In his 25 years as an art director at Knopf, Chip Kidd has churned out iconic book jackets for literary geniuses from Cormac McCarthy to Orhan Pamuk. Whether you love him or hate him, you’ll probably agree that Kidd’s got a penchant for the literal. McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses features a horse’s mane; Pamuk’s Snow dons—what else?—a snowy tableau. But in his design for Haruki Murakami’s much-anticipated new novel, IQ84, Kidd takes a more nuanced approach to communicating a book’s plot (not just title) through the jacket design.
The physical state of our bodies can either serve or subvert the quest to create genius. We all know this intuitively. But with rare exceptions, because life seems to value output over the humanity of the process and the ability to sustain genius, attention to health, fitness, and exercise almost always take a back seat. Here's why it shouldn't.