The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

March 14, 2016
by Dan
2 Comments

Book Covers of Note March 2016

Much later than usual, here are this month’s book cover selections… Cambodia Noir by Nick Seeley; design by Alex Merto (Simon & Schuster / March 2016) Heads by Jesse Jarnow; design by Alex Camlin (Da Capo / March 2016) A House Full … Continue reading

March 8, 2016
by Dan
22 Comments

52 Women Book Cover Designers

If you follow the Casual Optimist on Twitter, you will know that a couple of weeks ago design studio Aishima asked people to tweet about inspiring women graphic designers using the hashtag #celebratewomen. As today is International Women’s Day, I thought … 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

September 25, 2014
by Dan
4 Comments

Beasts! Reptiles and Amphibians

As a Friday follow-up to Tuesday’s post on wild beasts, here’s a look at reptiles and amphibians on book covers: Alligator by Lisa Moore; design by Bill Douglas (House of Anansi Press / September 2005) The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Söderberg; … Continue reading

September 19, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

50 Books / 50 Covers 2013 Winners

If you’re an American book designer you probably know already that the winners of the 2013 Fifty Books / Fifty Covers show were announced yesterday. Organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books,  50/50, which recognizes the best work in … Continue reading

August 14, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Book Cover Design is a Fine Art

It used to be enough for a book to idly stand out in a bookstore. Nowadays, however, new books must jostle for attention with everything. Thousands of distractions are just a click away. Is it any wonder that book-cover design … Continue reading

July 9, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Book Covers of Note July 2014

As well posting great cover designs for books released in July, I’ve taken this month’s round-up as an opportunity to catch up on a few I missed earlier this year. Enjoy! Adam by Ariel Schrag; design by Christopher Moisan (Mariner June 2014) American Blonde … Continue reading

April 28, 2014
by Dan
4 Comments

Triangles Are My Favourite Shape

Let’s tessellate… I’ve been thinking a lot about triangle patterns recently (that’s just how my mind works — don’t ask) and collecting together a few book covers (and related matter) that use them in their designs. I thought I’d share some of the things … Continue reading

February 27, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

Recent Covers of Note February 2014 Edition

It’s almost March and I’ve just realised that I haven’t posted very many book covers this year. To make up for this lapse, here are ten of my favourite covers from the last few months: All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu; … Continue reading

January 11, 2014
by Dan
1 Comment

Helen Yentus 3D Slipcase

Helen Yentus, the art director of Riverhead Books, designed two covers for the recently published On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee. The regular hardcover — which is beautiful in itself (see below) — has a hand-lettered jacket. The second, … Continue reading

October 18, 2011
by Dan
2 Comments

The Innovator’s Cookbook

I had seen the book trailer for The Innovator’s Cookbook by Steven Johnson posted elsewhere and hadn’t paid too much attention to it (elsewhere being wildly more popular than here!) until designer Helen Yentus dropped me a line to say that … Continue reading

August 27, 2010
by Dan
0 comments

Something for the Weekend

Hornby Cover Versions — Some rather beautiful student work by Barcelona-based graphic designer Lucía Castro (although my inner-bookseller gets very twitchy at the thought of those soft off-white covers!). (via Cosa Visuales) Full of Refusals — Tom McCarthy interviewed for … Continue reading

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