Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design

Overview

“An excellent introduction to graphic design through [the author’s] own excellent work. Anyone interested in the subject, including most practitioners, will find it delightful.”—Milton Glaser

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 ...

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Overview

“An excellent introduction to graphic design through [the author’s] own excellent work. Anyone interested in the subject, including most practitioners, will find it delightful.”—Milton Glaser

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.

The book ends with ten projects, including an invitation to share your designs at GoTheBook.com.

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  • Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design
    Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Author James Ellroy calls Chip Kidd "the world's best book-jacket designer" and USA enthused that he is "the closest thing to a rock star" in the design world. Even with those accolades aside, Knopf's associate director is an exemplary instructor adept at imparting information about all the basic elements of design. His lively, even playful explanations and examples invite young readers, and let's admit it, novices of all ages, into the joys of creativity. Whether he's giving pointers on color, form, line, typography, or scale, he's making you think about what you do when pen or pencil first meets paper. A treasure of a tutorial that ends with ten projects and a challenge to share your designs online!

Publishers Weekly
08/19/2013
Celebrated designer Kidd’s first lesson is on the front cover: the eight-sided red sign on it doesn’t say STOP, but GO. “The cover is weird,” Kidd writes. “But you opened it anyway. And you know what? That was a design decision.” Crammed with images and type, the book is as riotous as a walk through Times Square. A brief introduction to copyright, thoughts on the place of graphic design in the broader world of design, and a short history of graphic design lead to the heart of the book: a series of lucid, witty, and absorbing analyses of graphic design techniques, illustrated largely with book covers created by Kidd and his colleagues. They sometimes sound like descriptions of magic tricks—not a coincidence, since graphic design, like magic, is concerned with manipulating viewers’ attention. “If you simply turn an image upside down, it automatically makes the viewer not only look at it differently, but pay more attention to it.” There’s a section on typography, and an inspiring series of exercises—tomorrow’s designers will want to grab a pencil and get going. Ages 10–up. Agent: Amanda Urban, Curtis Brown. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Kidd’s folksy, conversational tone, in which he speaks directly to readers, is appealing. . . . This is a book not only for art classes, but also for courses in journalism, communications, media, and writing, for units on persuasive writing and advertising, and to demonstrate how strong visual images convey meaning and appeal."
School Library Journal (starred review)

"Beginning with the striking cover design—a red stop sign reading "GO"—this book challenges our assumptions about what we see and read. Kidd skillfully uses typography and illustration to demonstrate how graphic design informs the ways we make decisions that affect our lives. . . . An engaging introduction to a critical feature of our modern, design-rich environment."
Kirkus Reviews

"A series of lucid, witty, and absorbing analyses of graphic design techniques . . . tomorrow’s designers will want to grab a pencil and get going."
Publishers Weekly

“'GO: A Kidd's Guide To Graphic Design,' is pretty awesome.”
– The Huffington Post

“Kidd . . . uses his writing skill to make design theory more interesting and appealing for young artists. . . . A great choice for the high school student considering a design career and perhaps for older or younger readers as well.”

Library Journal


“Chip Kidd is the world’s pre-eminent book-jacket designer. He’s done more than 1,000 of them, and built such a sterling reputation that several high-profile authors, including Oliver Sacks, have it in their contracts that Kidd design their book covers. The man has mastered graphic design. But that’s not to say his job is without challenges. One of the more recent ones? How to think like a 10-year-old. . . . Kidd faced that challenge to create his new book, Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. The book covers the fundamentals of graphic design: form, typography, content and concept. . . . Kidd’s book features many examples of great design, including some of his own covers, to illustrate points. It’s as much a visual experience as an intellectual one, which is a measure of great graphic design. . . The ideas in Go are simple, whether it is playing with scale or how fonts convey meaning. And they are all put forward so clearly and with such visual flair that readers will walk away feeling like junior Milton Glasers. Many, actually, maybe not so junior. . . . Considering that it’s a Chip Kidd book, meaning fantastically designed, and that it covers a very popular subject, there’s a good chance that some adults will grab it for themselves.”
– The Globe and Mail


Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
This unique volume is an exploration of what graphic design is all about, suitable for kids ten years old and up. Graphic design is all around us, so much so that we tend to take it for granted. Everything needs to be designed but graphic design works differently than other kinds of design. An industrial designer’s work can be picked up and used, but a graphic designer’s work is visual and affects behavior. A good example is a stop sign. On average, every person is exposed to thousands of images a day from television, advertising, the Internet, and even T-shirts. This comprehensive overview includes a brief history beginning in 15,000 BCE, a look at a number of variables that play a role in the effectiveness of visual communication, typography of design, and the evolution of the Roman alphabet. One interesting challenge to the reader is to pick a typeface that feels “like you.” To sum up, content plus form plus type equals graphic design—but do not forget about concept. This thorough yet accessible introduction to the world of graphic design is a great example of imaginative design and creativity at work. The back cover suggests magazines, websites, museums, and organizations for those interested in more information. Reviewer: Kristin Harris; Ages 10 up.
Library Journal
11/01/2013
Here is one of two books currently available for the young reader interested in graphic design. The other, Pamela Pease's Design Dossier: Graphic Design for Kids, is presented more as a reference work that discusses all aspects of the design process. This title is more conversational and succeeds in introducing the aspiring designer to the thought processes behind typography and visual organization. Among the topics are color, juxtaposition, typography, design history, and the use of design to convey concepts such as irony and metaphor. Illustrator Kidd, whose book jacket designs include many recognizable covers, such as Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park and Dean Koontz's Intensity, is also an experienced comic book and fiction author who uses his writing skill to make design theory more interesting and appealing for young artists. The final chapter features ten projects to help the beginner learn to think like a designer. These exercises involve collecting design elements, creating personal logos, and redesigning familiar objects. VERDICT A great choice for the high school student considering a design career and perhaps for older or younger readers as well. [See "A World of New Titles: Editor's Picks," LJ 7/13, p. 24.—Ed.]—Eric G. Linderman, Euclid P.L., OH
School Library Journal
★ 10/01/2013
Gr 5 Up—In this general introduction, Kidd informs readers that virtually everything is a product of a designer's imagination, and that graphic design, or "visual communication," has been around for hundreds of years in one form or another. He includes some splendid historical examples as proof. Peppered throughout are numerous samples of the author's own and other talented artists' fascinating and quirky work. Kidd's folksy, conversational tone, in which he speaks directly to readers, is appealing. Readers will also appreciate the respect he shows for their individuality and inherent talent. Most welcome will be the 10 thought-provoking, fun projects that allow students the opportunity to use the lessons learned herein to communicate effectively through typography, color, visual imagery, and so on. This is a book not only for art classes, but also for courses in journalism, communications, media, and writing, for units on persuasive writing and advertising, and to demonstrate how strong visual images convey meaning and appeal.—Carol Goldman, Queens Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
Beginning with the striking cover design--a red stop sign reading "GO"--this book challenges our assumptions about what we see and read. Kidd skillfully uses typography and illustration to demonstrate how graphic design informs the ways we make decisions that affect our lives. In his introduction, he emphasizes that graphic design, unlike industrial or architectural design, is "purely a head trip, from your eyes to your mind." We are bombarded with thousands of images every day, all of which influence our decisions about what to wear, do, see or buy. Everything that is not made by nature is designed by someone, even such mundane objects as TV remotes and baseballs. Beginning with a comprehensive analysis of form, Kidd explains key fundamentals of design in an engaging, colorful style, with extensive visual references to his own and others' designs and an eclectic range of ephemera, from book covers to razor-blade wrappers. Budding graphic designers will relate to his emphasis on the importance of developing one's own visual style; the 10 design projects at the end include, appropriately, creating your own visual identity. In spite of its trendy presentation, this book is firmly rooted in traditional graphic design for printed products; the specific technical knowledge required today to design for the Web is not touched upon. Not for artists only; an engaging introduction to a critical feature of our modern, design-rich environment. (further resources) (Nonfiction. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761172192
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 24,294
  • Age range: 10 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Chip Kidd is an award-winning designer whose work for Knopf and other publishers helped create a revolution in book design. He is also the author of two novels, The Cheese Monkeys and The Learners, as well as the graphic novel Batman: Death by Design. He lectures frequently on design, and his 2012 TED talk was cited as one of the “funniest of the year.” Mr. Kidd divides his time among New York City; Stonington, Connecticut; and Palm Beach, Florida.

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