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Book Review

Book Review: 'Go' Is A Great Introduction To Graphic Design

Fletcher Powell

Time and again we've been warned not to judge a book by its cover. But when you’re looking at one of the more than 1,000 book covers designed by Chip Kidd, it’s difficult to follow that advice. Especially when you understand the amount of research and planning that have gone into each of his cover designs.

So now, Chip Kidd has written a design book titled Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. Even though the title is a play on his name, it’s designed for “kids” ages 10 and up.

I fall into the “and up” category, so I allowed myself to enjoy the book in small moments over the last several weeks, treating it more like a coffee table book than a design guide. But it wasn’t until I sat down and read it cover to cover that I was able to fully appreciate what it has to offer.

With a chipboard cover and full-color throughout, it’s a fantastic primer on the elements of graphic design. Kidd explores form, typography, content and concept. He not only breaks it down into manageable pieces that are easy to understand, he also tells us why we should care.

Kidd explains that graphic design is a mental experience, while other areas of design—architecture, industrial and fashion—are physical. Each day we are asked to take thousands of “head trips” through the exposure of so many images. Most of the decisions we make are by design.

In the final chapter of the book, Kidd offers special design projects and invites young people to share their results on his website. His use of examples and information in the sidebars make the projects very accessible.

I really like this book for budding artists. It’s a great introduction to the subject.