Vince Frost wants to help you Design Your Life

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Published:  October 6, 2014
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Internationally renowned Sydney-based designer Vince Frostfounder of Frost* (now Frost Collective), has launched a design-inspired lifestyle and self-help brand Design Your Life, which has recently debuted in the form of a book. Set to arrive on shelves this month, the book, also titled ‘Design Your Life’, draws on Vince’s 25 years of professional experience in the design industry, reduced to a sequence of 15 principles that can be used “to make personal change for the better.”

We spoke to Vince, in preparation for the release:

What first struck you as a similarity between the path to a happy, successful life, and the design process? 

I, like most people, became saturated with everything – work, just being a designer and being really determined to do great stuff at all costs. The time and energy, the way you’re taught to work day and night in preparation for a big presentation, is what I’ve kind of done for 25 years now. It got to the point where ‘you get a little older’ and you don’t bounce back as well, you have other issues in your life you have to deal with, and I’d always put design and helping other people first. It came at a cost. I became ill or stressed and tired. The more I put this stuff aside, the more it became worse for me. I kind of hit many walls through the course of a year, where you can just feel sick, tired and exhausted as the consequence of that neglect. Your body’s telling you to slow down and take it easy.

I started to think about myself as a project, and I needed to put myself first in terms of working at what was the problem – what is the brief? How do I tackle these issues? Then one by one, you start to look at that thought process really as a ‘design process’. There’s still a problem to be solved, you’re not being paid by anyone to do it, there’s no official deadline (unless you’ve got something quite serious happening). I just went back to the problem and started to deal with it. That’s when I realised problem solving is problem solving, no matter what you apply it to.

140408_Vince_Frost_DYL-0941Design Your Life - Book Cover

What process was involved in refining your self-help book to a sequence of only 15 steps?

Julie Gibbs, a publisher at Penguin, came to a talk I did at the Apple Store in 2011, and really liked it. About a year and a half later she came to me and asked “Why don’t we do a book based on that talk?” So that was used as a basis for the book — but expanded on in depth. There ended up being so many of them, and some people will say they’re not completely ‘design principles’, but they’re principles I live by and I’ve found useful. As soon as I finished the book I realised that it’s an ongoing task and that there are other principles that you can bring into the book that would equally appeal to people.

Do you see the theories introduced as only being useful to those working in a creative field?

Of course it will help designers, and I would be thrilled if it also helped the general public, whether they’ve got a job, or haven’t got a job, or whatever studio they’re working in. I don’t think it’s design specific.

140408_Vince_Frost_DYL-0314 Design Your Life - The Making Of_1

Why did you choose to publish a book, rather than release a series of blog posts or videos?

That’s a good question. The simple answer is that Penguin approached me to do a book, so that is the answer. I am actually working on it as an app, which is where we’ll expand on each chapter — we’ll release it for sale chapter by chapter in the early new year. So there are other ideas in terms of bringing Design Your Life as a brand to life. There’s other products that are part of that. I didn’t see it as writing a book; I see it as creating a brand.

But books do have a lot of power, a lot of presence and a lot of appeal to people. We’re waiting to see how it does as a book, see how the sales go. There’s a lot of talk about touring around Australia next year, and then London and New York.

See more about the process of putting the book together below:

You can read more and browse images of the book of the Design Your Life website.

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