The Night Chip Kidd Questioned My Sexuality
On March 6th I introduced the well known Chip Kidd at our weekly Penny Stamps lecture held at the Michigan Theatre here in Ann Arbor. You may know Chip Kidd by one of the hundreds of book jacket designs he’s done over the years, heck, you probably have some of his work on your shelf or even on your nightstand. Perhaps you’ve even picked up one of his novels, The Cheese Monkies or The Learners.
Before the lecture began I introduced myself to Chip backstage, and chatted with him a little bit before going onstage. I was introduced to a packed crowd, there were probably twice as many people there than our usual weekly lectures. It really is true though, you really can’t see anything when your at the podium and in the spot light; just a bright light and a sea of black.
After introducing Chip to the audience I headed down to my seat and enjoyed one of the best lectures since Ellen Lupton last September, or 2×4 the February before that. It was great to see how he showed work that he did that clients turned down; most lecturers would never show how they failed. It was a pretty humorous lecture all-in-all, soon you should be able to grab the podcast through iTunes.
After the lecture I met backstage again with Chip, Chrisstina Hamiliton (the Director of Visitors’ Programs), and Art & Design professor Shaun Jackson. I managed to get my copy of The Learners signed by Chip before heading off to dinner.
We ended up having dinner at Pacific Rim, a pan-Asian restaurant. Our dinner party consisted of 4 A&D undergrads (myself included), a grad student, two A&D professors (Shaun Jackson, and Jill Greene), and of course, Chip Kidd. Dinner was pretty tasty. Conversation was a little awkward at first so I started asking some questions about his first book. After that, conversation seemed to flow pretty well. Dinner was tasty, as well as dessert.
Here we have A&D undergrad Jeremy Daly throughly interested in Chip Kidd’s melting face.
Dessert was an interesting affair. I was in the mood for something a little cold and sweet. The sorbet was the perfect fit, so I ordered it.
Immediately after I ordered Chip asks, “Now Alex, you are straight aren’t you?”
I was a little taken back by the question but I respond, “Well, yes.”
Chip then says, “Well the sorbet was a terrible decision. I’ve never seen a straight man order sorbet for dessert after dinner before.”
I get a little red in the face and laugh (as does the table) but I say back “What then, would you say is a more manly dessert.”
Chip thinks for a moment and then someone chimes in “The banana roll.”
The table laughs a little and Chip says “Oh yes, the banana roll does it for me!” Laughter continues and then dinner ends.
Quite the experience, definitely not my usual Thursday evening.