What is good book design?

Last Wednesday 24 March I had the pleasure of joining a panel discussing book design as part of Geelong Design Week. The panel, chaired by Pooja Desai, consisted of book designer Vaughan Mossop (founder of the innovative micropublisher Somekind Press), designer, writer and typographer Stephen Banham (founder of Letterbox), and me. I have known Stephen …

Talking psychogeography on Life Matters

I had a lovely conversation with Hilary Harper on Radio National’s ‘Life Matters’ program about walking the streets of Melbourne with my late wife, Lynne. On our two-year walk around and through the suburbs of Melbourne, Lynne and I described a kind of wobbly circle, beginning in Williamstown, passing through 50 or so suburbs on …

Melbourne Circle book published in December

My new book Melbourne Circle: Walking, Memory and Loss was launched on 3 December 2020. You can buy the book here, here, here or ask at your local bookshop. The cover art, by the Melbourne artist Jim Pavlidis, captures exactly what I am trying to express in the book: the sense of magic and mystery …

Ned Kelly Awards shortlist

The shortlists for the 2020 Ned Kelly Awards have been announced and I’m absolutely stoked that my font-based mystery, Death of a Typographer is on the shortlist for best Australian crime novel of the year. The judges described it as a ‘quirky and original story which is funny and very Melbourne’. Thank you very much! …

Australian Book Design Awards – cover of the year!

I was absolutely thrilled when Stephen Banham won the Designers’ Choice Cover of the Year award at the 2020 Australian Book Design Awards for his brilliant, witty design for Death of a Typographer. The Cover of the Year Award was shared between two books: Death of a Typographer and The Glad Shout, designed by Jenny …

Ghost signs on Channel 9

This clip recently appeared on the Channel 9 news in Melbourne. It features me talking to reporter Tony Jones about some of the little-known stories behind old Melbourne signage. Some of these signs are described in more detail on my blog Melbourne Circle, and in the forthcoming book Melbourne Circle: Walking, Memory and Loss. They’re …

Melbourne Circle: the book

Melbourne Circle: Walking, Memory and Loss was published in December 2020. It is an account of a journey on foot around Melbourne in the years 2014-16 which I made with my late wife, Lynne. On the way we observed ghost signs, derelict buildings and lost places, and we uncovered countless forgotten stories and characters from …

A chat with 30 Books

Stella Glorie of the Aussie book blog Thirty Books recently interviewed me about my novel Death of a Typographer. We had a lovely chat about typography, Dutch design, men writing women characters and avocados. Stella also asked me for some recommendations of Australian books I’ve recently enjoyed – I mentioned Nick Earls’ Wisdom Tree novellas, …

A selection of books about type

I’m no expert on typography, just a fan, so in the course of researching and writing Death of a Typographer I educated myself by reading many books about type. I spent months in the Redmond Barry Reading Room of the State Library of Victoria, sitting in the typography section, browsing through a great selection of …