Prominent American designer come writer Frank Chimero raised support on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to fund a new book The Shape of Design. His target was $27,000 to cover the self-publishing expenses – he surpassed that in the first day and went on to raise over $100,000.
The Shape of Design was released in May and is being endorsed worldwide. It doesn’t teach us how to design; rather, it focuses on why we are designing in the first place. It looks at the relationship of client to designer and the important roles each plays to create a successful outcome.
Earlier this month I was priveledged to attend a Portable Presents talk featuring fearless Frank. Inspired, upon exiting the lecture I took hold of pen and paper and furiously scribbled some notes, determined to record my thoughts. Here they are.
The shape of design is message. Curating knowledge and harnessing talent to exhale a framework to create from.
I see design but do I stop and marvel like an insecure alien who fails to conform to the fog of day-to-day existence? No. All humans need to learn design as they do literature. The mode of thought is all but the same, the reward will be in the mind and expression to our mind will grow. Good design is all very well but will fall on deaf ears if the audience can’t comprehend it.
Design moves. It is the pathway from then to there. Whether it is transferring across mediums or expanding through time, movement is where a design proves its worth.
You must step away in order to see the larger picture. Great painters of the past spent as much time painting as they did observing the development of the canvas from afar.
Although it may appear coherent and effortless, great design is almost always the end product of a cerebral struggle to send a message in a way never sent before.
Design can’t exist without good content. It can’t be sugar-coated or masked. If you’re getting bad content – then you must work to find a purpose, a narrative.
“What is the primary quality of great design? It moves. It moves us emotionally, travels from person to person, and takes us toward something better. Designers connect and build bridges that lead us to new places and expand what is possible. We tell productive untruths, then toil to make them reality. The practice shifts like a shadow and moves the target. When it does so, the products of design achieve a resonance. They get passed on like a story and turn into a gift.”
– Frank Chimero.
Design is a search for something that needn’t be answered. It creates an opportunity for further questioning and discovery.
The mundane can be re-imagined as something compelling. An idea from the every day, broken down into object, option and opinion.