Chip Kidd | Master Book Designer at TED 2012

If you aren't aware of Chip Kidd's contribution to the art, science and intellect of design that illuminates bookstore shelved and influences bookstore window displays, not to mention airport bookstores and newsstand displays, it's time you got acquainted with this leading book designer. If you know of his work, take a few minutes to appreciate this rare appearance by a designer who has asserted his forceful intelligence on every writer and reader in America. Many of us may not have been published by Knopf yet, but the lure of allying with the house that published Carl HiaasenJack LondonThomas MannGabriel García MárquezCormac McCarthyH. L. MenckenToni MorrisonAlice Munro,Haruki MurakamiP. D. OuspenskyEzra PoundAnne RiceAnne TylerJohn Updike, and Edmund White is powerful incentive to keep writing, to persist in crafting stories that entertain, engage, and develop lasting relationships with our readers.

Chip Kidd doesn’t judge books by their cover, he creates covers that embody the book -- and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In one of the funniest talks from TED2012, he shows the art and deep thought of his cover designs.

[From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.]

Here is Chip Kidd's amusing take on designing book jackets in his 2012 TED Talk. Enjoy.

Thanks to Laura Trombley, president of Pitzer College and biographer of the compelling Mark Twain's Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years, who shared this link.

"Sleeping Mallard" Wins John G. Mitchell Award

My image, "Sleeping Mallard Hen," has received the 2011 John G. Mitchell Environmental Conservation Award.

The award by the Land/Conservation Trusts of Lyme, Old Lyme, Salem, Essex and East Haddam (CT) honors the American environmentalist and former editor of National Geographic Magazine, John G. Mitchell (d. 2007). Past editor of Sierra Club Books and a longtime field editor and writer for Audubon Magazine, he also wrote many books, including LOSING GROUND (1975), ALASKA STORIES (1984), and DISPATCHES FROM THE DEEP WOODS (1991).

I captured this photo in Essex, CT late in the afternoon, across the river from Mitchell's home in Lyme. At the time, the sight of this duck asleep in the shallows spoke to me about the timeless values of our shared existence along the banks of one of America's great rivers. It also suggested something about art to me. Only later in the digital darkroom did I realize that the scene stirred memories of seeing Albrecht Dürer's Young Hare (1502) at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. A Mallard duck, Albrecht Dürer's hare, and John G. Mitchell... inspiring company.

My photograph of diverse birds - herons, turkey vultures, gulls, ducks, and cormorants - pausing to rest on a river dock,  "No Wake," placed second in the Wildlife Category.