The Shape of a Story

The Shape of Design

Frank Chimero’s The Shape of Design, has become one of my go-to sources of design, branding, and storytelling inspiration. It also happens to be free to read/download, so you have no excuse to not check it out.

Self-described as an “odd little design book”, Chimero doesn’t focus on aesthetic, but rather on the craft – and how design contributes to the form and function of a compelling story.

I especially love this:

“…The scope of these tales is daunting, but the stories we weave need not be grand. A myth about how Helen of Troy’s face launched a thousand ships is just as much a story as a coworker’s tale about their shoelace snapping on their lunch break. A story is simply change over time, and the scale and scope of that change doesn’t matter so long as it has momentum. A story, in fact, doesn’t even need to go anywhere, as long as it feels like it is about to head somewhere good.”

Every brand – yes, even yours – has a compelling story to tell. Whether you’re building the next great billion-dollar startup or selling tacos from an RV, there’s a story – your story, that’s dying to be shared.

Let this sink in:

  1. A story is simply change over time.
  2. The scale and scope of that change doesn’t matter as long as it has momentum.
  3. Where a story goes doesn’t matter, as long as it’s going somewhere good.

How you present your story matters too (that’s where we often come in and help). We inevitably judge books by the cover. But the point Chimero drives home is that form, design, and aesthetic MUST be paired with function, message, and (no matter the scale) a story with momentum.

What story are you sharing with the world?

(Image credit)

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