The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 5, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Today in Micro-Trends: Cassette Tape Book Covers

This is another one of those posts that started out on Twitter — a flippant tweet from me sparking a conversation about books with cassette tapes and vinyl records on their covers. It turns out that putting a record on … Continue reading

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

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

It’s finally summer, and because July is traditionally something of a quiet month in publishing, I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on a few covers that I missed earlier in the year… Act of God by Jill Ciment; design … Continue reading

May 5, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

Triangles, Quadrangles, Shards, and Fragments

This is my last post on book covers and triangles — for the time being at least. I hope you’ve enjoyed this three-sided, three-post design diversion (you can see the previous posts here and here): The Adjacent by Christopher Priest; design … Continue reading

April 28, 2014
by Dan
4 Comments

Triangles Are My Favourite Shape

Let’s tessellate… I’ve been thinking a lot about triangle patterns recently (that’s just how my mind works — don’t ask) and collecting together a few book covers (and related matter) that use them in their designs. I thought I’d share some of the things … Continue reading

March 12, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

Recent Covers of Note March 2014

The Arsonist by Sue Miller; design by Greg Heinimann Barcelona Shadows by Marc Pastor; design by Clare Skeats Beauty by Frederick Dillen; design by Christopher Lin Dreams of the Good Life by Richard Mabey; illustration by Millie Marotta; design Samantha Johnson / … Continue reading

March 7, 2014
by Dan
2 Comments

The Academy of British Cover Design Winners

The Academy of British Cover Design held its inaugural awards ceremony last night. The competition was open to any cover produced for a book published between January 1 and December 31 2013 by a designers based in the UK. Here are … Continue reading

August 27, 2013
by Dan
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Stories from the Fold

If you are going to be in London on September 25th, Stories from the Fold, a mini-conference about book design at the St. Bride Library looks terribly interesting. Curated by designer Becky Chilcott, speakers include Jon Gray (AKA Gray318), Clare … Continue reading

November 16, 2010
by Dan
4 Comments

Q & A with Clare Skeats

Hugo Wilcken’s Colony (published in 2007 and mentioned previously here) is almost certainly the novel I’ve talked up most this year. The cover, something like a jaunty vintage travel poster to a malarial Heart of Darkness (nauseously appropriate for a … Continue reading

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