Thursday, March 12, 2009

All Dressed Up

This cover got axed too, but I thought it deserved a little explanation. It is intended to be a tribute to my very favorite designer and personal hero, Chip Kidd. Although, some people might call it a complete snake--and a bad one at that. The very fact that David Sedaris will be at MU when this issue comes out called for something endearing. The idea of bringing the topic of women working in what are traditionally considered to be men's jobs, works well against the body of a Barbie. The idea comes from Kidd's design of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

When I was designing this cover, I spent a lot of time looking through my book of Kidd's work, and reading about his process. He said the following in an interview with The Onion:

The Onion: What is your process like?

Chip Kidd:
It's extremely organic. The stock answer is that every book is different, or at least reasonably different, so the process is going to change from book to book, depending on what they are. Sometimes you hit it right away, sometimes you have to do eight different things, sometimes the publisher or the author or the agent will wear you down to the point where you want it to be over with, and what you end up with is kind of a mess. You just accept it and move on. The most tiring—and yet the most rewarding—experiences are when you have to keep redoing it again and again, but what you end up with is actually the best thing. A perfect example of that is something I just did for the new David Sedaris book [
Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim]. I gave three ideas, and those didn't cut it, and then I gave two more, and I heard nothing, and I started doing photo research for a different job. Luckily, my design gene was secreting, and I saw an image that I thought would be perfect. It was great. Those moments are worth everything. They're some of the most pleasurable aspects of life—when you see something and the scales fall from your eyes, and it's like, "There it was the whole time. It just took until now to find it."

The entire interview can be found at the A.V. Club.

If you haven't had the chance to peruse Chip Kidd's book, which is called Book One, I highly recommend you go to a bookstore, locate the book, locate a chair and read it cover to cover. He has a prolific amount of work. You may own books designed by him and you don't even know it. But the book also provides wonderful insights from Kidd as well as drafts of work, axed work and letters from happy and unhappy authors.

Kidd also happens to be a fantastic writer. The Cheese Monkeys is one of my favorites, and his second book and sequel, The Learners is great too. Both of course, are designed beautifully, but the semi-autobiographical stories he tells are poignant and relevant to what any creative, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed designer can go through when he or she decides they want to be a part of the graphic design world.

Anyway, enough of my gushing about Chip Kidd. Find out for yourself why he's so terrific. Read the book!

Oh, and Mr. Kidd, if you ever happen to read this, I'd love to work for you.


MMP said...

Really great piece. Nice job.

j.vanHorn said...

I like the shameless plug to your website. It looks great! But where are your photos??