The Friday Fillip: Kidd Some

If you can remember books, you’ll also likely remember book jackets, those slipcovers that help you mark your page, keep sliding off when you try to read in bed, and announce to the world what it is you’re into. Of course, they also hook you into buying the book in the first place — if they’re good enough. And that’s where a man called Chip Kidd comes in: he’s the star of book cover designers.

Bright. Startling. Imaginative. And above all, effective. His efforts wrap the authors’ in just the right judge-stuff.

No surprise then, that in person he’s… well, bright, startling, imaginative and a little over the top. Here, to make this case, are a few videos that show Captain Kidd strutting his stuff. With humour and, to kick things off, a pair of mustard pants to die for.

Next, Chip Kidd “in support of his new novel, THE LEARNERS, presents 5 experiments in FORM and CONTENT” — which one commenter called “perhaps the most deeply disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. Good show.”

And finally, “Chip Kidd on Designing Murakami’s 1Q84 Book Jacket”, a much more sober exposition by Kidd in his office.


  1. I love the design of the Murikami book, but had not picked up on all those elements. Sadly it does not translate well into the ebook format which I am reading (the images are there, but have been scanned in and are puzzling at best). Reading it in ebook format has saved me the pain of carrying such a large book, but now I am feeling compelled to purchase the paper version to have for my shelf after seeing this.

    It is interesting to note the book is originally three novels, and has been combined into one binding for the English North American audience. When I was in Ottawa last week I saw the French version which was indeed in three separate bindings and completely different.