The Shape of Design

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The Shape of Design is an odd little design book.
Instead of talking about typography, grids, or logos, it focuses on storytelling, co-dependency, and craft. 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?

shape of design book shape of design book shape of design book

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
part 1: the song
  • How and Why
  • Craft and Beauty
  • Improvisation and Limitations
  • Form and Magic
part ii: in-between spaces
  • Fiction and Bridges
  • Context and Response
part iii: the opening
  • Stories and Voids
  • Frameworks and Etiquette
  • Delight and Accommodation
  • Gifts and Giving
  • Endnotes
  • Acknowledgements

frank chimero

About the Author - Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero is a Brooklyn-based designer and author of The Shape of Design. He has worked for clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, Facebook, Newsweek, Bloomberg Businessweek, GOOD Magazine, and more. In 2010, he was chosen as a Young Gun by the Art Directors Club, and was honored as a New Visual Artist by Print Magazine.


"A beautiful, poetic book that puts the art back into design. At a time when many authors are advocating a more credible and measurable approach to design that is more akin to the methodical, formulaic and analytical field of engineering, Frank Chimero talks about design in almost spiritual terms of intuition and feeling, of inspiration coming from deep down, of immersion and expression."

Nathanael (Boehm) Coyne

"Frank summarises feelings that I knew I had but up until this point, I was unable I put them to words. This book is very inspirational. It motivates in a subtle way that left me feeling refreshed and not overly stimulated. The last chapter of the book is kind of lacking in motivation but I think he really just got out what needed to be said. Great book. Took lots of notes."

Matthew Sanders

"Just finished reading this book. It's by far the most inspiring book I have read on the subject of design. His perspective on the subject, the questions he asks and the answers he comes up with, have helped me reflect on my own work, and at the same time inspired me to do better design. Thanks Frank."

Benjamin Clausen

Product Details

Size: 5.5" x 8.5"

Pages: 132

ISBN: 978-0-9854722-0-7

Editor: Mandy Brown

Copyeditor: Allen Tan

Designer: Frank Chimero

Printed and bound by: Shapco Printing, Minnesota