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Chip Kidd Talks Cover Design, ‘Buddha’ and eBooks at TED [Video]

Chip Kidd is one of the best-known book designers in the business. He’s designed covers for works by James Ellroy, David Sedaris, Haruki Murakami, John Updike and hundreds of others, though comic fans may know him better as the designer on Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha series, Pantheon Books’ Bat-Manga and Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. Kidd is also a hardcore comic fan. He has an extensive collection of Batman memorabilia, and he once told USA Today that the first cover he ever noticed was probably a Batman comic. “The colors, the forms, the design. Batman himself is such a brilliant design solution.” Now, Kidd shares some of his insights into his cover design process in a recent presentation recorded by the nonprofit Technology, Entertainment, Design, a.k.a. TED.In a 17-minute talk for the TED Talks series, Kidd shares his insights into good cover design using examples from his own back catalog. It’s a fascinating and witty presentation that touches on the relationship between words and images, how book designers distill, translate and interpret stories, and why Kidd is no fan of ebooks. The talk only briefly touches on Kidd’s comics work with a mention of Tezuka’s Buddha, which he especially likes because “…When it’s on your shelf, you get a shelf life of Buddha, moving from one age to the next.” He may not be discussing all of his comics work, but his observations are generally as applicable to comic covers as to prose covers.

Check out the full (partially NSFW) presentation below:

[Via TED]

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