Legendary book-cover designer and author Chip Kidd graced Minneapolis with his presence yesterday. After spending time with students at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, he gave a sold-out lecture there that was hosted by the MN Book Publishers’ Roundtable.
After a fantastic and lively presentation, he answered a few questions, including one about e-books and his thoughts about the future of books and design. He expressed skepticism about the popularity of the Kindle and mentions that popular media reports would lead one to believe that the very way we read will soon change, whereas e-book-buying statistics suggest otherwise (he said less than 1% of books purchased are e-books).
Kidd also did an interview yesterday with MPR’s Kerri Miller, The Art of Books, in which he talks about his process of working (er, compromising) with authors, how he loves the Twilight series covers and dislikes the Harry Potter ones, gives advice to budding designers and elaborates on thoughts about the future of books:
Here’s my problem with the Kindle: It’s getting way, way too much attention … My prediction is that the whole e-book phenomenon is going to be similar to the audio-book phenomenon. It’s a section of the market, it’s relatively small, audio books became popular because people could listen to them in their cars. Fine. E-books will be popular with people who want to spend the money for the technology, who want to travel a lot and don’t want to lug the books around. Fine. But it’s not going to be like the iPod. That was different.
(An aside: A similar e-book sentiment was expressed today in an article on Bookseller.com in which the CEO of Palgrave Macmillan strongly challenges the results of a study that declares e-books do not hurt print book sales.)