The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

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
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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

June 10, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Something for the Weekend

A lovely new cover design by Dan Mogford for All Over the Map by Michael Sorkin (Verso Books). In an epic two part interview for Bomb Magazine, George Saunders, author of Pastoralia, talks about writing with Patrick Dacey. From part one: [O]ne of … Continue reading

March 7, 2011
by Dan
1 Comment

The Breaking of Eggs: One Book, Three Covers

Books published in both the US and UK will often have different covers in each country. The UK and the US are, after all, two nations divided by a common language. Even so, I was still quite surprised by just … Continue reading

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