Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero is a designer, accidental writer, and lapsed illustrator. He is the design director over at Habitat. He wrote a number of books and spoke at many design conferences.

Contemporary digital culture has co-opted the language of revolution and magic without the muscle, ethics, conviction, or imagination of either.

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A mythology of speed is one of willful ignorance to the small details.

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We often mischaracterize design as a practice of problem-solving, as if the problems go away. But closure, at least in my experience, is so rare in design. The loops stay open, because most problems are chronic.

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Sometimes the question is more important than the answer.

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We need people who live and work well in their places. Folks who commit, and realize they need to build the home they want rather than hoping to find it.

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Most creatures die in their sleep.
Keep moving, or get eaten.
The only things you should be absolutely comfortable with in your creative process are your tools.

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Delete unimportant things. Even if you love them. If it isn’t spectacular, it gets cut. Kill your darlings. Be a cold-blooded killer. Ruthless. Delete. Refine. Improve.

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Language is an interface.

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My world is laden with bad tools, because my culture is simultaneously obsessed with productivity and novelty.

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Design’s golden calf is simplicity.

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Sometimes the mythology/values of the internet feel willfully contrarian, and the ones who offer it are safe in ivory towers from the effect of that bad advice.

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Consistent voice is more important than consistent style.

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Voice is about what you say. It’s content.
Style is about what you’re wearing. It’s aesthetics.
The prior informs the latter, not the other way around.
Clothes don’t make the man.
They don’t make your work either.

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I think you should sell your ignorance and your ability to figure things out.

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