Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Book Covers are Cool

Yesterday I went with a library school friend to a lecture/talk by Chip Kidd, book cover designer extraordinaire. He's done some pretty cool covers, many of which are definitely on the way to becoming iconic (if they aren't there already). Even if you've never heard his name before, I'm sure you've seen one of his covers. All you'd have to do to see one is walk in a bookstore. Or go to the library. Or be in an airport.

Anyway, he was a really funny guy. He told a great story as the introduction to his talk, during which he shared with the audience his new mantra: "Bitch, I don't know your life!" (Think this quote in a heavy New York accent, in a KFC. Want more details? Ask me in person.) He suggested integrating that phrase into the vernacular. Will it work in the middle of Indiana? It's really funny either way.

He also had a serious takeaway thought: Graphic design (what he does) is problem-solving, in that it neatly packages whatever needs packaging. Art, on the other hand, is problem-creating, in that is essentially is a constant reopening of Pandora's box. Meditate on that for a while.

Moral of that story, if you ever get the chance to hear Chip Kidd speak, go. Even if you're not that interested in graphic design, or (heaven forbid!) you don't care about books, go. It'll be a good time, guaranteed. Also, I'm pretty sure he was drinking beer throughout the entire talk.

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