Chip Kidd – Jurassic Park

It is impossible to talk about Chip Kidd without mentioning his iconic book cover for Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton in the 1990s. The book cover is rather simple, featuring a black two-dimensional dinosaur on a cream-colored background. The figure takes up the right of the cover, off-centered. The typeface is a bold, san-serif. The title of the book, featured at the top of the cover, is a navy blue. The author, featured on the bottom of the cover, is of the same type family, but is red and includes a black, well-defined drop shadow. The book, which later became a series of blockbuster films, maintained the original ‘branding’ that Chip Kidd provided. The dinosaur’s iconic status has become Jurassic Park itself. In his Ted talk on the topic, Chip Kidd recounts, “Now luckily for me, I live and work in New York City where there are plenty of dinosaurs. So, I went to the Museum of Natural History and I checked out the bones, and I went to the gift shop, and I bought a book… I had no idea what I was doing, but at some point, I stopped – when to keep going would seem like I was going too far. And what I ended up with was a graphic representation of us seeing this animal coming into being.” (Kidd, 2015). Michael Crichton was thrilled with the cover and wrote Chip Kidd back, “Wow! F***ing Fantastic Jacket”, through a fax, which Kidd also recounts within the same Ted talk mentioned earlier. Kidd’s logo became one of the most iconic of his career, and one of the most seen and appreciated symbols of the 1990s.

Kidd, Chip. “Designing Books Is No Laughing Matter. OK, It Is.” TED,