The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

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 10, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

James Victore shares his workspace with From The Desk Of. Burn Unit — At the New York Times ‘Bits’ blog, David Streitfeld writes on Amazon’s recent image problems: [Take] the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek two weeks ago. It shows a book … Continue reading

January 27, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Typographica’s favourite typefaces of 2011 (pictured above: A2 Beckett designed by Henrik Kubel for A2-TYPE). The Coroner`s Report — John Banville reviews The Complete Poems by Philip Larkin for The Guardian: A “Complete Poems” is a death certificate and memorial … Continue reading

January 25, 2012
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Everyday Epic — Tom Spurgeon interviews Tom Gauld at The Comics Reporter: I find that when I’m drawing I’m quite happy to come up with larger than life, epic things but when I write things tend to be more down to … Continue reading

January 18, 2012
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Psycho-Drama — Pat Kirkham reassesses the collaboration between Saul Bass and Alfred Hitchcock for Design Observer: The entire Bass/Hitchcock collaboration deserves to be better known, partly because of the sheer quality of the work, partly because it offers an interesting case … Continue reading

October 19, 2011
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Buzzwords of the Incurious — Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, delivers a searing review of Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live by Jeff Jarvis.  A must-read: The ubiquitous … Continue reading

September 23, 2011
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Peirene Press is small independent publisher in the UK specializing in previously untranslated contemporary European novellas. Their most recent series of books, designed by Sacha Davison Lunt, has been short-listed for the 2011 British Book Design and Production Awards in … Continue reading

September 7, 2011
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Book designer and all-round good chap David Pearson on phillumeny at We Made This: It’s no coincidence that a book designer should be drawn to matchbox labels. Their shape is intrinsically book-like, their method of communication instantaneous and spare, and they … Continue reading

January 19, 2011
by Dan
2 Comments

Midweek Miscellany

Fantagraphics find a cache of signed, limited-edition bookplates by artists including Dan Clowes, Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez. The Case & Point — A new website showcasing the best in custom type design and lettering curated by Vancouver-based design studio … Continue reading

September 24, 2010
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Sadly I missed the book launch earlier this week, but Toronto-based artist and illustrator Gary Taxali talked to the Torontoist and The National Post about his new kids book This is Silly!. You can see more of Taxali’s amazing book … Continue reading

September 17, 2010
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Thanks for the CBC Books blog for including The Casual Optimist in their list of 10 ‘Book Blogs We Appreciate’ earlier this week. It is always nice to be appreciated — I only hope I can live up to the … Continue reading

September 1, 2010
by Dan
1 Comment

Midweek Miscellany

The mighty George Lois at home in New York City at The Selby. Start the Press — Robert Pinsky reviews The Book in the Renaissance by Andrew Pettegree for the New York Times: The story begins with money. Johannes Gutenberg … Continue reading

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