Chip Kidd: The Man Behind the Book Cover
Chip Kidd, a world-renowned graphic designer, is dedicated to his lifelong craft: book cover designs.

Lindsey Carman

Great graphic designers aren’t created overnight. Between natural talent and a strong, artistic vision, becoming the best in the graphic design business isn’t an easy feat.

For Chip Kidd, graphic design has always been a vital part of his life. His love for all things design made him one of the best graphic designers of all time.

“Graphic design exists in the realm of exceptional ideas and conceptual thinking,” Kidd said. “I love what I do.”

A Love for All Things Design

Chip Kidd, a world-renowned graphic designer who creates some of the most famous book covers.

Chip Kidd, a world-renowned graphic designer who creates some of the most famous book covers.

Chip Kidd never dreamed of becoming one of the most beloved book cover designers in the world when he enrolled into Penn State’s graphic design program in 1982. He just wanted to create art.

“I knew I wanted to do something creative for a living,” Kidd said.

After graduating from college, Kidd headed to New York City to find a job. Knopf Publishing offered him a position as a book cover designer, which launched his famous career of designing books for the literary greats.

From John Updike to Nicholas Kristof, Kidd has designed first-edition hardcover books for some of the best writers of all time. His work is well-known and well-loved by not only authors but also the readers.

Inspired By Exceptional Ideas and Conceptual Thinking

Most people judge a book by its cover, so Kidd is mindful of that when he creates a book cover. Gently balancing between clarity and mystery, he creates book covers that spark the reader’s interest while keeping the book’s synopsis a mystery to unfold.

“I’m basically creating the first impression that anybody will have on any given book I design,” Kidd said. “I’m very mindful of that.”

One of Kidd's amazing works of art.

One of Kidd’s amazing works of art.

After 29 years of being the best in the business, Kidd continues to create celebrated book covers. His vast creative insight inspires those around him, especially readers and authors.

“I’m directly inspired by whatever books I design,” Kidd said. “You get the manuscript and read it, and then that inspires you and tells you how to perceive the book cover.”

The Man Behind the Book Cover

Kidd’s creative accomplishments don’t end there. A published author and speaker, Kidd travels around the country and inspires those interested in graphic design to keep creating and exploring new ideas. He’s even designed magazine covers and a watch for Swatch.

“I like it when someone asks me to do something different so I can exercise a new creative muscle,” Kidd said.

A picture of Kidd, working hard in his studio.

A picture of Kidd, working hard in his studio.


In June 2015, Kidd is releasing another book about his graphic design theory called “Judge This.” He discusses his graphic design theory of clarity versus mystery and how to balance the two. Kidd strongly believes in encouraging fellow graphic designers and sharing his graphic design theory with everyone.

Into the Future of Book Cover Design

Although he’s done it all, Kidd continues to design illustrious book covers because it’s what he loves to do. As for the future, the graphic designer is up for any project and looks forward to keep creating new art, one book cover design at a time.

“What makes really great graphic design is really good ideas,” Kidd said. “My goal is to keep working and to keep trying to do my best at it.”

For more information on Chip Kidd, visit his website at

About the Author
Lindsey Carman is the editor-in-chief of After graduating from the University of Florida with a B.S. in journalism and English, Carlton stayed in Gainesville and joined the awesome team at Digital Brands. From the latest printing practices to finding the best print jobs around, she examines the top online printers so you can always get the best (and cheapest) printing job done.
Lindsey and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:


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