The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

November 7, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

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

May 5, 2016
by Dan
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Today in Micro-Trends: Cassette Tape Book Covers

This is another one of those posts that started out on Twitter — a flippant tweet from me sparking a conversation about books with cassette tapes and vinyl records on their covers. It turns out that putting a record on … Continue reading

August 18, 2014
by Dan
10 Comments

Lost in the Plot: Maps on Book Covers

Who doesn’t like a good map? From sophisticated charts to intricate, idiosyncratic drawings to directions drawn on the back of napkin, maps explain the world two-dimensionally. They are flights of imagination anchored in our knowledge of the world — much like books … Continue reading

July 22, 2013
by Dan
15 Comments

50 Canadian Book Cover Designs

Lists are always problematic, but CBC Books longlist of Canada’s Most Iconic Book Covers seems strangely underwhelming somehow. Setting aside what counts as ‘Canadian’ (some of the books on the list were not designed by Canadians for example), ‘iconic’ covers are inevitably … Continue reading

June 21, 2013
by Dan
4 Comments

More New and Recent Book Covers of Note

So is this a thing now? I don’t know. You folks seem to like these posts, so maybe… (but probably not because a lot of designers I really like just don’t updated their portfolios that often—you know who you are… … Continue reading

December 13, 2011
by Dan
10 Comments

Favourite Covers of 2011

After posting my long overdue picks for 2010 last week, here are my selections for my favourite book covers of 2011. I’m currently reading Where The Stress Falls a collection of writing by Susan Sontag published in 2001. In an … Continue reading

August 30, 2009
by Dan
0 comments

Q & A with Michel Vrana, Black Eye Design

Michel Vrana, AKA Black Eye Design, has been on my radar since we first crossed paths on Twitter in the run up to Book Camp Toronto earlier this year. I had hoped to run into the Montreal-based designer in person … Continue reading

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