Chip Kidd on Designing Books


I was presently surprised to find out that Chip Kidd presented at TED.
Chip is one of my favorite book cover designers. I especially like the cover he did for a book (which I own) on Concept Artwork for the Batman Animated series. So I really enjoyed this talk, and his super quirky sense of humor, at TED called “Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.” It is fascinating to see how his personality merges with his design philosophy.
His opening statement that the first thing he learnt was a book cover needs tell people “what do stories look like?” There is a huge parallel to Industrial Design, where the external “skin” should communicate what the product does. This is unfortunately, something that many forget or something that gets overshadowed by beauty and aesthetics.
He also shares his thoughts on the whole current e-book-publishing-is-dead craze and shares:

Much is to be gained by eBooks: ease, convenience, portability. But something is definitely lost: tradition, a sensual experience, the comfort of thingy-ness — a little bit of humanity.” (Chip Kidd)

I agree with him. My feeling is that books will not die out completely, they just need to be better that the 95% of dribble out there. Enjoy!

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