While this project may not have effected me directly, I was really moved this week by Frank Chimero’s The Shape of Design Kickstarter project. He asked to raise a total of $27,000 to publish his book and reached it in under 5 HOURS. The outpouring of designers and supporters was phenomenal. After 2 days, he has raised $53,000+ for his book, almost doubling his goal.

Now what about this moved me, you ask? The fact that so many, many people supported him. I started to ask myself, what is it about Frank and his book that so many people wanted to be a part of? As I read his FAQs on his site yesterday, I found my answer in his “How Do You Promote Yourself?” answer. Frank’s Kickstarter project was something he could have promoted the hell out of, and didn’t. He tweeted once, maybe twice, but what drove the surge were the people that support, admire and appreciate his thoughts and actions. He works hard to make the design community better and designs with intention and impact, unlike many designers out there right now.

As I get more and more tired of “pretty design,” I crave change, a breath of fresh air. Someone to be different and speak to becoming better and thinking about design. Design with purpose. Frank’s project inspired me to take a risk, brainstorm more and work with intent to create a better solution. My lack of posts this week comes from spending more time sketching, thinking and repositioning my goals. I’m inspired to be better.

So, here’s Frank’s answer for how you promote yourself. A great reason to become better at what you do.

How do you promote yourself?

Unsexiest answer ever: be better.

Do something interesting and do it really well. This is way harder than promoting yourself. Service your clients really well. Come up with damn good work that has thick value.

Do something compelling. There’s a trillion people writing blogs that need something to write about. There are magazines hungry for content. There are hundreds of thousands of people bored on the internet wanting something to look at or do. For the most part, people have exceedingly low standards on the internet. But, I think people are hungry for better. Make something better. People will notice.

The number of people that are consuming creative work keeps growing (because it’s fun and nourishing). The number of people doing solid, compelling creative work is staying the same (because it’s hard work). You do the math.

Thank you, Frank, for inadvertently encouraging me and many designers who want to be better. Looking forward to even more food for thought in your new book.