Chip Kidd’s The Learners Reviewed Glowingly in Newsweek

the learners.jpgWe still can’t stop talking about his dead-on impression of Margaret Hamilton (it left us melting, mel-ting!), and now Chip Kidd has gone and gotten a full-page review in the March 3 issue of Newsweek. (What a world, what a world!)

Reviewer Amid Capeci goes for the zeitgeist angle, calling Kidd’s The LearnersMad Men: The Novel,” but we’re pretty sure he means that as a compliment:

Kidd captures the predigital art department just right. Most designers still keep around some Xactoblades, non-repro blue pencils, and white masking tape, just for old time’s sake. (Or maybe that’s just NEWSWEEK designers.) Still, it’s not surprising that Kidd, 43, has re-created this world with the kind of care you’d see on a million-dollar ad campaign.


You can see a lot of Kidd in Happy. While pitching the Buckle Shoes account, he tinkers with the idea of a campaign that doesn’t show the product at all. The client just laughs at him. Kidd’s best, and most twisted, moments come when he examines the industry’s evolving forms of content–the introduction of metaphor, wit and irony–as consumers become aware they’re being sold. Kidd seamlessly weaves real-world detail into his fiction–brushed-aluminum office furniture, Jackie O. ensembles–while offering primers in typography and design tools.

Quel coincidence/full disclosure: we’re wearing a Jackie O. ensemble and sitting at a brushed aluminum desk right this minute! Meanwhile, a big thank you to eagle-eyed Debbie Millman (who on Friday chats with Stefan Bucher on Design Matters) for pointing out this review to us. Says Millman, “I think you know what you’ve crossed over into ‘real’ fame when you have a full page in Newsweek.”