The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

November 27, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

Notable Book Covers of 2016

It is that wonderful/awful time of year. Wonderful because we get to look back at some of the amazing work people have done over the past 12 months. Awful because lists are arbitrary and someone always misses out. I’m not going … Continue reading

September 23, 2016
by Dan
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Cynan Jones Covers by Jenny Grigg

I’m a little late to work of Welsh novelist Cynan Jones, but I recently finished reading his award-winning 2014 novel The Dig, and it’s not hard to see what all the fuss is about. The writing is beautifully spare and intimate, and the … Continue reading

June 8, 2016
by Dan
6 Comments

Book Covers of Note June 2016

Something of a bumper post this month, with lots of black and white covers for some reason. Perhaps it’s a thing…? Addlands by Tom Bullough; design by Jenny Grigg (Granta / June 2016) Barkskins by Annie Proulx; design Jaya Miceli … 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

July 22, 2014
by Dan
1 Comment

Australian Book Design Awards 2014 Shortlist

Peter Long, Senior Designer at Black Inc. Books, has kindly let me know that the shortlist for the Australian Book Design Awards has been announced. The Book Design Awards are Australia’s longest running  graphic design awards, but in 2013 the Australian Publishing Association … Continue reading

December 10, 2013
by Dan
33 Comments

50 Covers for 2013

I decided to go in a slightly different direction with my covers list this year (see my lists for 2012, 2011, and 2010). It’s just a straight up list of the fifty covers designs with a few annotations and links … Continue reading

February 13, 2009
by Dan
1 Comment

Something for the Weekend, Feb 13th, 2008

Apologies for the rant about the Globe and Mail this morning (note to self: don’t blog without coffee). Hopefully a highly-caffeinated design-heavy post for the weekend will make up for it… First off, Jenny Griggs’ gorgeous typographic designs for Peter … Continue reading

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