The visual vernacular: art of first impressions in design and life

Ryan Lash/TED
Chip Kidd – American author, editor, and graphic designer – is most well known for his book covers which he designs at an average of 75 per year. It's an understatement to say he's pretty good at what he does, so listen up when he's talking about doing good design.

So what is the "visual vernacular"?

"It's the way we are used to seeing a certain thing, applied to something else so we see it in a different way," says Kidd.

There are two basic elements to good, communicative design, according to Kidd: clarity and mystery. Used properly, both produce interesting and inspiring designs that surprises audiences. But there are also wrong ways to go about it.

First filmed in May this year at the New York 2015 TEDSalon, Kidd tells his audience the when, why, and how on projects that have done justice for the two elements - and equally important, when they haven't.