How & Why


  • Begin to develop a personal philosophy about why we design things, and how we approach that work;
  • Acquire a working vocabulary of concepts and elements in graphic design, and learn how we can consider those concepts and elements when used to communicate ideas, establish tone, and influence readers/users;
  • Form a habit of noticing the presence of elements and concepts, and reflecting on how that presence affects our experience, and shapes our design work.


Prompts to Consider

  • Can you recall an instance recently, or anytime in the past, when you designed something? Even if you didn’t think of yourself as designing something. How did you do it? Why did you do it? What were the results after, for you and for anyone else who might have encountered your designed thing?
  • Share a particular sentence or part of Chimero’s book that resonates with you. How might you return to that idea in your own work?
  • Is there anything that Chimero does not specifically address that we should consider? Any particular topics, or perspectives that we might bring to bear when including Chimero’s advice?


  • Berry, Anne H., et. al. The Black Experience in Design: Identity Expression & Reflection. 2022.
  • Chimero, Frank. The Shape of Design. 2012.
  • Costanza-Chock, Sasha. Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the World We Need. 2020.
  • Lenkler, John. Train of Thoughts: Designing the Effective Web Experience. 2002.
  • Lupton, Ellen. Design is Storytelling. 2017
  • -–. Graphic Design: The New Basics. 2015.
  • -–. Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming. 2011.
  • Lupton, Ellen, et. al. Extra Bold: A feminist inclusive anti-racist nonbinary field guide for graphic designers. 2021.
  • Lupton, Ellen and Andrea Lipps. The Senses: Design Beyond Vision. 2018.
  • Tunstall, Elizabeth (Dori). Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook. 2023