Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design

Chip Kidd. Workman, $17.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-7611-7219-2
Celebrated designer Kidd’s first lesson is on the front cover: the eight-sided red sign on it doesn’t say STOP, but GO. “The cover is weird,” Kidd writes. “But you opened it anyway. And you know what? That was a design decision.” Crammed with images and type, the book is as riotous as a walk through Times Square. A brief introduction to copyright, thoughts on the place of graphic design in the broader world of design, and a short history of graphic design lead to the heart of the book: a series of lucid, witty, and absorbing analyses of graphic design techniques, illustrated largely with book covers created by Kidd and his colleagues. They sometimes sound like descriptions of magic tricks—not a coincidence, since graphic design, like magic, is concerned with manipulating viewers’ attention. “If you simply turn an image upside down, it automatically makes the viewer not only look at it differently, but pay more attention to it.” There’s a section on typography, and an inspiring series of exercises—tomorrow’s designers will want to grab a pencil and get going. Ages 10–up. Agent: Amanda Urban, Curtis Brown. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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