Monday, December 03, 2007

On design

So galleycat mentioned in his post this morning that it-boy design Chip Kidd had commented about the Kindle and what it and such things will mean for book design. I tried to go to the site where he commented, A Brief Message, but I couldn't see his post, which had generated over 100 comments. The image, at least on my display, is right over his post, but I could copy and paste it to read it. I'm just going to reproduce it in full here, though again, it originally appeared on A Brief Message:

On Monday November 19th, Amazon released something called Kindle, the latest “e-book” reading device. I’ve been asked to comment on what effect I think this will have, if any, on book design as we know it. Here goes.

None.

Sincerely, Chip Kidd

PS: What no one seems to get through their thick skulls, even after untold millions of dollars have been wasted on the concept: PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO READ BOOKS ON A SCREEN. Why is that so hard for someone as obviously smart as Jeff Bezos to accept? The reason the iPod took off is that music was never meant to be a “thing” in the first place. It was born as pure sound, and pure sound is what it has returned to. But books were always physical objects, and the printed book as a piece of technology has yet to be improved upon. And won’t. Certainly not by something that looks like a prop from Charlie’s Angels and has, are you ready, a whopping ONE typeface. For everything! Yay! For further explanation as to why this is doomed, go to Amazon’s own website and read Kindle’s Customer Reviews. Ouch. Caveat emptor!

Well said, sir! So "Chip Kidd" of him to put the content in the post-script.

My own PS: Chip Kidd's usual site seems to be down, hence the link to the NY Times piece on him.

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