August 20, 2012

In praise of books: Have you ever wondered what your stories would look like?

What colors, images and lettering are “you”?

The topic is explored with humorous insight in the following video by Chip Kidd, the guy who designed the covers for books like “Jurassic Park,” “The Dark Knight” Batman trilogies and Katherine Hepburn’s memoir. He’s worked with David Sedaris and John Updike too.

Kidd’s 17-minute TED Talk video is eye candy about the use of fonts, photos, titles, color, images and a few surprising extras. He got me thinking in new ways about words and the visual images that they represent. Kidd is also fun to watch because he’s a terrific speaker who throws his entire body into making his audience pay attention.

Plus, the man has made some beautiful books covers. Here’s a peek at some of his work from his personal Good is Dead website. They’re from his portfolio as associate art director for the very classy publishing house, Alfred A. Knopf. He’s been working there for 25 years.  Look at these colors, the feel of them. So clean yet intense and emotional. 

I don’t want to spoil this by blabbing on too long. Have fun doing a little exploring.

By the way, TED is great. If you’ve never heard of this non-profit, it’s an organization dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” It hosts conferences, talks and videos like this one featuring really smart, entrepreneurial speakers who have cachet in their chosen fields. 

The only problem with visiting the website is that once I’m there, I can’t stop watching video after video.

If you’d like to know more about Chip Kidd, check out this  link to his National Public Radio interview:  “In the E-Book World, Are Book Covers A Dying Art?” (You can guess the answer!)