Designing Books Is No Laughing Matter. OK, so it is.
A bookseller in Newcastle-upon-Tyne once told me that they didn't stock books on Formula One Motor Racing 'because no-one is interested'. That was despite the fact that, at the time, three million UK viewers watched it weekly on TV, peaking at eight million for the British Grand Prix the previous week. So it really didn't come as a surprise when that extremely astute London publisher, Laurence King, produced a monograph on the most famous 'unknown' book designer, Chip Kidd, and a few booksellers took the stand that, as they hadn't heard of him, neither would any of their potential customers. Yet again, how wrong they were! But, I have to admit, I didn't really know much about Chip Kidd, either, in those days. I knew he was a hot shot book designer for Knopf in New York, and everyone said he was changing the face of book jackets and design. But I had absolutely no idea what a character he is in his own right. You really should take a minute (or, rather, most the next seventeen minutes) to have a look at this video from the TED organisation. No, really, you must........
(IT SEEMS not everyone has the plug-in needed to view the TED video above. If you find you can’t see it, you can go straight to the TED site here and view it directly.) Full details of the monograph from the publisher’s website here. Or you can get the monograph on Chip Kidd directly from Amazon here:
The title for this article is stolen from the title of the TED talk on video. Acknowledgements and apologies to both Chip Kidd and TED.