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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Visual Shock

Design by Chip Kidd

I'll be honest: I'm not exactly sure why I like this. It might be that I appreciate the restraint: for a history of controversial art, it would be all to easy to put something by Mapplethorpe or Koons or Hirst on the cover in order to create the titular "visual shock." Putting the Washington Monument on the cover drives home the idea that yesterday's controversy is today's banality.

Can someone help out and identify the object on the right? UPDATE: It's Constantin Brancusi's Bird in Space. Thanks to those who wrote in.


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8 comments:

grrlpup said...

It looks like Brancusi's Bird in Flight or Bird in Space, but I can't find an exact match.

andrea said...

Yes, one of Constantin Brancusi's bird scupltures. You can find one or two of these at the Chicago Art Institute, right near you. I love that place.

GS said...

Cover by Chip Kidd.

John Ross Castano said...

No matter the old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" I still sometimes literally judge books by its cover and at most times I never make a bad choice. I like this blog posts....

Ken S. said...

It looks like it's from MoMA:

http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A738&page_number=16&template_id=1&sort_order=1

Anonymous said...

This cover could be a poster child for letter spacing gone wild. All that secondary type barely reads as words anymore. My biggest problem with it though is the fact that there isn't a visual shock, just a visual curiosity. The image doesn't support the title.

beauGeste

ian shimkoviak said...

while nice, it is starting to look like cliché Kidd. The upside is it works and is very attractive. The downside is the master may be becoming stuck in a style...

Anonymous said...

Was it really necessary to condense the the photos 20%? It reminds me of when every graphic designer in the 1980s discovered they could "pseudo-condense" typefaces -- and the results were always ugly and visually misproportioned . . . just like this cover! (And was the Washington Monument that controversial? I think more people hated the design and construction of the WTC's Twin Towers.)