The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

March 22, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

Q & A with Alistair Hall, We Made This

I first came across the London-based (and wonderfully-named) design studio We Made This by way of founder Alistair Hall’s prodigious collections of ephemera and found type on Flickr. The chances are I found these either via Ace Jet 170, a fellow designer … Continue reading

March 13, 2012
by Dan
3 Comments

Q & A with Richard Weston, Ace Jet 170

I don’t know exactly when I first discovered Ace Jet 170. It was a few years ago — at least four because I was reading it before I started The Casual Optimist. And it must have been recommended by someone … Continue reading

April 5, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Kurt Weidemann 1922-2011 | GestaltenTV

GestaltenTV have posted an 16-minute interview with influential German typographer and graphic designer Kurt Weidemann who died at the age of 88 on March 31st, 2011: Weidemann helped form the graphic identities companies such as Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, as well … Continue reading

March 25, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Michael Wolff: Obsessively Interested In Everything

As a follow up to Monday’s post Is This A Good Time?, here’s designer Michael Wolff discussing curiousity, appreciation and imagination as part of Intel’s Visual Life series: (via Quipsologies)

March 21, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Is This a Good Time?

Is This A Good Time? is a series of interesting video interviews on topics as varied sustainable design, social anthropology, formal semantics, collaborations, and intersections. I’ve just started working my way through them, but I very much enjoyed designer Michael … Continue reading

March 10, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Chip Kidd: A Drinker and a Crier

Chip Kidd, book designer and associate art director at A.A. Knopf, profiled at Stodgy is Sexy:

March 1, 2011
by Dan
1 Comment

Q & A with David Drummond, Salamander Hill Design

“I haven’t changed my mind about modernism from the first day I ever did it…. It means integrity; it means honesty; it means the absence of sentimentality and the absence of nostalgia; it means simplicity; it means clarity. That’s what … Continue reading

January 10, 2011
by Dan
3 Comments

Q & A with John Gall

John Gall is Vice President and Art Director for Vintage/Anchor Books, an instructor at the School of Visual Arts, and the author Sayonara Home Run! The Art of the Japanese Baseball Card. Previously Art Director at Grove/Atlantic, Gall has been … Continue reading

November 16, 2010
by Dan
4 Comments

Q & A with Clare Skeats

Hugo Wilcken’s Colony (published in 2007 and mentioned previously here) is almost certainly the novel I’ve talked up most this year. The cover, something like a jaunty vintage travel poster to a malarial Heart of Darkness (nauseously appropriate for a … Continue reading

June 8, 2010
by Dan
0 comments

Gil Scott-Heron Redesigns by Stuart Bache

Born in Chicago, April 1, 1949, poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron is perhaps best known for the politically infused bluesy soul and proto-hip-hop he created with Brian Jackson in the early 1970’s. Although recently troubled by drug addiction and in … Continue reading

May 25, 2010
by Dan
2 Comments

What Is All This?

Fantagraphics Art Director Jacob Covey‘s first foray into designing for prose fiction is this cover for a 600-page collection of short stories by Stephen Dixon, What Is All This? Incidently, Jacob also did a nice job colouring Gilbert Hernandez‘s cover … Continue reading

May 3, 2010
by Dan
8 Comments

Q & A with Ferran López, Random House Mondadori

I came across the work of graphic designer Ferran López after stumbling on his wonderful book cover blog The Jacket Museum. Based in Barcelona, and currently working at Random House Mondadori — the Spanish-language joint publishing and distribution venture between … Continue reading

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