The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

September 19, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note, September 2017

Here are September’s cover selections with a few extra covers from earlier in the year, just for good measure… The Aeneid by Virgil, translated by David Ferry; design by Matt Avery (University of Chicago Press / September 2017) The Age … 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
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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

February 13, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note February 2017

A little later than usual — between one thing and the apocalypse — but there are some great covers out this month, including at least one contender for cover of the year: The Bear and the Serpent by Adrian Tschaikovsky; … Continue reading

November 7, 2016
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note November 2016

I’m not sure anyone is paying too much attention to book design this week, but if you’re looking for a few minutes diversion from the awfulness of almost everything, here’s this month’s selection of quirky, beautiful, and otherwise interesting book covers… Black Water by Louise … Continue reading

August 11, 2016
by Dan
3 Comments

Book Covers of Note August 2016

Back from vacation and back to the grind… August is traditionally a slow month in publishing, but that isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of great covers around at this time of year… Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe; … 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

January 11, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note January 2016

Oof. Hello, January. This is all rather soon isn’t it? But here we are, a new month, and another selection of new book covers (with a few ‘old’ ones that I missed in the excitement at the end of 2015). Happy … 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

May 26, 2015
by Dan
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Today in Micro-Trends: Rotate 90°

Turning the picture sideways is not exactly new (the brilliant John Gall and Paul Sahre were experimenting with it years ago), but there has been a spate of commercial covers making use of images rotated through ninety degrees in the … Continue reading

June 2, 2014
by Dan
7 Comments

Book Covers of Note June 2014

Well, this seems to have become a regular thing doesn’t it? I have to confess that I still haven’t quite figured out exactly what covers to include in these monthly posts, only that they’re recent and I like them. It’s … Continue reading

May 5, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

Triangles, Quadrangles, Shards, and Fragments

This is my last post on book covers and triangles — for the time being at least. I hope you’ve enjoyed this three-sided, three-post design diversion (you can see the previous posts here and here): The Adjacent by Christopher Priest; design … Continue reading

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