Friday, March 2, 2012

TED 2012: Books and Their Covers

I love books.  One of the best days of my life was wandering through the many books stores - new, used and antiquarian - along a few blocks of Queen Street in Toronto, with my dear friend Mark Seltzer, just browsing.  Mark knew all the booksellers in all those stores, and we had just a wonderful day.

Lately, I've been seduced by the incredible convenience of digital books.  Many books in a small package, electronic look-up and note taking - ah, it's just hard to resist.  But I do love the tactile sense of a good old-fashioned book. 

Today, the nostalgia grew deeper during the impassioned talk by Chip Kidd about his 25-year career designing book covers.    Kidd's talk was larded with witticisms and raunchy humour.  It had all the colour, energy and feistiness of his suit and I loved it!  But underlying the humour was his obvious love affair with books - their appearance, their touch, their smell.

What book covers he showed us! I'll share a few with you.

Kidd designed the cover of the Jurassic Park novel, and that design went on to form the basis of the imagery for the movie.

He designed the cheeky cover for the David Sedaris book Naked.  Those shorts are actually a wrap around the book, and can be slid off.  But you might be surprised at what's underneath!

My favourite was Kidd's design for the covers of a series of books about Buddha by Osama Tezuka.  Each cover individually was good; but lining all eight up on a shelf was truly magical.

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