The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

July 17, 2014
by Dan
Comments Off on Books on Book Covers

Books on Book Covers

It started, innocently enough, with a tweet from my friend Steven Beattie, book review editor of Canada’s Quill & Quire magazine, about the cover of The Most Dangerous Book, Kevin Birmingham’s new ‘biography’ of Ulysses by James Joyce, designed by Ben … Continue reading

May 14, 2014
by Dan

William Burroughs Series — Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich

Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich recently redesigned a series of classic William S. Burroughs novels for Grove Atlantic with rather splendid “acid colors and Blue Note jazz graphics”: The books in the series include Junky, Naked Lunch, The Adding Machine, Nova Express, The … Continue reading

May 9, 2013
by Dan

Some Recent Book Covers of Note

I haven’t posted a lot of book covers recently, so to amend the situation here’s a completely unscientific selection of a few designs that have caught my eye recently: Middle C by William Gass; Design by Gabriele Wilson Sorry Please … Continue reading

February 25, 2013
by Dan

Design Matters with Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich

Designer Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich interviewed by Debbie Millman for Design Matters. Wonderful stuff: Roberto’s most recent book Men of Letters & People of Substance is published by Godine:  

December 7, 2011
by Dan

My Favourite Covers of 2010

At the end of last year, Joseph Sullivan, curator of the late lamented The Book Design Review, asked me to write about my favourite covers of 2010. I’d always stayed away from such posts in the past because it was Joseph’s … Continue reading

July 4, 2011
by Dan

Paula Fox | Writers & Company

Paula Fox, storied author of Desperate Characters, talks about writing and her memoir Borrowed Finery with Eleanor Wachtel in this archive interview for Writers & Company from 2002: CBC RADIO WRITERS & COMPANY: Paula Fox Interview 2002 The cover above, from … Continue reading

June 27, 2011
by Dan

Chasing the White Dog

I posted cover design for Chasing the White Dog by Max Watman earlier today on The Accidental Optimist, but I thought it was worth reposting here now that it’s been identified as the work of Roberto de Vicq. According to … Continue reading

May 14, 2011
by Dan
1 Comment


Last Thursday The New York Times hosted an exhibition of rejected book jacket designs called ‘Killed Covers’. Fortunately for those of us who don’t live in New York they’ve also posted a gallery of 20 covers from the show. (Pictured … Continue reading

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