The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

February 27, 2015
by Dan
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Masters of Letters

Sartorial site Mr Porter asks five designers — Mat Maitland, Eddie Opara, Sagi Haviv, Edwin Van Gelder, and Chip Kidd — about their favourite typeface. Here’s Eddie Opara of Pentagram on Berthold Wolpe’s Albertus, the typeface used for the street signs of the City of London: I … Continue reading

June 16, 2014
by Dan
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Memento Mori

The threat of death… A warning… A memento mori… A comprehensive visual history of the human skull is surely an entire Steven Heller book in the making (I guess we’ll just have to make do with a Wikipedia page for … Continue reading

October 22, 2013
by Dan
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Design Matters with Chip Kidd

Kicking off a new season Design Matters, designer and art director Chip Kidd in conversation with Debbie Millman:

October 18, 2013
by Dan
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Chip Kidd: Obsessed with Batman

In this interview from the AGI Open in London earlier this year, Chip Kidd talks about his work designing books covers, his involvement with comics and, of course, his obsession with Batman: You can read recent interviews with Chip discussing his … Continue reading

July 24, 2013
by Dan
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Chip Kidd: What the Stories Look Like

Penn State alumnus Chip Kidd discusses his career at length in a recent interview conducted at the university by host Patty Satalia: Kidd’s novel The Cheese Monkeys is  loosely based on his time at Penn State.

May 29, 2013
by Dan
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Inside Random House: “The Art of Cover Design”

Part a series of videos about the workings of Random House, The Art of Cover Design features interviews with an impressive roster of designers: Marysarah Quinn, Robbin Schiff, Chip Kidd, Peter Mendelsund and Christopher Brand…

March 11, 2013
by Dan
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Monday Miscellany

“The Bat-Man” by Chip Kidd and Tony Millionaire from Bizarro Comics #1. I can’t quite believe I haven’t seen this before… (via Martin Klasch) Could Have Been Something — José da Silva interviews Billy Childish for The White Review: Critics want you … Continue reading

August 7, 2012
by Dan
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Chip Kidd on the Future of Book Covers

Billy Batson Chip Kidd, associate art director at publisher Alfred A. Knopf (as if you didn’t know), talks to NPR’s Weekend Edition about the future of book cover design: NPR WEEKEND EDITION: In the E-Book World, Are Book Covers a Dying Art?

April 4, 2012
by Dan
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Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.

Chip Kidd’s talk / stand-up routine on book design at TED2012:

February 22, 2012
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Publisher, film distributor and rebel Barney Rosset has died aged 89. The Associated Press obituary is here: As publisher of Grove Press, Rosset was a First Amendment crusader who helped overthrow 20th century censorship laws in the United States and … Continue reading

December 21, 2011
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Kate Beaton’s Wonder Woman returns. Five-Pointed Stars of Pain — An excellent post on Dan Clowes and his latest book The Death- Ray at The Brooklyn Rail: Clowes engaged themes consistent with those of literary fiction in visual terms and in bookstore-friendly … Continue reading

December 13, 2011
by Dan
10 Comments

Favourite Covers of 2011

After posting my long overdue picks for 2010 last week, here are my selections for my favourite book covers of 2011. I’m currently reading Where The Stress Falls a collection of writing by Susan Sontag published in 2001. In an … Continue reading

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