The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

June 27, 2017
by Dan

SPINE Interview with Suzanne Dean

Designer Holly Dunn talks to Suzanne Dean, Creative Director at Vintage Books and one of the UK’s leading cover designers, for SPINE Magazine:

June 16, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note June 2017

Hey June, don’t make it bad, take a sad book and make its cover… The Angry Chef by Anthony Warner; design by Steven Leard (Oneworld / June 2017) The Answers by Catherine Lacey; design by Gray318 (Granta / June 2017) … Continue reading

March 3, 2017
by Dan

ABCD Award Winners 2017

The winners of the annual Academy of British Cover Design (ABCD) Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony London in last night. The dashing Danny Arter has a posted a full report on the proceedings at The Bookseller. You can see all … Continue reading

January 6, 2017
by Dan

Book Covers of Note January 2017

My first post of 2017 includes some cracking new book covers fresh this month, and a few handsome stragglers from the end of 2016… Happy New Year!  Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson; design by Erin Fitzsimmons (Katherine Tegen Books / January 2017) Always Happy … Continue reading

November 7, 2016
by Dan

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

June 8, 2016
by Dan

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

March 8, 2016
by Dan

52 Women Book Cover Designers

If you follow the Casual Optimist on Twitter, you will know that a couple of weeks ago design studio Aishima asked people to tweet about inspiring women graphic designers using the hashtag #celebratewomen. As today is International Women’s Day, I thought … Continue reading

January 27, 2016
by Dan

Julian Barnes and Suzanne Dean in Conversation

At the Penguin Blog, author Julian Barnes and designer Suzanne Dean discuss their 20 year creative relationship with Alex Clark: “What’s so nice about working with Julian is the trust; I think that’s really important. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than … Continue reading

December 22, 2015
by Dan

Series Design 2015

In my last post on the book covers of 2015, I thought I would take a look back at some of the series that caught my eye this this year… Stephen Baxter / Manifold; design by Mike Topping (Harper Voyager … Continue reading

July 7, 2015
by Dan

Book Covers of Note July 2015

It’s finally summer, and because July is traditionally something of a quiet month in publishing, I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on a few covers that I missed earlier in the year… Act of God by Jill Ciment; design … Continue reading

January 8, 2015
by Dan

Front Row: The Art of Book Cover Design

BBC Radio 4’s Front Row talks to Suzanne Dean, creative director at Random House UK, about the art of book cover design. Dean, who was very publicly thanked by Julian Barnes for her work on his book The Sense of … Continue reading

August 5, 2014
by Dan

Book Covers of Note August 2014

Here is this month’s selection of recently noted covers: 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino; design by Christopher Brand (Crown August 2014) The Bend of the World by Jacob Bacharach; design by Jamie Keenan (W. W. Norton … Continue reading

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