The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

January 16, 2018
by Dan
2 Comments

Book Covers of Note January 2018

I was sure that 2018 would be different from 2017, and yet here we are… Happy New Year!  The Age of Caesar by Plutarch; translation by Pamela Mensch; design by Catherine Casalino (W.W. Norton / January 2018) The Book of … Continue reading

August 4, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note August 2017

Oh hey, August. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson; design by Milan Bozic (Amistad / May 2017) Robin Billardello‘s cover design for the hardcover of Another Brooklyn, released last year, is also great.  Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison; design by Jo … Continue reading

May 10, 2017
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note May 2017

Everything is awful. Except for book covers… Black Skins, White Masks by Frantz Fanon; design by David Pearson (Pluto Press / May 2017) The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes; design by Ami Smithson; illustration Petra Börner (Mantle / May … Continue reading

July 12, 2016
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note July 2016

I swear that these posts are taking me longer and longer to compile, but rest assured there are some wonderful covers this month: All the Time in the World by Caroline Angell; design by Lucy Kim (Henry Holt / July 2016) … Continue reading

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

A little bit later than scheduled, here is my October selection of book covers. There are three from Verso, and two by James Paul Jones, but I think it’s still another month of interesting, diverse, and eclectic work. I hope you agree… … Continue reading

April 15, 2015
by Dan
3 Comments

Today in Micro-Trends: Neon Signs

Inspired by the recent Blur album cover designed by Tony Hung (read more about it here) amongst other things, here are a selection of (relatively) recent books cover designs using lettering inspired by neon signs (pictured above: Bright Shiny Morning … Continue reading

February 2, 2015
by Dan
2 Comments

Book Covers of Note February 2015

Here is this month’s selection of new book covers that have caught my eye… Angry Youth Comix by Johnny Ryan; design by Keeli McCarthy (Fantagraphics / February 2015) Dom Casmurro by Machado de Assis; design by Nathan Burton (Daunt Books … Continue reading

December 8, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

Series Book Covers 2014

In the past, I’ve often included a few series designs in with my favourite covers of the year. This year, I saw so many great covers that were part of a series, I thought a they deserved a post of their … Continue reading

September 29, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Q & A with Dan Mogford

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you will surely have a come across the work of London-based freelance designer Dan Mogford before. His work — including covers for 419 by Will Ferguson, All Over the Map by Michael Sorkin, and Filthy English by Peter Silverton (pictured … 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

May 17, 2013
by Dan
1 Comment

More Recent Book Covers of Note

Seeing as it’s a long weekend in Canada, and The Independent, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and countless other fly-by-night operations are jumping on the book design blog train (and doing it far better than me, damn it), here’s another round … Continue reading

April 3, 2013
by Dan
0 comments

Midweek Miscellany

Work / Life — An interview with the brilliant Louise Fili, designer and former art director of Pantheon Books, at The Great Discontent: Everybody wanted to use standard fonts, but I just wasn’t satisfied doing that. I didn’t realize this … Continue reading

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