Mandy Brown: How Things Change

Mandy Brown is co-founder and CEO of Editorially, a new platform for collaborative writing and editing  She previously served as communications director and product lead at Typekit. But, if you are reading this you probably already knew that …

Photo by Amber Gregory

Mandy Brown had to follow up Jessi Arrington’s kick-off to Type13 which at the moment seemed like a large undertaking. However, she did not disappoint!

Our industry is changing, it’s moving from the book to the API — from a static, finished artifact, to a living, incomplete, and abstract design. Many designer’s having issues with the idea of sending an incomplete project free into the world but Mandy Brown has a solution for us or rather another way to think of things

“Everything is unfinished.”

Even a printed book that you might have at home isn’t finish. Once a book has been produced and sent out to the masses it’s still a work in progress; by adding annotations, corrections, or even illustrations all enrich the text and add more to it.

You can continue to add to it to your hearts content but is it done? Mandy Brown stated that due to the fact that technology doesn’t march in a straight line and it’s constantly changing it means that the content we create is also constantly changing. As designers we need to learn to let go and stop being precious about our work. Everything is unfinished!

The anxiety about things going into the world when it is not ready yet is something that we, as designers, need to learn to let go. Remember that everything is unfinished.

Brown, Mandy_Original

Mandy Brown

Mandy Brown is co-founder and CEO of Editorially, a new platform for collaborative writing and editing. She is also co-founder of A Book Apart, a former contributing editor for A List Apart, and the editor of many books, including The Shape of Design, by Frank Chimero. She previously served as communications director and product lead at Typekit and as creative director at the independent and employee-owned publisher, W. W. Norton & Company.

Other topics that the wonderful Mandy Brown touched upon during her talk was how physics relates to graphic design and how as designers we need to be literate vs. being fluent. As designers we are often asked to wear many hats and some times we are expected to be experts in certain fields or topics. Mandy Brown urges us to not

“… look for unicorns; build balanced teams.”

By building balanced teams the rate of success is much higher. Although, we are all not expected to be unicorns Mandy Brown urges us to become literate in topics/programs that pertain to our field and to remember that HTML and CSS are languages and NOT code!


Text — Claudia Solis