There are a number of books in the APDL Design Collection which are on high borrowing rotation. Design Your Life by designer Vince Frost is just one of those books and we were curious to see why.

Vibrantly coloured, this hardcover book sets the enormous goal of helping to improve your life via design.

“If my design process brings value to me, perhaps it can bring value to others,” proclaims the inside flap of the bold dust cover, designed by Vince Frost.

Design Your Life is part self-help book, full of well-meaning affirmations (be decisive, step outside your comfort zone) and inspirational interviews (with leaders, professors and sportspeople); part immensely readable coffee table book.

Vince Frost is an award winning designer having started his own graphic design firm in London during the 90s. Now based in Australia, Vince runs a creative ideas business called the Frost* Collective.

Vince writes in an almost confessional style, revealing the weaknesses in the veneer of his thriving design career which inevitably trickled through to his personal life. Vince gained the valuable insight that making his design assistant cry and managing high staff turnover was a problem. And we get the benefit of this trial and error wisdom in solving these problems.

The genesis of Design Your Life was from a talk about designing a better life using design principles Vince presented in Sydney 2011. A publisher inspired by Vince’s presentation saw the potential in his story to become a book.

This comes as no surprise as the book does remind you of an inspirational Tedx-style talk – it has that easy conversational format which is synonymous with such events. The book itself won a 2015 Sydney Design Gold Award for its innovative layout and imaginative use of type interspersed throughout its 232 pages.

Design Your Life is certainly not a weighty tome and for those who have a mature disposition, the book doesn’t contain anything that is particularly revolutionary. Get fit, find balance, collaborate, take chances, learn from your mistakes and don’t be a jerk is my summation of Design Your Life.

Approach this book with an open mind. It is one of those books that may be useful depending on what is happening in your life. Think of it as a friendly pep-talk wrapped up in nice packaging.

One does have to question whether cult of personality is a significant factor in the success of this book. Would we take Vince Frost’s advice if he had less of a profile in the design community? Is there a blur between what is design process and just common sense?

Design Your Life by Vince Frost is available in the Asia Pacific Design Library. To borrow the book you must be an SLQ member.


Anita Lewis

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