The Shape of Design

by Frank Chimero
The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero
“From the very first line, Frank grabs you by the neurons and heartstrings, and doesn't let go until the very last.” ~ Brainpickings
A abstract shape

Words on paper

The Shape of Design is a book about design as a method to plan and create change. It documents the hidden steps, methods, and thoughts of the creative process to produce a field guide for the emerging skillset: improvising, creating frameworks, storytelling, and delighting audiences.

It's a handbook that explores the qualities that make for great design so we may dream big, apply the lessons to our processes, then go get our hands dirty to shape this world. It is also a Kickstarter success story.

It tries to supplement the abundance of technical talk and how-to elsewhere by elevating why great work is done.

Shape is a book about objectives, and it zooms out to answer a couple big questions: How does it feel to make things for other people? And how can we do so in a meaningful, engaged way?

The Shape of Design inner spread

About Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero is a designer, illustrator, and writer based in Brooklyn, NYC. His practice focuses on design systems that bridge digital and analog formats, using the qualities of each to the other's advantage. This method also extends to his personal work and publishing projects. In 2011, he was honored with the Art Directors Club Young Guns award and featured in Print Magazine's New Visual Artist issue, highlighting twenty designers under the age of thirty.

As a teacher, Frank worked with undergraduates at Portland State and Missouri State University, and taught typography, design systems, information design, and thesis courses. Since then, he's been doing workshops at schools around the country.

  • An abstract shape


    “The author speaks in a relatable and passionate way about our process as designers, in a series of truly inspirational stories that are sure to get the creative juices flowing.” ~ Dan Eden
    “Chimero wraps his ideas in a clear, strong voice that is witty at times, poignant at others. If you create things, the books insights will inform the way you think about your work, regardless of how you make your living.” ~ The Atlantic
    An abstract shape

    Product information

    • Size: 5.5" x 8.5"
    • Pages: 132
    • Publication date: 2012
    • Publisher: Frank Chimero
    • Typeface: FF Quadrant
  • An abstract shape


    1. Chapter 1: How and why
    2. Chapter 2: Craft and beauty
    3. Chapter 3: Limitations and improvisation
    4. Chapter 4: Form and magic
    5. Chapter 5: Fiction and bridges
    6. Chapter 6: Context and response
    7. Chapter 7: Stories and voids
    8. Chapter 8: Frameworks and etiquette
    9. Chapter 9: Delight and accommodation
    10. Chapter 10: Gifts and giving
    An abstract shape


    This book usually ships within 3 days, but express options are available.

    The Shape of Design qualifies for our flat rate £3.50 shipping charge.

    Learn more about our shipping policies & times.