Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chip Kidd Lecture

"Live every day of your life as if you're dying of a contagious disease that turns people into flesh-eating zombies when you bite them." - Chip Kidd

I thought Chip Kidd was going to be one of those artists who talk with a perfect understanding that everyone in the auditorium is listening to their every word... and writing it down. I found it pleasant and inspiring that somebody as famous and talented as Chip could be able to maintain a healthy, humorous approach to their life and work. Like any other artist, he has a certain amount of self-adoration, but it didn't make me uncomfortable or disappointed.  My high school art teacher used to say: "Respect your works and other people will respect them." 
I appreciated  the humor in the presentation, which I think is a very important skill to have in order to keep your audience alert and interested. People in a good mood are said to appreciate more things.
 I  was a little bit disappointed that Chip designs covers for some books that he does not inspire him.  Although the  cover for the Fangland book turned out rather interesting, I think it would have been better if Chip tried to design books he likes or at least shares some of the ideas in them. The book  cover  for Fangland was rejected because "it wasn't scary enough". Was that a sign? I appreciate that Chip Kidd seems to believe in his ideas even if they were rejected by someone else. "Ideas.  Don't let them go to waste" is an exellent motto for any designer. 
It was quite obvious in Chip's presentation that there is a huge percentage of people who do not understand humor and symbols. The Man and the Camel book cover is a great example. "Where is the camel?" is a question that must have really irritated Chip. It would definitely irritate me. Sometimes you have to see things that are not as obvious as you thought they would be. 
I appreciated that Chip shared his experience in working with clients. If you send in tree works: two strong and one weaker one, the client will probably choose the weaker one. "Send in something you will be able to live with," says Chip. I came across a similar idea in Adrian Shughnessy's book How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul.  For me the moral is  to always do the best I can. 
There are people  who are fans of Chip's art and people who can't stand it, but Chip is talented designer and his works and experience are things we can all learn from. The lecture was a huge inspiration both in art and work ethics, and  an entertaining event.  ... and I got a book that will probably help me find out more about Chip Kidd and the profession of a graphic designer in today's world.

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