The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

August 15, 2016
by Dan
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David Carson: All For a Few Good Waves

If you’re not a fan of David Carson’s (in)famous design work, this video is unlikely to change your mind. It is hard, however, to shake the feeling that he’s having the last laugh… Between this and William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days, the surf … Continue reading

March 8, 2015
by Dan
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William Gibson on Authenticity

I’d be the first to admit that I didn’t really get on with William Gibson’s latest novel The Peripheral, but I really enjoyed his ‘Blue Ant’ trilogy — Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History. Interestingly, the (fictional) Buzz Rickson … Continue reading

February 27, 2015
by Dan
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Masters of Letters

Sartorial site Mr Porter asks five designers — Mat Maitland, Eddie Opara, Sagi Haviv, Edwin Van Gelder, and Chip Kidd — about their favourite typeface. Here’s Eddie Opara of Pentagram on Berthold Wolpe’s Albertus, the typeface used for the street signs of the City of London: I … Continue reading

February 6, 2014
by Dan
1 Comment

Truth. Beauty. Bailey.

“Are you filming, or am I wasting my fucking time?” A short film by Jamie Roberts about British fashion photographer David Bailey, who I will forever associate with David Hemmings propeller-purchasing photographer in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up: The film was commissioned … Continue reading

June 25, 2013
by Dan
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Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet

In this short film, designer Keith Lovegrove discusses his book Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet and how the culture of air travel has developed from the 1920s:   (disclosure: Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet is published by Laurence King and distributed in Canada by … 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:

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