…or how Nicole and I succeeded at designing a poster for Chip Kidd because of Nate’s failure.
Just over a year ago, Adrian went to see Chip Kidd speak in Denver, and his reviews were great. Within hours I had emailed the programming chair on the AIGA Colorado board and contacted Chip Kidd off of Adrian’s word to see if he would be interested in speaking in Omaha.
Turns out, Chip not only said yes, but did so with the understanding that we’d wait a while, as he had a new book coming out (a new novel actually, I hear he has a new book cover come out more often then I make it into bookstores).
And that leads us to this Friday (2/29/08), when AIGA Nebraska is bringing Chip Kidd to Bellevue.
But I want to back it up a month, when Nate was failing at designing a poster for the event. A couple weeks prior to his live-blogging, I had talked with him briefly about Nicole Blauw (the event’s co-chair) and I decided we’d give the poster design a shot ourselves rather than finding a designer, as it was our option. He mentioned making sure we could hang the poster up in bookstores, and making it have examples of his work all over it (and he volunteered to do it at this time).
So the following week I met with Nicole to brainstorm the poster concept at The Homy Inn, and a few things became apparent: posters you hang in bookstores really need to be no larger than 11×17 so they fit on bulletin boards; Chip Kidd has better name recognition than the average speaker; and anything that makes sense to use to hang at a bookstore bulletin board (lot’s of examples of his work) isn’t always the coolest thing to hand to design studios and ad agencies. So we split the project in half, one part for Nate to deal with, and we’d do the posters that would be hand delivered to the agencies and in-house places we knew. (If you didn’t get one, please except our apologies, it had to do more with time and resources than anything, and we mailed a total of one poster (to Paul Berkbigler)).
At this time we came up with our concept, which amounted to three bullet points of art direction: Make his name as big as possible; Use that quote from USA Today that calls him a ‘rock star’; and let’s not make this complicated, if we’re promoting a ‘rock star’, let’s promote it as such, no fancy themes or concepts, just like you’d promote a rock show. Nicole’s first sample pretty much looks like the final print, so I have no process to show. But thanks to Nate for taking the book stores out of the equation, and thanks to Mike Wiehs for screen printing the limited run of 94. It should be noted that Nate’s designed worked perfect for the audience, and his only failure was not completing the poster in his self-alloted time of four hours. Showing so many covers made the clerks notice that these were books they carried, and thus hung up the posters. Postcards based on ‘rock star’ poster were mailed to everyone else on the AIGA Nebraska list.
Final ‘Poster for Bookstores’ designed by Nate Voss:
Final ‘Poster for Designers’ designed by Nicole Blauw: