The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

December 8, 2017
by Dan
1 Comment

Notable Book Covers of 2017

Since 2010, I’ve posted an annual survey of the year in book covers. The post has expanded and developed over the past 7 years, but essentially it is a collection of the covers published in the previous 12 months that … Continue reading

October 20, 2017
by Dan
0 comments

Book Covers of Note, October 2017

I have steadily fallen further and further behind with my cover posts this year. There is some cracking work in this month’s round-up. But I can’t help feeling that there are some covers missing. Somehow it almost November, and I … Continue reading

July 18, 2017
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note July 2017

Something… something… vacation… something… jetlag…. something… inbox… something… Oh look! It’s July’s book covers! Album for the Young (and Old) by Vera Pavlova; design by Janet Hansen (Knopf / April 2017) Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota; design by Kimberly … Continue reading

March 9, 2017
by Dan
0 comments

Book Covers of Note March 2017

Holy smokes! There are a lot of good covers this month! Feast your eyes on March’s book covers of note: Amiable with Big Teeth by Claude McKay; cover art by Sean Qualls (Penguin / March 2017) The Book of Greek and Roman … Continue reading

April 8, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note April 2016

All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage; design by Mario Hugo (Knopf / March 2016) The Assault by Harry Mulisch; design by Oliver Munday (Pantheon / April 2016) The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan; design by Matt … 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 1, 2015
by Dan
16 Comments

Notable Book Covers for 2015

Back in 2014, there were signs that book cover design was maybe, just maybe, having a moment. Suzanne Dean was on the BBC. Peter Mendelsund was on… well, everything. But if 2015 has felt a little quiet by comparison, there … Continue reading

September 2, 2015
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note September 2015

Something of a bumper post this month — a real mix of approaches, and a number YA titles to boot. Enjoy! The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector; design by Paul Sahre (New Directions / August 2015) Consumed by David Cronenberg; design by David A. … Continue reading

July 7, 2015
by Dan
0 comments

Book Covers of Note July 2015

It’s finally summer, and because July is traditionally something of a quiet month in publishing, I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on a few covers that I missed earlier in the year… Act of God by Jill Ciment; design … 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

April 6, 2015
by Dan
2 Comments

Book Covers of Note April 2015

Never mind that still feels like some crazy never-ending winter in Toronto, it’s (allegedly) April so here are a few new and recent covers that have caught my eye in the past month… American Warlord by Johnny Dwyer; design by Oliver Munday (Knopf … 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

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