Conventional wisdom aside, Chip Kidd would very much like you to judge books by their covers. As an acclaimed and influential graphic designer best known for his almost preternatural skills translating content (stories) into form (book jackets), Kidd is a champion at the interpretive choreography of font and picture that makes you reach for the shelf. In his nearly 30 years rocking the page as a designer at the Knopf publishing house, put simply, he's made first impressions for a living. Over the years, he's also written extensively, publishing novels and more pop scholarly tracts on his own inspirations and other giants of the illustrative arts. But the heart of the matter is his work as a designer; and his appearance at the Hammer tonight comes in conjunction with the museum's current exhibition “Graphic Design: Now In Production” (on through Jan. 6, 2013). The exhibition is a sprawling consideration of graphic design as an art form in its own right, examining how the field has evolved from specialized trade to creative platform in just the past dozen years. Kidd speaks with panache about the artistic challenges and flights of fancy involved in telling stories through design, balancing tradition with progress, and the enduring sensual appeal of printed matter. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Wed., Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000.

Wed., Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m., 2012

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