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

November 9, 2015
by Dan
0 comments

Picador Twentieth Anniversary Modern Classics

  Originally founded in 1995 as a publishing house for sophisticated hardcovers and reprint paperbacks, Picador USA is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month with a set of four small limited edition modern classics with covers designed by Kelly Blair. … Continue reading

September 18, 2015
by Dan
2 Comments

Art Works For Aid

In response to the refugee crisis currently unfolding in Europe, designer and illustrator Nina Tara has set up Art Works For Aid. Nina is asking artists, illustrators, designers and photographers to donate small works of art to be sold at auction … Continue reading

January 12, 2015
by Dan
0 comments

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

October 2, 2014
by Dan
8 Comments

Book Covers of Note October 2014

It’s October and the fall book season is in full swing. It’s kind of bonkers in the trade from now until Christmas, so this is the second to last (if not the actual last) cover round-up for 2014. I think I can … 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

March 12, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

Recent Covers of Note March 2014

The Arsonist by Sue Miller; design by Greg Heinimann Barcelona Shadows by Marc Pastor; design by Clare Skeats Beauty by Frederick Dillen; design by Christopher Lin Dreams of the Good Life by Richard Mabey; illustration by Millie Marotta; design Samantha Johnson / … Continue reading

September 21, 2012
by Dan
13 Comments

50 Memorable Covers From the Last Four Years

The Casual Optimist turned 4 years old at the end of last week. While not exactly a historic achievement, the blog has lasted the length of a presidency and exactly 3 years, 11 months longer than I thought it would. … Continue reading

December 7, 2011
by Dan
3 Comments

My Favourite Covers of 2010

At the end of last year, Joseph Sullivan, curator of the late lamented The Book Design Review, asked me to write about my favourite covers of 2010. I’d always stayed away from such posts in the past because it was Joseph’s … Continue reading

August 2, 2011
by Dan
1 Comment

Humiliation | Henry Sene Yee

Just too good not to share, here’s an unused comp for Humiliation by Wayne Koestenbaum  designed by Henry Sene Yee for Picador’s Big Ideas // Small Books series. The photograph is by Jon Shireman. You can see the final cover and … Continue reading

July 18, 2011
by Dan
1 Comment

Richard Price Paperbacks | Henry Sene Yee

Columbine and A Wall in Palestine: cover designs by Henry Sene Yee Henry Sene Yee is a designer and art director at Picador USA. The very of his best work (and all of it is good) — his cover designs … Continue reading

March 23, 2011
by Dan
6 Comments

Picador Spring 2011 Covers

Picador have just posted all their Spring 2011 covers to Facebook. There’s some lovely work. Here are a few favourites: The Fever: Cover design by LeeAnn Falciani Watching the World Change: Cover design by Henry Sene Yee • Cover photograph … Continue reading

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