USA Today just published an interview with Chip Kidd, longtime book cover designer for Knopf. Asked to name his biggest career high, he replied, “‘Jurassic Park.’ That will be the first line of my obituary, and I’m extremely proud of that.”
I don’t blame him. It’s one of the most iconic logos of all time.
And it’s based on one of history’s most influential dinosaur displays: the old T. rex mount at the American Museum of Natural History.
The AMNH dismantled the skeleton in the nineties and re-mounted it in a more anatomically correct posture. By then, the old reconstruction had inspired so many books, paintings, movies, and toys that it stamped an indelible image in the minds of generations of dino aficionados. Even for people who never saw the skeleton in person, that was simply what a T. rex looked like.
Kidd’s 2012 TED Talk has more info on his Jurassic Park cover. (The whole thing’s engaging, but you can skip to 4:27 for the Jurassic bit.)