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Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,816 ratings  ·  282 reviews
Kids love to express themselves, and are designers by nature whether making posters for school, deciding what to hang in their rooms, or creating personalized notebook covers. Go, is an introduction to the ways in which a designer communicates his or her ideas to the world. It's written and designed just for those curious kids, not to mention their savvy parents, who want ...more
Hardcover, 150 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Workman Publishing Company
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  1,816 ratings  ·  282 reviews

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Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: light-on-text
This book was fantastic for it's description of graphic design. I'd like to see a slight rewrite as 1) A high-school graphic design course or college intro course first reading and 2) a booklet to give to people who hire designers to explain exactly what it is they're paying for. ...more
Kaethe Douglas
I'm guessing that the vast majority of readers couldn't name a single book designer. Genre fans could maybe name a cover artist or to, especially fans of fantasy. Of course, everyone has an opinion about which book covers they like and which ones they don't, about which are appealing and which ones repel, but most folks don't dwell on the design of books any more than they ponder the design of breakfast cereal boxes.

And that's okay. Except computers have made it possible for everyone of us to be
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up - valuable for anyone who has any interest in graphic design, which, it can readily be argued, is everyone. Consider not just captivating book covers or fashion trends in interior decorating or advertising logos, as a relative newbie like me first thinks of. Consider the colors and fonts of informative road signs, for example; they're not just black on white rectangles, are they? Next time you look into the cooler at the convenience store, consider the shapes of the differen ...more
Linda Robinson
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kidd makes graphic design an everyday interesting subject for the lucky reader who picks up this book. Starting with the stop sign "Go" on the front to the back cover, he puts graphic design within easy reach of a school kid. Brief history of design well-represented, starting with those famous pictographs in France through numbers, letters, typefaces and styles, with examples that can be easily understood. Form before function, content, concept, negative space and other grander elements are expl ...more
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, owned-books
yay, I really liked this!! I kept on thinking "wow, my art teacher would freaking ADORE this book." I'm going to add it to my book outlet cart and get it for her some time soon.

the info is somewhat basic, but I think I had a bit more background knowledge than the audience he wrote this for, so it's fine. I really didn't care bc this book would be worth it even if it wasn't in English- the design is really awesome! there are tons of examples of the terms he defines.

but of course I'd prefer for
Barb Middleton
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I had to take a graphic design class for my journalism degree. I would have loved reading this book first. Not only is it a great introduction to the subject, but it backs up the information with beautiful visuals. I remember trying to study the tiny black and white images in my textbook at the University of Minnesota. Chip Kidd explains how graphic design is about solving problems. How it involves using content and form to create visuals that communicate messages. How content is what is being c ...more
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Where has this book been all my life? I first became aware of Chip Kidd's design when the classic Batman comics got reissued some years ago. Kidd designed the covers and I remember being so taken aback by the design because it was so stark and unusual. After that, I always kept an eye out for what Chip Kidd was up to.

Then lo and behold, he puts out a guide to graphic design! Throughout GO, Kidd very carefully takes us through the process of not just how he designs, but also teaching us how every
Ms. Yingling
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am enthralled by the design of every day objects-- anything that makes today today and yesterday yesterday. Clothing, packaging, furnishings, buildings, magazines-- I love thinking about what made things seem beautiful in 1978 but makes them so ugly now. Pantone colors of the year fascinate me. Graphic design is certainly something that children don't often think about, but they should, because they certainly react strongly to things like bad book covers. This book was a very fun overview of d ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfic, j
Promoting this at local elementary schools this summer reading season. The kids are actually really responding to the cover, and to the discussion I initiate about book cover and graphic design. And it's been asked for often by the kids who've come into the library.
Although the design is (of course) engaging and lovely, it does seem a little odd as a kids' piece. All of the book cover examples are of adult books (most of them not particularly famous books). And it seems to be written at the sop
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design, art, read-in-2015
This is an excellent YA design book to introduce kids to design. It presents the information in easy-to-assimilate bits and then gives the kids projects to do in the back, and even a website where they can share them.

It also has nice touches of humor. I particularly like this page on color:

You might not know Chip Kidd's name, but you know his deigns. His most famous one is for the cover of Jurassic Park.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
Great book about graphic design - I'll read this again! ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design
I'm not in fifth grade, but I do have a love of book design and typography and I have to say--this book was a great overview of graphic design. Of course I can't use it for my thesis, but it got me in the mood to read more after a pretty big break. ...more
David Taberner
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I did a bit of a double-take when I first saw that this book was aimed at “Grade 5 & up” because the two people I’d formerly heard of it from - my 16 year old cousin & a former coworker - certainly read far above a 5th grade reading level. When I finally read it, it became very clear why the appeal is so wide: Kidd explains the principles of graphic design in a simple and entertaining way that is engaging & entertaining for kids & adults.

He expanded my prior definition of graphic design to inclu
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book was a YALSA nonfiction finalist, and I can understand why--I'm just not sure why it didn't win.

