The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

November 14, 2017
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note, November 2017

It’s my last monthly cover round-up of the year! Watch out for my review of 2017 next month…  After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry; design by Pete Dyer (Serpents Tail / November 2017) Basket of Deplorables by Tom … Continue reading

April 8, 2017
by Dan
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Elena Ferrante Covers Designed by Angelo Bottino

The covers of the Anglo-American editions of Elena Ferrante’s novels published by Europa Editions have been… well, controversial to say the least (read an interview with the art director about their “kitsch” quality here). The Australian editions of Ferrante’s Neapolitan … Continue reading

April 13, 2016
by Dan
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Australian Book Design Awards 2016 Shortlist

ABDA, the Australian Book Designers Association, recently announced the shortlist for the 64th Australian Book Design Awards. As in previous years, the shortlist includes some cracking designs in a wide-range of categories. The finalists for literary fiction are pictured below: … Continue reading

August 24, 2015
by Dan
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David Pearson on Slow Design

Award-winning Australian designer and art directer W. H. Chong interviews David Pearson — who is giving a series of talks on book design in Australia this week — for his column Culture Mulcher: I love the Gandhi quote, ‘There is more to life … Continue reading

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