Graphic design for the agesThe latest issue of Wired Magazine has an interesting interview with Chip Kidd, a graphic designer whose work you’ve probably seen. He specializes in designing book covers, among other things, and he has recently written a book called, “GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design.”

Is graphic design really kid-friendly?

Of the subjects that kids should probably learn in elementary and middle school, graphic design probably would not rise to the top of anyone’s list, but that didn’t stop Kidd from reconsidering graphic design’s place in a child’s formal education. Today, kids are living in a digital world and school assignments often require kids to design and prepare reports and presentations. In Kidd’s view, this is the ideal time to teach kids about the basics of graphic design and how design can make information and presentations much more effective.

In the interview, Kidd laments the fact that he didn’t learn about graphic design, or even consider its impact until he had reached college. Today, kids employ graphic design skills all the time, whether they know it or not. There are no good, kid-friendly tools to help kids learn and identify good, effective, helpful graphic design techniques and avoid bad, ineffective or unhelpful ones.

Another reason Kidd cites as justification for writing the book is that kids have access to a lot of tools that enable them to create and distribute work quickly – perhaps too quickly. Kidd hopes that the book will help kids consider not only the work they’re creating, but how they’re creating work and how long that work can persist in the digital culture they’re growing up in.

The lessons Kidd offers in his book aren’t entirely reserved for kids. Adults have access to a whole host of creative tools that – when used in accordance with the principles of good design – can produce a wide range of really effective pieces. In most cases though, simply having the right tools doesn’t guarantee effective results.

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Photo Credit: vicbuster, via StockXchng