The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

August 31, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Girlboss Isabel Urbina Peña

The smart and talented Isabel Urbina Peña talks to Girlboss about YES, EQUAL and her work as a book cover designer: you go to the editorial meeting and you hear the editors talk about the book. After that, you tell your … 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

May 5, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note May 2015

This month’s post is very heavy on illustrated and hand-lettered covers for some reason, but it’s all the prettier for it… All This Has Nothing To Do With Me by Monica Sabolo; design by Justine Anweiler; illustration by Daphne van … Continue reading

February 2, 2015
by Dan
2 Comments

Book Covers of Note February 2015

Here is this month’s selection of new book covers that have caught my eye… Angry Youth Comix by Johnny Ryan; design by Keeli McCarthy (Fantagraphics / February 2015) Dom Casmurro by Machado de Assis; design by Nathan Burton (Daunt Books … Continue reading

December 7, 2014
by Dan
20 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

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

March 31, 2014
by Dan
4 Comments

Q & A with Isabel Urbina Peña

If you’ve walked into a North American bookstore recently, or you’ve been paying attention to the book reviews on this side of the Atlantic, you will have no doubt seen the stylish black cover for All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu … 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

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