Workman Publishing, New York, 2013, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
11 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches, hardcover, 160 pages
ISBN: 9780761172192
Suggested Retail Price: $17.95

From the Publisher. Kids love to express themselves, and are designers by nature—whether making posters for school, deciding what to hang in their rooms, or creating personalized notebook covers. Go, by the award-winning graphic designer Chip Kidd, is a stunning introduction to the ways in which a designer communicates his or her ideas to the world. It’s written and designed just for those curious kids, not to mention their savvy parents, who want to learn the secret of how to make things dynamic and interesting.

Chip Kidd is “the closest thing to a rock star” in the design world (USA Today), and in Go he explains not just the elements of design, including form, line, color, scale, typography, and more, but most important, how to use those elements in creative ways. Like putting the word “go” on a stop sign, Go is all about shaking things up—and kids will love its playful spirit and belief that the world looks better when you look at it differently. He writes about scale: When a picture looks good small, don’t stop there—see how it looks when it’s really small. Or really big. He explains the difference between vertical lines and horizontal lines. The effect of cropping a picture to make it beautiful—or, cropping it even more to make it mysterious and compelling. How different colors signify different moods. The art of typography, including serifs and sans serifs, kerning and leading.

Also see our interview with Chip Kidd on Go.

On 2 book lists
Ellen Lupton

Go is a book about graphic design aimed at anyone aged 10 years or older. That includes me. This hardcover book is fun to hold and handle. Despite its generous trim size (8.5 x 11), this is no coffee table book. It’s for reading and using, not for contemplation or display. After reading the whole thing on a recent flight from Baltimore to Denver, I exited the plane with a renewed grasp of visual thinking. This sharply written, boldly designed volume actively shows and demonstrates visual principles. Kidd's book resembles a good keynote presentation transformed into print. While many instructional design books cram their layouts with pictures and captions and explanations, Kidd keeps his pages simple and direct but always surprising. Since many of the examples come from Kidd’s own work, a frisky subversive magic pervades the book. A spread on “Light and Dark” features two of Kidd's psychologically disturbing photographic covers. A sequence of pages on “Big and Small” takes the reader through a series of exciting transformations. After making short work of formal principles, Kidd presents a compact and compelling guide to typography (wow, that was easy), and then amazes the reader with ideas about how to build the bridge between content and form through metaphor, literal and suggestive imagery, ironic conflict, and more.

I could easily use this book in a college-level introduction to graphic design or a workshop for adult learners. Kidd makes graphic design accessible, compelling, and real.

comments powered by Disqus