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THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world's leading podcasts about "the book" and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and others on Robert Darnton's "communications circuit" who just plain love books, as he does.

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Jan 27, 2020

Chip Kidd is an American graphic designer best known for his book covers. Based in New York City, Kidd is arguably the most famous dust jacket designers in the world. He has been credited by many as having spawned "a revolution in the art of America book packaging,” despite having no recognizable style. In fact, he says that “A signature look is crippling… [because] the simplest and most effective solutions aren’t dictated by style.”

It has been said by many that the history of book design can be split into two eras: before Kidd and after. 

He went to work at Knopf in 1986. Today he is associate art director and freelances widely, designing in total, some 75 dust jackets a year. 

We met in his offices at Knopf in New York to discuss his book Chip Kidd: Book 2.

In so doing we talk about Meryl Streep, Haruki Murakami Martin Amis, the Eisner Awards, French kissing Neil Gaiman and connecting with authors, Alfred and Blanche Knopf, Sonny Mehta, D.A. Dwiggins, Paul Bacon, Geek Love, die cuts, Glamorama, the Yale Review, Chip's late husband poet and Yale Review editor J. D. McClatchy, Chris Ware, the Factory record label, Peter Seville, New Order album covers, the importance of dust jackets and identities, ebooks, death, being paid for your ideas and much more. 

* This interview was recorded in October, 2019. Sonny Mehta died in December, 2019.