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Chip Kidd: Book One: Work: 1986-2006 Hardcover – September 27, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Stylishly designed and richly produced, this witty volume works both as a retrospective of Kidd's renowned book covers and as a memoir of his career in publishing. "I did not grow up yearning to become a book designer," Kidd declares in his prologue. "What I wanted to be was Chris Partridge on The Partridge Family." Thank heavens that plan didn't work out; ever since Sara Eisenman hired Kidd at Knopf, he's been churning out creepy, striking, sly, smart, unpredictable covers that make readers appreciate books as objects of art as well as literature. His accounts of the development of such famous covers as the clear acetate jacket for Donna Tartt's The Secret History and the high-gloss spot-laminate design for Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle are fascinating. And his irresistible, tongue-in-cheek remarks keep the text from getting gushy or self-aggrandizing. Example: "One of the great advantages to designing book covers is that you don't ever have to have an idea, much less a thought, ever, in your head. That is the author's job." Publishing insiders will relish the behind-the-scenes stories. Kidd's descriptions of his design process and training make the book equally rewarding for graphic artists. This is a gorgeous gift for serious lovers of books and design. (Nov. 1)
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About the Author
Chip Kidd is associate art director at Alfred A. Knopf. His first novel, The Cheese Monkeys, was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is the editor-at-large for Pantheon and the author of Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, Batman Collected, and others. He is presently at work on a second novel, The Learners. He lives in New York City and Stonington, Connecticut.
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Top customer reviews
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Fortunately, Chip Kidd happens to be a very good writer. There is no ego here, Kidd keeps a sense of humor throughout.
This is a beautiful book for every designer to add to their library. My one suggestion would be to spend a few extra bucks for the hardcover edition...
PROS: having so many of Kidd's designs in one place is worth the price of admission, inclusion of the development and back story of each cover is interesting and elucidating, stories of his adventures in the trade are well-written and fun to learn about.
CONS: the cover is awkward, the shape of the book makes it hard to hold while reading - you really have to put it on something flat - it's sometimes difficult to decipher exactly which pictures the captions are referencing.
There is a definite form-over-function issue with the book, but the content is what counts - and that gets 5 stars from me without a quibble.
Kidd makes me try to expand the way I think about what I'm trying to say, and for that reason, this book will be a frequent reference.
ps.i followed my advice and bought the hardcover .Amazing its even more unwieldy,the cover is half hard and half soft,yikes!I ended up buying the soft cover to keep and treat it very carefully ,was that the point of this nutty design?I guess this cover will enter the hall of fame and certainly will be a collectors item if its never opened.Argghh!!!