Chipp Kidd has been designing book jackets for 25 years. He is the associate Art Director at Knopf, an imprint of Random House.
“A book designer gives form to content.”
What stood out to me the most in this talk was on of the first topics: Chipp warning book jacket designers not to take an image and describe it in words. His example: “Do not draw an image of an apple and below, place the word Apple.” You either say, “apple,” or you draw the apple, but you don’t do both. This is so important. I feel like this is something I might have done without thinking about it, but it’s clear to me why that is not necessary. Chipp has created book covers with no words on the cover. The Katherine Hepburn Story (left) is words and the Marlina Dietrick Biography book cover (right) is a picture.
“I want you to look at the author’s book and say, “wow, I need to read that.””
I thought his “Naked” book cover was really cool. The book is about a man who goes to a nudist colony. He went there because he feared his body image and he wanted to see what was underlying this fear. Chip Kid displayed a pair of shorts on the dust jacket and the actual book cover shows a person’s x-ray. The author goes to this place to overcome his body image fears and the source is inside himself.
Haruki Murakami is a novel about a single person straddling two planes of existence. This cover is sort of a combination of the Hepburn and Dietrich cover ideas. This cover is particularly beautiful.
I enjoyed watching Chipp Kidd’s TED talk. He’s very whimsical and has a great voice to listen to. I enjoyed some of his jokes, like when he was talking about reading a physical novel vs. reading from an iPad. He made the talk fun! His covers are beautiful and have an amazing amount of thought and concept behind them!
Chipp Kidd image found here.