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The Shape of Design is a short, accessible book about the creative process & the intersection of storytelling, craft & improvisation.
The Shape of Design is a short, accessible book about the creative process & the intersection of storytelling, craft & improvisation.
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✓ First Draft

Dear reader,

Three days ago I submitted the first draft of the Shape of Design to its editor, Mandy Brown. Three weeks from now, she will return the manuscript, cleaned up and with comments, which I will use to begin my rewrite. It's tempting to say that the hard part is over, but more accurately, I've only finished the parts of the process I haven't experienced before now.

So, what's left to do after the rewrite? First the interior design, then a suite of illustrations, and finally production (both printing and ebook versions). It looks as if the book will be released toward the end of this year, and I'm terribly excited to share it with all of you.

I'm hesitant to discuss any specific details about the book until I hear back from Mandy, but I will say that the book uses several ideas and examples at the periphery of design to investigate the relationship between the designer and the work's audience. My usual themes are invoked: delight, storytelling, paradox, gift-giving, and more. Design opens a line of communication, creating a space that the client, designer, and audience all inhabit and, increasingly, collaborate. It becomes the work of the creative to, in the words of John Berger, give that space a "face."

It's a booky book, with many more words than pictures, and even fewer examples of design. (As I go through what I've written, I realize that I envoke paintings more often than pieces of design.) All in all, the book is a celebration of the seed of creativity and craving at the core of design: the desire to make things that help us to live better. I try my best to make this the purpose of the work that I do, and I hope that the thoughts in this book might prompt that same desire in you. Making is a machine we employ to live well, and as I sign off to reread what I've written again, I sincerely hope you are indeed well.

Until next time,
Frank

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