Book covers explained
I came across this Ted Talk of Chip Kidd, Art Director at Knopf, explaining how a book jacket/cover gets designed. He explains how the book designer’s responsibility is three-fold: to the public, to the author and to the publisher. He confirms what I hoped was true; that the designer does read the book and decides ‘what the story will look like’ (Chip’s words).
Chip Kidd isn’t the most charismatic person you will watch but he is obviously a book snob himself, so I can appreciate that. I also appreciate his enthusiasm for books and I get the sense he cares about the design of these stories. There are a few things he says throughout that made me nod my head in agreement while scribbling the words down so that I could use them on others when they ask, why is a book cover so important?
Lastly, he wins me over near the end when he comments on the world of the e-readers and kindles. He says that while those things have their value, something gets lost in the translation: “Tradition and a sensual experience.”
And this is ultimately what I get when I read a book. As I said before in a previous post – the book experience is one of the senses; touch, sight, sound, smell and taste.