Chip Kidd Judges 6 Books By Their Covers

Jun 11, 2015

If anyone knows how to judge a book by its cover, it's Chip Kidd. The longtime Knopf graphic designer is behind countless iconic covers, including Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, David Sedaris' Naked and Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, and has an eye for creating startling jackets to convey a book's content.

"A good book jacket both invites you into the text and acts as a distillation of it," Kidd says. "Then, during the course of your reading the book (especially if you like it), the cover becomes like a best friend's favorite shirt."

Kidd's new book, Judge This, details how he takes in commonplace design details in his world throughout his day. TIME asked him to name five of his favorite classic book covers — plus one of his own.



By Peter Benchley

Designer: Paul Bacon


The Postman Always Rings Twice

By James M. Cain

Designer: Arthur Hawkins, Jr.


Charlotte's Web

By E.B. White

Designer: Garth Williams


Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

By Chris Ware

Designer: Chris Ware

DC Comics

Detective Comics #27

By Bill Finger

Art by Bob Kane


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

By Haruki Murakami

Designer: Chip Kidd

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