Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chip Kidd

Clue: 19 across, A number of people. Ten letters.

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Chip Kidd, his book designs, anecdotes and humorous voice impressions entertained a large audience at Hallmark this afternoon. I made sure to get there early and ended up in the second row with an ideal vantage point of the images he put up on the big screen.

He started off telling us his most asked question when he gets up in front of groups like this. What is it that most inquiring minds ask of Chip Kidd, the rock-star of book jacket design, writer, graphic novel enthusiast and little-known band member? Inquiring minds like you maybe... a college student standing looking out at the world wondering where you'll end up, how far your portfolio will get you.

What should I do to be a good designer, what advice would you give to someone like me in school, getting ready to look for a job?
Chip (can I call him Chip? Mr. Kidd?) said that there are 2 things that designers must teach themselves: to write and to do crossword puzzles. Because if you think about it, letterforms are the beginning of all design. You put these 26 different shapes together in different ways, and you are able to convey a message.

Clue: 19 across, A number of people. Ten letters.

A __ E __ __ __ E __ I A

Though he's perceived as someone who can design whatever he wants and the clients immediately love it, everyone claps and sings, confetti is tossed in the air and balloons fall from the sky... Chip says that is not the way it works. Concepts are often shut down by either an editor or an author and his first idea is not always chosen.

Chip's presentation was captivating and thought-provoking (thank goodness for the thesaurus widget... inspiring... interesting...) and if you live in the Kansas City area, he will be at Unity Temple on the Plaza tonight at 7:00 p.m. I definitely recommend you go. (But you must not let him or anyone else know that you now have the answer to 19 across. That would just be rude.)

Clue: 19 across, A NUMBer of people. Ten letters.



Lorraine said...

Thanks for posting your thoughts. I still wish I could have had the time to catch him last night. I was really hoping though that he would be playing a concert: have you checked out his band on myspace? It's really good: www.myspace.com/artbreakwonderground

*le sigh*

Josh said...

i love this post. so much personality.

Erin said...

isn't bess a great blogger? makes me feel like i was there to see chip in person (but i was actually driving in a snowstorm in iowa headed to ISU for recruiting...sigh).