Despite the awkward "A Kidd's Guide" (punning on the author's last name) and the age range of 10 and up on the back cover, this book is really YA--I can't see a 10-year-old taking the time to read it.

Everyone else SHOULD read it. Kidd explains techniques and details in an incredibly friendly, approachable manner. He even mocks his own grammatical errors (and there are several)--I even ca
Michael Neno
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drawing-and-art
Ostensibly for Kidds (I mean kids), Chip Kidd's Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design is in truth worth reading by all ages.

Kidd is a designer who loves design, the history of design, loves designing and loves teaching design. Every page of this graphics-packed book has insight on the creative process, on the thought process required for good design and the infinite number of techniques and tools which can be used in design.

This short but potent book entertainingly covers typography, package desi
Librarian friends of mine did a talk on graphic design at a recent conference and they recommended this book. It is an informative and visually interesting introduction. I do a lot of little design projects at work. Learning more about design inspires me to step up my game. I wonder if I can get any of the kids around the library to pick this up. Some of the project ideas at the end might be a solution for : "I'm bored."

Read this again to use with my class. I like it, it makes me think about wha
Mary Amato
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this intro to design by a master of book cover design. It's pitched as a book for children, and it would be a great gift for a kid who is interested in art. It's also an informative and fun read for adults who want to know the basics of what goes into the process of designing everything from ads, to posters, to books, to labels, and much more. Makes me want to go back to school and study graphic design! ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very quick read (took me an hour) that explains the basics of graphic design simply and visually. Two things I learned from this book that I didn't know: Garamond was the first font and the FedEx logo was designed to create an arrow with the negative space between the letters e and x (I never ever noticed that!) The final chapter contains 10 design projects for the aspiring graphic designer. ...more
Regina Hoskins
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book that is well written and accessible for students. I loved all the examples given by the author, especially since many of them were book covers. Basic principles of design are clearly explained and although many of the examples are for book covers, this book easily applies to what students should be taught about online graphic design. "Always remember: Form follows function." ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Completely fascinating book that will become a required texts for my classes that are designing graphic projects. If assigning this book made even one kid pause before adding rainbows and sparkly unicorns to a project using orange font on blue background, it could become my favorite book ever.
Allison Parker
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and beautiful! For someone who lives and works closely with books, it was especially fun to read Kidd's explanations of many of the book covers he designed. ...more
A great book to share with students before a big project that involves any sort of aesthetics as part of their grade. Or just for the art lover who wants to learn more about intentional design.
Ann Keller
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, reference
Excellent book for beginners. It is laid out in a step-by-step format, which really helps you to understand the various components in graphic design.
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous intro to graphic design! Read this in a two-hour sitting. Can't stop looking at street signs now. :) ...more
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“I wish I had this book when I was a kid!” blurbs Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I have to echo his words with a very emphatic “Me, too!!”

Sadly, I can’t even remember when I first heard the term “graphic design.” I’m pretty sure it wasn’t until I was a teenager. Probably not until high school when I had to start taking those career tests and figuring out how I was going to turn my creative interests into some kind of job with a recognizable title that could pay the bill
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
ETEC 545. ‘How-To’, Graphic Design, Nonfiction, Week5

Title: GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design

Author: Kidd, Chip. GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. New York: Workman Publishing. 2014.

Genre: Nonfiction / How-To

Golden quote: “Graphic design needs your willing mental participation, even if it’s subconscious. graphic design is messag-sending into the brain. It is a cerebral experience, not a physical one. Architecture wants you to walk through it. Industrial design takes your hands (or other b
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-theory
Not just for kids - an accessible, clever and fun breakdown of graphic design. Thought-provoking stuff.
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Chip Kidd analyzes the essence of design with humorously captivating pages enlightening who ever dares to pick up this mesmerizing book. When my eyes fell upon the cover of this book, my attention was immediately seized by its charm. I have been an artist for many years yet I have never read something that both visually and mentally captured the essence of art and design so perfectly. Kidd explains the basic building blocks of art and design in such detail as well as enlightening why art and des ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but admit it: you've picked up a book just because its cover looked cool. We all have. People put a lot of work into making a book's cover tempt readers to pick it up. Those people are called graphic designers. Have you ever wondered how those people decide what to put on a cover? Would you like to learn some of their tricks to capture people's attention? Then this is the book for you!

This book takes the basic concepts of graphic design and breaks them
Brenda Lower
From my blog at:

Each book cover, every sign, and even books are designed for maximum effect. How do they do that? The answer is graphic design. Everything from exit signs to gum wrappers are carefully designed to say exactly what the maker wants it to say.

This book contains design secrets whittled down to the most basic principles, then built up into more complex ideas. Written by an experienced graphic designer, he gives multiple examples of great work, hi
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Chip Kidd is an American author, editor and graphic designer, best known for his innovative book covers.

Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Kidd grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, strongly influenced by American popular culture. While a design student at Penn State, an art instructor once gave the assignment to design a book cover for Museums and Women by John Updike, who is also a Shillington native. T

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