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“Frankly, I don’t think book covers sell books,” Chip Kidd tells the Outlaws. 

This statement from one of the preeminent book cover designers of the past 30 years is admittedly confusing, or it may be just be his expert spin on the idiom, don’t judge a book by its cover. “Books that are No. 1 on the bestseller list … I’ll look at it and think it’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,” Kidd says. He also believes the covers of the wildly successful Harry Potter series are generic and conventional, but loved the cover of James Frey’s controversial and ultimately debunked book “A Million Little Pieces.”

In part 2 of the Outlaws’ conversation with Chip Kidd, the discussion moves deeper into Kidd’s career as a graphic designer, as BigMike and Chris “Bulldog” Collins ask him about his use of color, if he tracks the sales of books he works on, and whether he has to be passionate about a project to work on it. “I can work on something that my heart isn’t totally in, as long as I don’t feel it’s a moral or ethical problem,” Kidd says.

And of course, the Outlaws ask Kidd to advise his 24-year-old self. Aside from a few stock tips and advice on surviving in a digital world, there’s not much he would change.          

“I’ve always kept my day job,” Kidd says. “I’m lucky, because I happen to love my day job, and I can’t begin to imagine what that’s like if you don’t.”

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