyland has designed book covers for Canongate, Penguin and others. On the latest Design Matters podcast, Hyland discusses childhood brand recognition, Tintin, music, dyslexia, book design and his new book Symbol, co-authored with Steven Bateman, with host Debbie Millman: DESIGN MATTERS: Angus Hyland … Continue reading

June 2, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Incognito

I love this cover for the Canongate edition of Incognito by David Eagleman. It looks like something from the brilliant Fontana Modern Masters series by way of Bridget Riley and Wallpaper* magazine. Stunning. Can anyone tell me who the designer is? … Continue reading

June 23, 2010
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Tom Gauld‘s cover illustration for Death at Intervals by José Saramago, who died last week, aged 87. From The New York Times obituary: [T]he critic James Wood wrote: “José Saramago was both an avant-gardist and a traditionalist. His long blocks … Continue reading

June 8, 2010
by Dan
0 comments

Gil Scott-Heron Redesigns by Stuart Bache

Born in Chicago, April 1, 1949, poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron is perhaps best known for the politically infused bluesy soul and proto-hip-hop he created with Brian Jackson in the early 1970’s. Although recently troubled by drug addiction and in … Continue reading

March 9, 2010
by Dan
3 Comments

Midweek Miscellany

A true miscellany here: letterpress to Gil Scott-Heron with a lot of meat sandwiched in between… This is quite possibly why I blog… Ditoria — An amazing video about showing the letterpress printing process by Roberto Bolado. The Cost of … Continue reading

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