The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 24, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Q & A with James Paul Jones, Oneworld

The work of Welsh designer James Paul Jones for has featured regularly here in the past few years. A versatile cover designer and one of the co-founders of Vintage UK’s design blog CMYK, James was recognised as a ‘Rising Star‘ by … Continue reading

June 2, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

A Window onto a Window

In this profile of Peter Mendelsund in the June issue of Rhapsody Magazine, there is a lovely bit about the designer’s architect-artist father: In the living room of Knopf associate art director Peter Mendelsund’s Upper Manhattan apartment, inspiration is everywhere: a battered, sea-green … Continue reading

May 31, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Find Your Stories in the Dirt

I mentioned Andrew F. Sullivan’s piece on High-Rise last week, and I recently spoke to the author about his own novel WASTE, and about influence of David Lynch on his writing in a Q & A for Publishers Group Canada: Initially, … Continue reading

April 30, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Jason Booher Interviewed at The Perch

Jason Booher, designer and art director of Blue Rider Press and Plume, talks to Penguin Random House blog The Perch about the book cover design process: A design can be thought of as a set of constraints or parameters. In … Continue reading

March 11, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Design Matters with Tobias Frere-Jones

On the subject of typography, I missed type designer Tobias Frere-Jones on Design Matters with Debbie Millman at the end of last year:

February 8, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

The Making of Daniel Clowes

Roberto Ito profiles cartoonist Daniel Clowes, whose new graphic novel Patience is published by Fantagraphics in April, for The California Sunday Magazine, : At the heart of Patience are questions posed within every time-travel story: If I could go back in … Continue reading

February 1, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Edmund de Waal on Bookworm

On last week’s Bookworm, host Michael Silverblatt talked to artist and writer Edmund de Waal about porcelain and his new book The White Road: Journey into an Obsession: KCRW Bookworm with Edmund de Waal: The White Road mp3

January 22, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

The Cycling Anthology Jersey Designs by James Paul Jones

James Paul Jones‘s unused covers for The Cycling Anthology (pictured above) were some of my favourite designs from 2015. Based on famous cycling jerseys, I liked that they were a nod to insiders, but that you that didn’t need to be a cycling fan … Continue reading

October 8, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

Jamie Keenan on Book Cover Design

Book designer Jamie Keenan talks to Shiny New Books about his design process and designing the covers for Pushkin Press’s Vertigo imprint: I think designers might have brains that are set up slightly differently to ‘normal’ people (there are always a … Continue reading

October 8, 2015
by Dan
0 comments

Designing Books with David Pearson

Filmed at D&AD Judging 2015 earlier this year, David Pearson talks about designing books, and picks out some of 2015’s best examples of the art: David designed the cover of this year’s D&AD annual, and he recently talked to It’s Nice That about … Continue reading

August 20, 2015
by Dan
0 comments

Bob Gill: Design as Idea

In another great profile for It’s Nice That, Rob Alderson talks designer, illustrator, and writer Bob Gill: “I don’t know what people talk about when they talk about a golden age because of a million designers in 1950 or 1960 or … Continue reading

August 7, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

The Truth of Life: Paula Fox on Desperate Characters

At Longreads, Sari Botton talks to author Paula Fox talks about the latest reissue of her 1970 novel Desperate Characters: It’s for all kinds of tension, not just racial, but class—the poor, who don’t have money or success, against the … Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: