The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

January 16, 2018
by Dan
2 Comments

Book Covers of Note January 2018

I was sure that 2018 would be different from 2017, and yet here we are… Happy New Year!  The Age of Caesar by Plutarch; translation by Pamela Mensch; design by Catherine Casalino (W.W. Norton / January 2018) The Book of … Continue reading

December 22, 2015
by Dan
3 Comments

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

November 5, 2012
by Dan
0 comments

Cruel Britannia

An astonishing short film for what looks to be a very important book: Ian Cobain’s exposure of Britain’s secret history of torture Cruel Britannia is published by Portobello Books. The starkly brilliant cover (on which the video is based) was … Continue reading

February 17, 2012
by Dan
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Basquiat, Bowie, and British Tailoring

Michael Salu, artistic director of Granta, talks to Crane TV about his work, influences and personal style:

August 17, 2011
by Dan
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Diana Athill | Michael Salu and Rankin

Designed by the brilliant Michael Salu, the cover for Diana Athill’s forthcoming collection of letters, Instead of a Book, features a stunning portrait of the author by acclaimed British photographer Rankin (co-founder of Dazed & Confused in case you were wondering). To … Continue reading

July 9, 2010
by Dan
1 Comment

Somthing for the Weekend

“Spot gloss on the molecules” — David Gee’s cover for 7 Good Reasons Not To Be Good by John Gould. Going Back — Artistic Director Michael Salu on the creating the cover of the new issue of Granta magazine: For … Continue reading

February 24, 2010
by Dan
1 Comment

Midweek Miscellany

Precisely and Concisely — The Caustic Cover Critic interviews designer and Artistic Director of Granta magazine Michael Salu: Bizarrely, designers looking for employment are often judged by what software they’re able to use. Intellect, cultural awareness and often creativity don’t … Continue reading

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