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The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
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Kidd has you Covered

For any avid reader choosing a book depends mostly on preferences about genre, author, length, etc. But for many graphic designers the books we choose to read depend largely on the cover design. So it should come as no surprise to you that you have probably read a book with a cover designed by Chip Kidd. At least one of his, approximately, 800 cover designs.

His work has graced the covers of books written by every best-selling author (at least in the US) from Michael Crichton’s Lost World to David Sidaris’ Naked, one of my all time favorite books. But there is no need to list all of his covers.

A writer himself, he recently published The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters, a fiction novel that relates to graphic design (I haven’t read it, but it’s the next one on my list). He has published various books about Batman, a subject with which he has a strong, and strange, fascination.

His work has been published in every major publication, and has also contributed with design magazines, providing insightful, and always amusing, writing and commentary.

Truly, an influential designer.

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ARCHIVE ID 1248 FILED UNDER Designer/Design Firm Profile
PUBLISHED ON Sep.25.2002 BY Armin
Tom Dolan’s comment is:

I'll trade tips and contacts for breaking into the music design industry for anyone with tips/contacts for breaking into the publishing industry. I've actually done 4 book covers, for a micro-publisher, but I'd love to do more. Anybody?

On Sep.25.2002 at 09:22 AM
pk’s comment is:

oooh, i saw one at a used bookstore - minority report, apparently created after the film. white cover, icky rainbow photoshop thing, and the horsiest type this side of romper room. it opened vertically and you read from top to bottom. and girl, it was nasty. made me feel better to know all of us make mistakes.

on the other hand, read the cheese monkeys, which he wrote. it's a scream.

On Sep.25.2002 at 04:28 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Is this the cover you are talking about?

On Sep.25.2002 at 04:53 PM
pk’s comment is:

eyuch. yeah, that's it.

On Sep.25.2002 at 10:52 PM
Armin’s comment is:

And it was printed in Mexico, how 'bout that?

No, I know, it doesn't really matter.

On Sep.26.2002 at 07:02 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Isn't that Gestalt from Jonathan Hoefler? I never really liked that font, now... I'll probably never use it.

On Sep.26.2002 at 07:05 AM
pk’s comment is:

no, it's some fontfont by malcolm garrett. think it's called code. comes with the black boxes around it. why!?

On Sep.26.2002 at 10:59 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>comes with the black boxes around it. why!?

I just don't know. But this is why I got confused:



On Sep.26.2002 at 11:11 AM
jlt’s comment is:

Dolan, I'm with you. I would love to do more book work. I've done a bit of interior work, some trade but mostly for academic publishers (books, journals, all kinds of stuff) and would like to do some cover work, too.

(a href="http://bizstone.com/">Biz Stone does a lot, and sometimes writes about the business on his blog.

On Sep.30.2002 at 05:43 PM
Chip Kidd’s comment is:

Dear "PK",

I do sixteen years worth of work and you single out "Minority Report"? That HURTS, girleen. The funny thing about it is, you practically have to be Sherlock Holmes to find the design credit on that baby, so you must have hungry eyes. Or something.

The mandate on that project was to literally make something that would be the "un" movie tie-in. No Tom Cruise, etc. There was no footage available at the time, so I just made it up based on the content of Dick's story. Which it would have behooved Mr. Spielberg to do as well, instead of pulling that slow-motion train wreck out of his nine-figure-budget behind.

The book is vertically arranged to mimic a police detective's pad, and the "horsey" type is a reference to the way PK Dick's books were set in the fifties and sixties. The display type is "Stealth". Whatever.

Anyway, thanks to Armin for this post, and the obvious work that went into it.

AND re your Martha post: If it's of any interest, my best friend from school and 'Knopf days' is Barbara deWilde, who is also the Design Director for Martha Stewart Living, and she masterminded the redesign and commissioned the typeface in question from Jonathan Hoefler. She also, incidentally, makes up about thirty percent of the Himillsy Dodd character in my novel. Small world, yes?

But I'd hate to have to clean it . . .

On Oct.29.2002 at 05:05 PM