The Shape of Design

The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero is a fantastic book that examines the world of design, and the role of designers that inhabit it. This isn’t a guide to making websites look great, or a how-to on making apps. Chimero encourages the reader to think about the why behind great design, not the how.

There are fantastic quotes and illustrations sprinkled throughout the entire book. Here’s a quote from the first chapter that really stuck with me:

“The creative process could be said to resemble a ladder, where the bottom rung is the blank page and the top rung the final piece. In between, the artist climbs the ladder by making a series of choices and executing them. Many of our conversations about creative work are made lame because they concern only the top rung of the ladder – the finished piece. We must talk about those middle rungs, understanding that each step up the ladder is equal parts Why and How. To only entertain one is to attempt to climb a ladder with one foot: it may be possible, but it is a precarious task.”

And there are plenty more where that came from.

You can read the book in its entirety online, or you can download it in a variety of formats (ePub, MOBI, and PDF), all for free. He used to sell the eBook for $10, but apparently he decided to start giving it away after selling out of his entire stock of physical copies.

There’s no reason not to add this book to your collection, so do yourself a favor and pick it up right now.