The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

December 7, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Notable YA Book Covers of 2016

Hot on the heels of my annual covers post, here is my look back at the year’s young adult book covers. As in previous years, this list is a somewhat crowd-sourced affair, so I must thank all the designers and Twitter-folk who … Continue reading

December 14, 2015
by Dan
3 Comments

52 YA Covers for 2015

As my 2014 post was such a hit, here is my second annual look at the past year’s young adult book covers. This isn’t my speciality, so this list is a lot more of a crowd-sourced effort than my very personal adult list. A special thank you to … 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

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

December 11, 2014
by Dan
3 Comments

50 YA Covers for 2014

Like all the best things on The Casual Optimist, this post started life as a conversation on Twitter. The topic this time was the under-representation of YA book designers in all these end of the year cover lists. YA covers are becoming more … Continue reading

October 2, 2014
by Dan
8 Comments

Book Covers of Note October 2014

It’s October and the fall book season is in full swing. It’s kind of bonkers in the trade from now until Christmas, so this is the second to last (if not the actual last) cover round-up for 2014. I think I can … Continue reading

June 23, 2014
by Dan
0 comments

Q & A with Matt Roeser, Candlewick Press

If you follow book design on social media at all, chances are you’ve come already across Matt Roeser‘s  funny, if somewhat dinosaur-fixated, Twitter feed. But over the past couple of years as senior designer at independent children’s publisher Candlewick Press in Massachusetts, Matt has been quietly producing some bright, brilliant, and … Continue reading

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