Robot 6

Check out Chip Kidd’s ‘Before Watchmen’ deluxe edition covers


BuzzFeed has debuted the Chip Kidd-designed covers for DC Comics’ four Before Watchmen hardcover deluxe editions, which arrive this summer.

A renowned designer and art director, Kidd is widely known for creating the jackets for such books as Michael Chricton’s Jurassic Park and The Lost World, Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, David Sedaris’ Naked and Gerard Jones’ Men of Tomorrow. However, he’s also worked extensively in the comics arena, designing the covers for Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Vertical Inc.’s Osamu Tezuka line, and Dave Gibbons’ Watching the Watchmen (for which he also designed the interiors), as well as the logos and trade dress for All-Star Superman and All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. Most recently, Kidd created a variant cover for Before Watchmen: Rorschach #3.

Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre and Before Watchmen: Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair arrive in comic stores June 26 and July 2 everywhere else; Before Watchmen: Nite Owl/Dr. Manhattan and Before Watchmen: Comedian/Rorschach go on sale July 10 in comic stores and July 16 everywhere else.

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I love Chip Kidd.

Also, I’ve been waiting to read the Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner contributions to this series.

How about the Marv Wolfman/Steve Rude story of Dollar Bill?

Oops. Sorry. I meant Len Wein. Not Marv Wolfman.

Nice covers but I had already decided I would not be buying the collections. I’m good with just the single comics.

@Mike, looks like it will be featured in the Ozymandias/Crimson book.

While the trade dress is consistent, the use of illustrations isn’t.

The Minutemen/Silk Spectre piece looks like badly-scanned printed pages.
The lower half of Ozmandias/Crimson Corsair also has that problem, but oddly, not the top half.
By going back into the art files, he could’ve used a color halftone filter to create a “Lichtenstein” pop-art effect, creating a more effective use of the cyan and magenta screens instead of the sloppy-looking moire he ended up with.

I would imagine these are mock ups and not the final files. I’m willing to bet Mr. Kidd uses low-res versions of the images as placeholders while working on in the design stage.

I guess my issue is why they needed to bring in Chip Kidd for designing a brand that has such a strong aesthetic to begin with. I’m not really slamming his design; its nice. But with the evocative power of the sideways logo, there is only so much you can do design-wise to the rest of the page. I’d rather see them use him to design new trade dress for other hardcovers & trades… or maybe a new DC logo (I wish).

Nothing to crow about

Seriously, I liked Chip Kidd when he first started doing comic design work. Now it looks like the same thing over and over again. “Okay, I’ve got an idea, let’s take an image, enlarge it, and crop it tightly”…Chip Kidd school of design. If you doubt this, check out all of his other design work.

These remind me of his cover design for The Dark Knight Returns. Instead of using one of the fantastic and iconic covers by Frank Miller they went with this atrocity:

It’s the same situation as it is here. They could just randomly choose a comic cover and do a trade dressing out of it. There were many fantastic looking ones, and this is just boring.

These are ‘designs’? I’ve seen college-level students put together better. All he’s done is prop the title vertically, throw a bar across the middle, and badly crop two images from the series the book is collecting. He hasn’t had to put in ANY thought about real design or colour schemes – please tell me he didn’t get paid much for this ‘work’.

Not impressed as these are not original covers. All he did was set the art pages in photoshop and build the title around them

@Statham Most college-level design students could learn a thing or two about real design from Chip Kidd. He’s only one of the most well known and iconic designers in the world. The reason most of his comic work looks the way it does is because he’s limited to using what’s available (artwork, title fonts, etc). When left to design his own stuff, Kidd has produced some of the most iconic book covers ever published.

Yes, by all means naysayer. Kidd should have gunked up the covers with unncessary and poorly-placed design. Sometimes simple is better.



You can dress up a pig in a ball gown, but he’s still a pig.


and i love the taste of ham. so what’s your point?

Minute Men/Silk Spectre and the top half with Nite Owl needs a better image for a pass in my book, the others look good.

Cover design, whatever.
Kidd can’t be blamed too much if they look lame, he’s just replicating the feel of the original Watchmen cover.

I’m just annoyed that DC is making these ‘combo’ collections, instead of individual ones for each series.

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