The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 3, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Book Covers of Note May 2016

It’s the first week of May (whaaaat?), so it must be time for some new book covers… Barren Cove by Ariel S. Winter; design by Chelsea McGuckin (Atria / May 2016) Congratulations on Everything by Nathan Whitlock; cover art by Gary Taxali (ECW … Continue reading

April 8, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note April 2016

All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage; design by Mario Hugo (Knopf / March 2016) The Assault by Harry Mulisch; design by Oliver Munday (Pantheon / April 2016) The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan; design by Matt … Continue reading

December 1, 2015
by Dan
16 Comments

Notable Book Covers for 2015

Back in 2014, there were signs that book cover design was maybe, just maybe, having a moment. Suzanne Dean was on the BBC. Peter Mendelsund was on… well, everything. But if 2015 has felt a little quiet by comparison, there … Continue reading

September 2, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note September 2015

Something of a bumper post this month — a real mix of approaches, and a number YA titles to boot. Enjoy! The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector; design by Paul Sahre (New Directions / August 2015) Consumed by David Cronenberg; design by David A. … Continue reading

January 12, 2015
by Dan
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Books Covers of Note January 2015

January’s selections include some of this month’s new releases plus a few stragglers from 2014 that were undeservedly overlooked last year: Against the Country by Ben Metcalf; design and illustration by Leanne Shapton (Random House / January 2015) A Bad Character by … 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

December 7, 2014
by Dan
19 Comments

50 Covers for 2014

Book designers, you do amazing work. Thank you. I am especially grateful to all the designers and art directors (not to mention publicists and other publishing folk) who have shared their wisdom, provided me with images, and helped me with design credits this year — these … Continue reading

December 5, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Catalogue Covers: A Request for Submissions

For the past few years, Quill & Quire (magazine to the stars) has asked Canadian books designers choose their favourite covers of the year. This year, however, instead of choosing a book cover like everybody else, David Gee picked out the McGill-Queen’s University Press Spring 2015 catalogue designed … Continue reading

November 3, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

Book Covers of Note November 2014

This is the last of the monthly cover round-ups for 2014, and I have a lot to cram in before I start on my big end of year list, so it’s a bit of corker (if I do say so … Continue reading

October 17, 2014
by Dan
5 Comments

Bugs

  This, the latest post in my Beasts! series, was unexpectedly difficult to compile. While it seems there isn’t a book cover in existence that couldn’t be improved by putting on a bird on it, bugs are, at least by comparison, somewhat rare. … Continue reading

September 23, 2014
by Dan
7 Comments

Beasts!

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my! I’m kicking off a new series today on animal book covers. The first post is on ‘beasts’ — mostly ‘wild’ beasts, but one or two more domesticated (and dead) animals may have nosed … Continue reading

September 3, 2014
by Dan
2 Comments

Book Covers of Note September 2014

It’s hard to believe it is already September, but here we are… time for another round of book covers! If you’re new to this feature, each month I collect together new and recent covers that have caught my eye in the … Continue reading

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