Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is. (TED Talk Reaction)


(Image source: YouTube)

Chip Kidd is a unique character. It is clear from the beginning of the video from the way he dresses, speaks, and his personality, he is a very unique person. But, he makes some excellent points about book design and graphic design. At the beginning of the talk, Chip asks the audience this question: What does the story look like? Chip then goes onto state about how the book designer needs to give balance to the content in the book.


The first example Kidd gives are two biographies he designed (photo below). One of them was Marlene Dietrich, and the other was Katharine Hepburn. He describes how Dietrich’s book was written as an observational style, while the Hepburn biography was written in a style that made it sound like she was sitting across from you having a conversation.



(Image source:

I think this design is very clever because of the way he used the photograph of Dietrich, and the simple text on the cover of Hepburn’s book makes it seem like it is a very text heavy book. The photo on the Dietrich book is probably one of my favorite features in this series of designs because in a way it looks slightly faded, which gives the element of aging.

One of my favorite designs Chip Kidd did was the Jurassic Park book cover. The design was so well done it was used in the movie logo. The typography could be slightly improved in my opinion, but thats only a small detail. The tracing of the dinosaur adds to the book, making it pop out to someone wanting to buy it.


(image source: Wikipedia article about Jurassic Park)

Kidd may come off to some people as a bit over the top and crazy, but his personality is clearly reflected in his designs. I feel he is an excellent designer due to his personality. For more on Chip Kidd or to check out his designs, click here! 





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