Best known for his book cover designs, Chip Kidd has become one of the most famous book cover designers in today’s society. For many years, Kidd has viewed graphic designer Paul Saville as a major influence on his work. Educated at Penn State University, Chip began designing covers in 1986 for Knopf, a New York publishing house, where he became responsible for 75 book covers a year. Today, he still works for Knopf as the art director, along with overseeing the production of comic book covers for Pantheon. Kidd’s love in comic books, graphic novels, and pop culture have been a large influence on his pieces.
According to many sources, one of the most consistent characteristics in Kidd’s revolutionary style is that he does not have a signature look in his book jackets. He describes his work and his typography by stating the following in an interview with Smashing Magazine:
“Personally, in terms of my typography, I think it’s pretty conservative and not very adventurous, because I worry about something looking trendy.”
Kidd’s work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Time, The New York Times, Graphis, New York and ID magazines. He has also written about graphic design for Vogue, The New York Times, the New York Observer, Arena, Details, The New York Post and Print magazines.
Here are some of his most famous works, many looking very familiar:
Learn more by visiting Chip Kidd’s personal website Here.
The Shape of Graphic Design is written by Frank Chimero. Chimero describes his publication in the following quote inside:
“The project will be focused on Why instead of How. We have enough How; it’s time for a thoughtful analysis of our practice and its characteristics so we can better practice our craft. After reading the book, I want you to look at what you do in a whole new light. Design is more than working for clients.
But really, this book aims to look at the mindset and worldview that designing develops in order to answer one big, important question: How can we make things that help all of us live better?”
One part of Chimero’s book that I will keep in mind when I am working on my own art is the idea of storytelling in “Chapter 7: Stories and Voids.” Telling a story within a design can catch a viewer’s attention, with the incorporation of empathy, causing them to continue to observe the whole piece, from top to bottom. This is true with any form of art, from music, to magazines or books, and even on a billboard. The goal of any form of design is to catch a person’s attention and to pull them in, wanting to learn more about the art.
What appealed to me the most about this book is that it simply isn’t a textbook, teaching readers how to create and design. It was made so artists are able to turn to it when they are struggling to find a purpose in their work.
Lanny Sommese: Amnesty International 1988
Lanny Sommese’s work above is titled “Amnesty International.” Lanny attended to the University Of Illinois, receiving his bachelors in Florida. Sommese is a known partner of Penn States Institute for Arts and Humanities. He is also a member of The University and College Designers Association, and a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. He is well known for his graphic design pieces.
In the poster above, involving human rights, Sommese is portraying a linked wire fence as hands reaching out, trying to hold together as a union. He wanted his audience to receive the message that even through the hard times, people should keep hope. Reaching and latching onto each other, trying to stay together and stand their ground.