Added : January 14, 2008

Last Updated: November 16, 2010


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The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

Here is an excellent work by Chip Kidd. Kidd had said that this novel (a hit in Japan) was a work with multiple layers of meaning (something conveyed well through the layers in the cover). This novel also conveys a "sense of the dull mechanization of life’s events". A large purpose behind this design is to convey something simple on the outside, but complex on the inside (from a simplistic image of a bird to a complex line drawing of a clock mechanism). The line art here was actually a light silver gloss varnish (beautiful).

This design was also carried throughout the entire product. The spacing in some of the text (shown in the above example) is made to mimic springs.

I'll see about getting some full jacket images to showcase. Also, if any of you have a deeper understanding of the novel, that would be great.

John Gall redesigned this cover with a series of books.


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Karen Horton said on January 15, 2008

I love this collaboration between Chip Kidd and Chris Ware. The wind-up bird mechanical diagram printed on the actual book is a very nice touch. And the book itself is one of my favorites. Can’t go wrong with Haruki Murakami. If you have a first edition hold onto your copy. I got lucky to find my copy on the street.


Jason Gabbert said on January 15, 2008

I was talking to Charles yesterday and he had said that the bird was actually something that Chip had sitting on his bookshelf. It ended up being perfect for this project. Good call on Chris Ware's Involvement Karen! Ware did the illustrated clockwork that you see glossed over the clockwork bird (if you get the chance, grab Kidd's book (Book One) and look at the illustration by itself). Kidd also stated that he usually didn't like to be as literal as he was being on this cover (portraying a clockwork bird that was talked about in the story), but he figured that if he abstracted it enough in size it could fly.