Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

If only I had found this book before I went to design school, I could have saved thousands in student debt. Chip Kidd's Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design is a beautifully executed book aimed toward encouraging young would-be designers. However, it is so stunningly and smartly done that a full-grown design nerd, such as myself, can really admire it for the work of art that it is. Kidd explains the various elements of design and uses examples from his portfolio as well as from other great designers. I love that he does not hesitate to have fun with the explanations, nor does he shy away from making jokes at his own expense. Kidd is a remarkable designer and writer and this book illustrates (pun intended) that beautifully.

Chris's Staff Picks


“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.

About 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.

Praise For…

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

“Chip Kidd has been called the closest thing to a rock star in the design world. . . . In his new book, Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, Kidd shares this rock star wisdom with the pubescent set, explaining the basics of typography, form, function, color, branding with playful narration and eye-popping visuals. . . . It’s written for young readers aged 10 and up, but its witty, direct approach makes it a perfect primer for older design rookies as well. And the design of the book itself is, of course, far too beautiful to be reserved just for children.”
–Co.Design, a Fast Company blog

“The design superstar gives us a crash course in the field; not surprisingly the book itself is extraordinarily designed!”
–Pop Candy, a USA Today blog

“A thing of beauty.”
People Magazine

“In Go, Kidd—the renowned book-jacket designer—repeats the mantra “Form follows function” and adheres to it beautifully. The form of the book—a clever meld of text and images—follows its function, which is to convey the fundamentals of graphic design. Even if you’re not an aspiring graphic artist, you’ll learn the logic behind common symbols, like button arrangements on remote controls or the typefaces used in novels.”
Entertainment Weekly  

“At a time when arts programs in schools are under assault, [Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design] offers a beautiful distillation of the principles of great design and the careful decisions that go into making things look the way they do. The book is "for kids," but this grown-up was captivated too.”
—Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation, in the Wall Street Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780761172192
ISBN-10: 076117219X
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: October 8th, 2013
Pages: 160
Language: English
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