July 8th, 2009

Chip Kidd’s favorite book covers

Chip Kidd is probably the best known book cover designer, and he is also a writer. I met him in Las Vegas at a book event four or five years ago. A sparsely attended book event, even though the organizers had spent a lot of money and had flown us all there for free. (Full disclosure: Let's just say Las Vegas is not a reading town. Plus they put us up at Sam's Town, which is miles from The Strip. When I die and go to hell, it will look a lot like the gambling area of Sam's Town, which was filled with elderly crippled people with cigarettes dangling from their lips, drinks perched on the edge of their walkers, and completely miserable looks on their faces as they plugged nickels into video slots. Even the smoking author I spent time with complained about the haze of smoke.)

Chip was across from me in the appetizers line the first night of the event. I asked him if he was having a better day. We had an animated conversation. About half way through I realized I had confused him with a completely different shaven-headed, glasses-wearing guy who had earlier told me he was having a crappy day. Then I compounded my error by admitting I had never heard of Chip or his book, Cheese Monkeys. Later I figured out just how well-known he is. It's kind of like when you get a new car, and you realize everyone else is driving it. Once I knew the name "Chip Kidd" it turned up everyplace.

(Full disclosure: Why do I have the feeling Chip has never Googled me?)

Anyway, Newsweek asked him for some of his favorite covers, and you can see the resulting slide show here.

To see some examples of his work, click here.

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Channeling my inner 14 year old

Teen, like all teens, wanted a kind of job. Probably faster than teen expected, I found someone who was looking for a babysitter to watch her kids for four hours each Saturday. They are 2 and 6.

They are also fairly high energy.

Teen got invited to go camping three hours away this weekend. We were so busy inquiring about the details - who will drive you there? Is she a good driver? Will you always wear your seatbelt? What do you mean you'll be inner tubing? Are there life jackets? Etc. Etc.

One thing I forgot until this morning: those two kids. It looks like I might end up being the babysitter.

Got any ideas on how I can entertain two kids for four hours? It will be limited to the apartment and a nearby park. I could bring stuff from home.

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