Book designer Chip Kidd never fails to surprise us. Just when we think we can predict what he’ll do next, he produces work so unexpected we never would have guessed it came from him.

While his designs are always unpredictable, it came as no surprise to hear the Brooklyn Book Festival asked Chip to design an art poster for their upcoming festival. After all, who better to represent Brooklyn’s premier celebration of books than the man responsible for some of the most innovative book jacket designs of the last thirty years?

Luckily for us, Chip agreed to document the poster design process in a new Skillshare class, Think Like a Designer: Making an Art Poster. To celebrate, we thought we’d put together a list of our favorite book cover designs from Chip. We bet you’ll see why words like “legendary” and “preeminent” get thrown around whenever his name comes up.

1. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Yes, Chip was the designer of that dinosaur. Do we have your attention yet?

2. Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs

The double-take this cover caused almost gave us whiplash – definitely a top pick from Chip.

3. The Shock of the New by Robert Hughes

Classic cover + the brightest pink we’ve ever seen = book jacket perfection.

4. The Thing About Life is That One Day You’ll Be Dead by David Shields

Sometimes you don’t need much beyond the title, but the positioning of the text and perfect color choice lets Chip’s expertise shine through all the same.

5. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

An instant icon, we highly recommend getting a physical copy – nothing beats the interactivity of the translucent jacket to pull you into the double-world of the novel before you dive in.

6. Adventures in Wine by Jay McInerney

Looking like a wine-stained menu from a beloved restaurant, this one had us ready to settle in to read straight through with a glass of red.

7. Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography by David Michaels

Sometimes the best design is already out there, waiting for a new purpose. Chip’s pitch-perfect echo of everyone’s favorite blockhead ensures this book stands out on the shelf and online.

 8. Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice

We told you we can’t predict what a “Chip Kidd cover” looks like, and this proves it, but who but Chip could blend biblical imagery and vampires so seamlessly?

9. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

We can recognize this one from across a subway platform in a second, and we bet you can, too.

All photos courtesy of   .
All photos courtesy of

Join book designer Chip Kidd’s new Skillshare class: Think Like a Designer: Making an Art Poster for an inside look into Chip’s design process, including how he comes up with such varied ideas year after year, no matter the project!

Written By

Becca Cloyd

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