Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design
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Chip Kidd
ISBN 9780761172192
Workman, 2013.
5 stars
Keywords: a-guide-to-graphic-design art bookmaking chip-kidd critical-thinking design publishing

Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design
by Chip Kidd

Chip Kidd, the designer of such iconic book jackets as Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, treats readers as peers with this indispensable book about critical thinking by way of a guide to graphic design.

"Everything that is not made by nature is designed by someone." Kidd's thought-provoking statement introduces a range of design decisions, from the shape and look of a container to type sizes to color coordination. He pictures a milk carton with a pattern resembling a Holstein cow ("drawing inspiration from nature"), then points out the tiny type that states its volume--also a design decision.

An eight-page "brief tour through the history of graphic design," connects images in a flow chart of milestone events, beginning with the first visual forms of communication--the cave paintings at Lascaux, France, and extending through inventions such as the Gutenberg printing press in the 1450s and the first Apple computer (1984), which "started a revolution in how ordinary people interface with machines," and much more. He constantly brings the narrative back to readers and gives them the tools to analyze their own experiences with design. Readers learn type terminology ("font," "kerning," "leading"), tricks of the trade (how to juxtapose big and small, things seen and unseen), plus color combinations and their effects, among many other crucial design ideas.

Like a great ballet dancer, Chip Kidd marries form and function in a way that looks deceptively easy to achieve. Yet he's also an excellent teacher: he wants kids to understand the fundamentals so that, with practice, they, too, can become graphic designers. This book may well inspire a generation to follow in his footsteps. Kidd introduces readers to his vocation as a hidden world, then helps them unlock it.
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