Chip Kidd Trap Project + Initial Research (Bridge 3 for Intro Studio 2: Visual Culture)

Chip Kidd Trap 1 (Comic Book Aesthetic)

Chip Kidd Trap 2 (Abomination Silhouette + Reference to Original Idea)

Chip Kidd Trap 3 (Vintage Comic Book + Live Action)

For the 3rd Bridge Project for my Intro Studio 2 class (before Spring Break), I was tasked by my professor in creating a “trap” for a chosen artist provided by her whose techniques and works would be a subject of our research. In the recent past, I was assigned to research Chip Kidd as one of my artists (the famous book cover designer famous for his cover for the novelization of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park), and so I ended up creating my trap based on what would entice or distract him, or what could scare or surprise him based on his work and inspirations. My original idea for what my “trap” would be involved a “performance based” piece in which I would hide myself inside a large box (with closed flaps), with T-rex sock puppets on each hand, and have an unsuspecting person pick up from the top of the box’s flaps a bootleg or BS Batman Comic Book, only for me to jump out from the box and scare whoever picked up the comic in the first place. Through my sketches below, I wanted to convey the idea of a “literal trap”, with the bait being a Batman Comic Book (which would entice Kidd in particular since he is a Batman expert and a massive Batman fan– he adored and was fascinated by the Dark Knight in his childhood). However, due to time constraints, I had to improvise and decided to create Comic Book style book covers incorporating aesthetics, various aspects and elements, and even particular meanings and themes derived from Kidd’s more famous book covers. I mimicked his superhero style typography in some covers, while using his revolutionary photographs against him in a unique sort of way, re-contextualizing his already repurposed photographs. Regarding his love of Batman and my original box trap idea, I incorporated an iteration of them both into the second of my three book covers, as shown above (The strange shadows on the moon and the purple sky in the background are silhouettes of an upside down toy bunny that refers to a book cover Kidd did for Paul Golding’s The Abomination). In my first book cover, I emphasized the superhero and minimalist aspect of many of his covers, putting myself on top as both a villain and Robin–Batman’s sidekick, while placing Kidd’s eyes at the bottom, while in the third book cover, I used live action photos to convey a sense of speed– 60s Batman running from a Jurassic Park T-Rex in the background, surrounded by a vintage comic book aesthetic and typography. All of my final iterations are goofy, nonsensical, and often times utterly insane or silly. Thus, all my books thematically and personally match Chip Kidd’s very flamboyant, laid-back, goofy personality. This is but one of the many things that would attract Kidd to my covers, if he were here to see them– these covers are as much reflections of who he is, as they are interpretations of his work from an outside observer:

Chip Kidd Trap Initial Sketches and Ideas

Chip Kidd Trap Initial Sketches and Ideas 2

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