The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

August 25, 2016
by Dan
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The Last Punchcutter

One for the letterpress obsessives and tool aficionados, The Last Punchcutter is a beautiful, wordless film capturing Giuseppe Brachino — who was the head of the engraving department of the Nebiolo Company from Turin — hand-cut a punch for metal type: (via Coudal)

July 28, 2014
by Dan
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Church of Type

Church of Type is the new letterpress studio in Santa Monica, California, of veteran designer and printmaker Kevin Bradley. In this lovely short film, Bradley talks about relocating to Los Angeles, typography, the printing press, and making things by hand:

April 3, 2014
by Dan
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Mike Langley, Sign Painter

A rather lovely short film on sign painter Mike Langley by Dress Code: (via I Love Typography)

March 5, 2013
by Dan
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Flying Eye Books

The folks behind the amazing  Nobrow Press have just launched a childrens imprint called Flying Eye Books. Their first book is Welcome To Your Awesome Robot by Viviane Schwarz. This short film created for the launch of the imprint was storyboarded and … Continue reading

November 5, 2012
by Dan
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Jamie Hewlett

A beautifully shot interview with British illustrator Jamie Hewlett: It would be lovely to see Hewlett — co-creator of Tank Girl and Gorillaz (if you must) — draw some new full-length comics again. (via Coudal)

June 1, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Letter Cult’s epic selection of the best custom lettering of 2011 (don’t click on the link if you have things to do today — and this is only part one!). Pictured above ‘Drink Me Now, Forget Me Later…’ by Michael … Continue reading

October 13, 2011
by Dan
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Etsy Art & Craft | Off Book

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about paper-cut artist Rob Ryan, here’s a short film about Etsy itself from PBS Arts Off Book:

October 12, 2011
by Dan
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Rob Ryan: Beauty in the Everyday

London-based paper-cut artist Rob Ryan talks about his work and his recently released book A Sky Full of Kindness in this short film for to Etsy:

June 2, 2011
by Dan
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Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century

On the New York Times website Steven Heller reviews Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century, a documentary film by Richard Kegler, founder of the P22 Foundry. The film features the work of the late Jim Rimmer, a prolific Canadian typeface … Continue reading

April 8, 2011
by Dan
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The Bookbinder | Made in Toronto

A lovely short film about bookbinder Don Taylor made by Tate Young and Ian Daffern for the new online daily Toronto Standard:

March 28, 2011
by Dan
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Penguin Threads Deluxe Classics | Jillian Tamaki

Award-winning Canadian illustrator and cartoonist Jillian Tamaki (Gilded Lilies, Skim and Indoor Voice*) has embroidered (embroidered!) three beautiful cover designs for a new classics series Penguin Threads to be released this Fall. They are all breathtaking. There are more details … Continue reading

March 10, 2011
by Dan
1 Comment

Bookbinders, 1961

Earlier this week I posted the 1947 documentary Making Books. As follow up, here’s the 1961 documentary Bookbinders from the AFL-CIO  series  “Americans at Work”:

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