The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

May 10, 2017
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note May 2017

Everything is awful. Except for book covers… Black Skins, White Masks by Frantz Fanon; design by David Pearson (Pluto Press / May 2017) The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes; design by Ami Smithson; illustration Petra Börner (Mantle / May … Continue reading

February 13, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note February 2017

A little later than usual — between one thing and the apocalypse — but there are some great covers out this month, including at least one contender for cover of the year: The Bear and the Serpent by Adrian Tschaikovsky; … Continue reading

November 27, 2016
by Dan
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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

November 7, 2016
by Dan
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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

September 12, 2016
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note September 2016

It’s September. It’s busy. All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan; design by James Paul Jones (Transworld / September 2016) Art of Memoir by Mary Karr; design by Robin Bilardello (Harper Perennial / September 2016) Before by Carmen Boullosa; design … Continue reading

August 11, 2016
by Dan
3 Comments

Book Covers of Note August 2016

Back from vacation and back to the grind… August is traditionally a slow month in publishing, but that isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of great covers around at this time of year… Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe; … 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

June 6, 2016
by Dan
0 comments

All the Books

At Literary Hub, Designer Oliver Munday discusses his design process and reading the whole text: As designers, we are forced to read quickly, and incisively, mining for the clues to the coveted iconic cover. It can feel careless at times, … Continue reading

April 8, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

Book Covers of Note April 2016

All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage; design by Mario Hugo (Knopf / March 2016) The Assault by Harry Mulisch; design by Oliver Munday (Pantheon / April 2016) The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan; design by Matt … Continue reading

January 11, 2016
by Dan
1 Comment

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 1, 2015
by Dan
16 Comments

Notable Book Covers for 2015

Back in 2014, there were signs that book cover design was maybe, just maybe, having a moment. Suzanne Dean was on the BBC. Peter Mendelsund was on… well, everything. But if 2015 has felt a little quiet by comparison, there … Continue reading

November 9, 2015
by Dan
3 Comments

Book Covers of Note November 2015

Next month I’ll say goodbye to 2015 with my annual list of my favourite covers of the year. Until then, here’s November’s book covers of note, my last monthly covers post for the 2015: Baddeley Brothers by The Gentle Author; design David Pearson (October 2015) … Continue reading

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