Poster for TED Original by Chip Kidd: Judge this. Reads: First Impressions are key to how we perceive the world, and are perceived by it.

Top book cover designer Chip Kidd has a lot to teach advocacy communicators in his new book “Judge This”.
Just as activists have a nano second to emerge from competing issues to get people to click, donate, or volunteer, a book cover must instantly engage the eye from among hundreds of other titles.

Kidd’s covers are designed with clarity and mystery in mind – express oneself concisely, then compel the potential reader with visuals that draw them into the story.  His covers catch your attention, then your curiosity takes the next step.  A broken lock, an open door, these little clues start the conversation.  What happens next? The book is pulled from the shelf, the Amazon link is clicked, the reader steps into the story to find out.

We advocacy communicators rely too often on fear and facts to drive action.  How much more respect and engagement might mystery show for our audiences?  If you’d like to see, peruse these book covers in Kidds’ blog post.  Let us know if you get any ideas to communicate in more subtle – yet still effective – ways.

Read his blog post here: “Judge This: The Power of First Impressions” by Chip Kidd