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

August 4, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note August 2017

Oh hey, August. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson; design by Milan Bozic (Amistad / May 2017) Robin Billardello‘s cover design for the hardcover of Another Brooklyn, released last year, is also great.  Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison; design by Jo … Continue reading

January 11, 2016
by Dan
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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 22, 2015
by Dan
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Series Design 2015

In my last post on the book covers of 2015, I thought I would take a look back at some of the series that caught my eye this this year… Stephen Baxter / Manifold; design by Mike Topping (Harper Voyager … Continue reading

September 29, 2015
by Dan
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Tim O’Brien Series Design by Jo Walker

As I mentioned on Twitter yesterday, designer Jo Walker recently redesigned the covers of Tim O’Brien’s classic Vietnam war novels If I Die in a Combat Zone, Going After Cacciato, The Things they Carried, and Northern Lights for 4th Estate in the UK. The series uses a single, searing photograph of a … Continue reading

July 6, 2015
by Dan
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Books Covered by Stuart Bache

Designer Stuart Bache, art director of Oneworld Publications, has started a new vlog about book cover design. In his latest video, Stuart looks at the cover for A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell, designed by Jo Walker:   … Continue reading

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