Smart Quote #7: Inspiration

Smart Quote #7: Inspiration "You know, it sounds really corny to say it, but since most of my projects are book jackets, for the most part I'm inspired by whatever the book is, or by the manuscript itself. And while there aren't a lot of graphic design "rules" that I adhere to, certainly one of them is...somewhere within the problem lies the solution. I do truly believe that. I think the inspiration comes from the text, and then you sort of take it from there."
--Chip Kidd

Best known for his book cover designs, Chip Kidd is an American graphic designer and also an author. His novel The Cheese Monkeys is an extremely fun read for any art or graphic design student, as it's based on his own experiences in school at Penn State. And while his main area of focus is book covers, any designer -- but especially editorial designers -- can take his advice above to heart.

Check out some of his work here, here and here.

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The above quote comes from the book Inspirability: 40 Top Designers Speak Out About What Inspires by Pash. A great source of inspiration in itself!

"Smart Quote" is a recurring feature on the SPD Student Blog ... look for more wise words every Monday. Got an inspiring or motivating quote to share? Email us at

  • Chip Kidd's writing is as humorous and smart as his design. I enjoyed both The Cheese Monkeys and The Learners—which I read first, even though it's the sequel. Both books brought me back to my college days and first job, for better and worse.

  • Nancy Stamatopoulos

    YES! Read those manuscripts whenever you can. They help with your overall vision of the message. Remember, it is a team that pulls a publication together (whether magazine, books, annual reports, you name it.)

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