The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

September 8, 2017
by Dan
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Books Will Always Matter

“Even though we think of reading as something that we do alone in our rooms by ourselves, we talk about books, and we take the ideas that we learn from books and the stories that we have heard about books, … Continue reading

September 10, 2013
by Dan
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Frame By Frame: The Art of Stop Motion

The latest episode of the PBS documentary short series Off Book takes a look at the painstaking art of stop-motion animation: I’ve always loved stop-motion so it’s nice to know that it’s undergoing something of a resurgence in the digital … Continue reading

March 18, 2013
by Dan
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Webcomics on Off Book

The latest episode of PBS Off Book on webcomics features interviews with Nick Gurewitch (The Perry Bible Fellowship), the fabulous Lucy Knisley (Stop Paying Attention pictured above), and others:

February 14, 2013
by Dan
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Illustration on Off Book

Illustrators Steven Guarnaccia, Yuko Shimisu, Sean Murphy and Molly Crabapple talk about their work on the latest episode of PBS Off Book:

December 5, 2012
by Dan
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The Universal Arts of Graphic Design

The latest episode of the PBS Arts series Off Book is all about graphic design. Contributors include Debbie Millman, Emily Oberman, Drew Freeman, and Ecco book designer Steve Attardo:

November 9, 2012
by Dan
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Retromedia

Digital formats are really convenient, but they are easily forgotten as well. If you ask anyone what was their first vinyl they bought they’ll probably remember that, but I don’t think a lot of people will remember what was their … Continue reading

April 18, 2012
by Dan
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The Art of Film & TV Title Design | Off Book

The new episode of PBS Arts documentary series Off Book takes a look at the art of the title sequence. The designers of the titles for Blue Valentine, Mad Men, The Pacific, Se7en, and Zombieland discuss their work, and there’s … Continue reading

March 28, 2012
by Dan
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The Impact of Kickstarter, Creative Commons & Creators Project | Off Book

The latest installment of the PBS short documentary series Off Book looks at how interconnectivity is changing the funding and sharing of creative projects:

January 12, 2012
by Dan
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The Evolution of Music Online | Off Book

Related to the previous, the latest PBS Arts Off Book documentary short is about the massive changes that have occurred in the music industry in the last twenty years as a result of new technology and the Internet:

December 12, 2011
by Dan
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Product Design Off Book

The latest short film from PBS Arts Off Book is all about product design:

October 13, 2011
by Dan
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Etsy Art & Craft | Off Book

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about paper-cut artist Rob Ryan, here’s a short film about Etsy itself from PBS Arts Off Book:

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