The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 16, 2009
by Dan
3 Comments

Missed Things: Friday

Floating — Toronto illustrator Michael Cho on his cover art and interior illustrations for The Amazing Absorbing Boy by Rabindranath Maharaj (published by Random House Canada). The Ideal Studio Library — It’s Nice That interviews designer Jason Godfrey about his … Continue reading

October 15, 2009
by Dan
0 comments

Mr. Peanut

From Mr. Mendelsund. Brilliant.

September 21, 2009
by Dan
9 Comments

Q & A with Paul Buckley, Penguin US

Photo by Erika Larsen. Design by Paul Buckley It is not every day that I get an email from the Vice President Executive Creative Director of Penguin US, so it was something of a surprise when Paul Buckley sent me … Continue reading

September 7, 2009
by Dan
9 Comments

Q & A with Alex Camlin, Da Capo Press

Even though I first noticed the chunky Eisner-esque cover design for Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics at The Book Design Review, it wasn’t until much, much later — when Ben Pieratt posted about the elegant redesign of The Harvard Review at  … Continue reading

August 30, 2009
by Dan
0 comments

Q & A with Michel Vrana, Black Eye Design

Michel Vrana, AKA Black Eye Design, has been on my radar since we first crossed paths on Twitter in the run up to Book Camp Toronto earlier this year. I had hoped to run into the Montreal-based designer in person … Continue reading

August 11, 2009
by Dan
0 comments

Q & A with Ingrid Paulson, Ingrid Paulson Design

Before setting up her own design studio in Toronto, award-winning Canadian designer Ingrid Paulson was senior designer at McClelland & Stewart, and art director for Key Porter and Raincoast Books. Although Ingrid worked at Raincoast, we didn’t actually meet until … Continue reading

August 7, 2009
by Dan
4 Comments

Something For The Weekend, August 7th, 2009

Winnie and Wolf — cover design by Alex Camlin (the chap behind that rather wonderful Harvard Review overhaul). I’m hoping to speak to Alex for the designer Q & A series later this month. And just while were on the … Continue reading

August 5, 2009
by Dan
1 Comment

Midweek Miscellany, August 5th, 2009

Foucault — A nice new cover design from David Drummond (approval pending). (And apparently I like photos of the backs of people’s heads) Kill Your Darlings — Print asks book designers Carol Devine Carson, John Gall, Paul Buckley, Rodrigo Corral, … Continue reading

August 4, 2009
by Dan
4 Comments

Q & A with Ingsu Liu, W.W. Norton

Having spent a lot of my life in the UK, I wasn’t particularly familiar with venerable New York independent publisher  W.W. Norton and Co. until my stint at Toronto’s (now doomed) Pages Books and Magazines where their books were frequently … Continue reading

July 15, 2009
by Dan
4 Comments

Midweek Miscellany, July 15th, 2009

Vintage Camus — Seen at Bente Miltenburg‘s Flickr photostream (via A Journey Around My Skull). An Intricate Dance — Author Sonya Chung describes her experience of the cover design process (and the weird — slightly tortured — anxieties that accompany … Continue reading

June 30, 2009
by Dan
3 Comments

High-Rez Himes

After my slightly snarky comment yesterday about publishers and designers making hi-res cover images readily available, Michael Fusco emailed me with said images for his fantastic Chester Himes covers for Pegasus. Here they are in their full typographic glory: Worth … Continue reading

June 29, 2009
by Dan
1 Comment

Monday Miscellany, June 29th, 2009

Gestalten’s Naïve: Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design, edited by Robert Klanten and Hendrik Hellige,  reviewed at The Designer’s Review of Books. Served — Jeremy Ettinghausen, Penguin UK’s Digital Publisher, explains the rationale for their new (v. cool sounding) … Continue reading

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