As part of the Thematic Learning Initiative, illustrious graphic designer Chip Kidd lead several Arts & Lectures Thematic Learning Circles in addition to his UCSB Campbell Hall public lecture.
First, on Tuesday May 9, Chip Kidd held a small Q&A session hosted by Harry and Sandra Reese at the Turkey Press in Isla Vista. Several lucky Creative Studies students and faculty, surrounded by Chip Kidd designed books, gathered to discuss how he got to where he is today. He recalled doing some graphics for his high school television station prior to applying to Penn State. Kidd described the small graphic arts department, where one learned by doing. It was here that his love of bookmaking was sparked.
Chip Kidd also told the group about how he considers himself fortunate that he could learn to design by hand, before learning digital design. His 1986 graduation coincided with the release of the Apple Macintosh computer. Kidd knew he wanted to stay in New York City and design graphics. After several months searching, he was offered the position of assistant to the art director at Alfred Knopf. Throughout his job search process, he was often referred to others and experienced much rejection. He explained to students that through this period, he learned to keep an open mind. Chip told the students they too should keep an open mind in their career pursuits.
Lastly during this learning circle, Kidd explained the joy he receives from his work. He really enjoys designing for and getting to know certain authors, such as Haruki Murakami. In addition, he told the students that if he only has 2-3 projects a year that he is passionate about, then it is all worth it; having a finished physical object is rewarding and he really enjoys that aspect of the work.
After the art museum, Kidd completed his time in Santa Barbara with a learning circle at the Santa Barbara City Public Library called "Judge a Book by its Cover." Here approximately 70 invited guests brought books with compelling covers to share. Guests enjoyed an interactive session discussing book jackets, design, and their love of books.
The following day the energetic Chip Kidd held a Q&A session with visuals for 11th and 12th grade students at Dos Pueblos High School. Afterwards Kidd joined an audience of 50 guests gathered at the Mary Craig Auditorium in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art for an event called "Exploring Creativity."
Check out the following links to learn more about Chip Kidd's work: