Designing ‘1Q84’: Chip Kidd on Haruki Murakami’s latest


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Chip Kidd, one of publishing’s best-known designers, created the cover for one of the most anticipated novels of the fall, Haruki Murakami’s ‘1Q84.’ For those eager to know about the plot, Kidd explains it a little bit -- its setup, at least -- because it directly informed the cover design. A woman moves in two similar but not the same realities; a second moon appears in the sky.

Murakami’s book, which publishes next week, posed a physical challenge: it’s enormous, 944 pages. In England, it was published in two separate volumes; in Japan, three. Knopf has put it all in one -- with, we hope, very strong binding.


Kidd has been with Knopf for 25 years, but at the beginning of his career he was a prolific freelancer. Rizzoli has published a survey of his design, ‘Chip Kidd: Book One: Work 1986-2006.’

While providing some insights into the novel and its design, Kidd leaves one mystery. There is something about the page numbers that ... well, he doesn’t say. And I’m not telling.


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-- Carolyn Kellogg