Chip Kidd’s ‘GO!’ hones young artists’ graphic design skills

Famed graphic designer Chip Kidd, pictured here with his many designs.
Famed graphic designer Chip Kidd has set his sights on the younger creative set with his new book.

Chip Kidd, the reigning star of the graphic design world, is no stranger to new projects. He’s dreamt up over a thousand book covers, written novels, played music and worked on cartoons. His new book, “GO!: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design,” is packed with stunning images and project ideas to inspire the youngest budding graphic designers. Kidd opens readers’ eyes to design in everyday life, and challenges children to think about why things look the way they do.

How did you decide to do a book for kids?
My editor, Raquel Jaramillo, noticed there weren’t any books on graphic design for young learners. She has two kids, and had lots of advice on what’s relevant to them.

It’s surprising that this is the first real graphic design book for kids, given the popularity of arts and crafts.
You just used the C-word! Crafts are great, but graphic design has a lot more to do with problem solving and topography. It’s a different way of thinking.

The book includes project ideas for kids who are just starting out, like designing their own logos and fonts. Do you work with kids a lot?
I don’t have my own kids, but I have plenty of nieces and nephews. We do things like design stationery together, or decorate their skateboards so they don’t look like anyone else’s.

When were you first introduced to graphic design?
When I was a kid, I didn’t know what it was yet. I never heard the term “graphic design” until I was in college. But I think this generation of kids is thinking about this stuff already. We’re so much more technologically advanced now than when I was 10, so I think it’s important for them to start learning about these concepts now.

How is working with kids different from working with adults?
Kids have fresh perspectives on things, which is really important. I’ve been doing this for 27 years, and sometimes I forget to be inquisitive – kids help you remember to never stop learning.

Your book talks a lot about fonts. Why do you have such strong feelings about them?
I want everyone to educate themselves more about typefaces – a lot of them won’t hold up to the test of time, and will look super dated in 10 years.

Like Comic Sans?
Yes, I think it’s terrible. It’s the 8-track tape of typefaces, but you see it everywhere!

Is graphic design a natural talent, or a learned skill?
You do have to have some talent, but the main thing is working on it, honing it and developing it. Design education is really important. That was part of the impetus for doing the book.

Why is design education such a big deal?
Design shapes your world. Unless you’re a hermit that lives in the woods and never see anybody, you’re exposed to thousands of examples of designs every day – whether on a screen, as part of an object, or something you walk past. Design education helps you understand who’s creating the world and how.

The book is intended for kids age 10 and up – why?
The age is relative. It’s for anyone new to graphic design who wants an intro to it – I tried not to talk down to the audience, no matter who they are. But reading and writing is an important part of graphic design – it’s a form of communication.

How can younger kids get into graphic design?
A parent could go through the book and decide what is applicable to their child. Even young kids can talk about color and form – things like big and small, up and down, left and right. If a child doesn’t understand some of the tougher concepts yet, the book can be a jumping-off point.

Any tips for the parents of future designers?
Creative kids are extremely self-motivated. More than ever, kids are creating their own identities at home, in school and with friends. Parents should pay attention to how kids are doing that, and open up a dialogue about it. It’s important that parents encourage them.

Workman, Chip Kidd’s publisher for “GO!,” has created a Book Cover Challenge, inviting readers to redesign the cover of any favorite book using the principles in “GO!” Find out more about the challenge and how to submit your design here.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.