Commonwealth is a celebration of design as art, design as culture, and often design as a job. It’s an examination of the thoughts and actions of the designer. A study of the designed object, its intent, its service, and the experience. In the form of visual essays. Contributions are welcome.

If you’re interested in contributing an essay, please follow these guides:

  • Be optimistic — Essays shouldn’t be overly critical. They should explore multiple angles. Likability is not a design quality, nor are determinations like “good” or “bad” or the like. They are opinions that aren’t easily expressed with grace. We should strive to maintain grace, civility, and humility while still being bold.
  • With feeling — Essays should focus on how design feels or the feelings it produces. An old sign for a CPA might produce a feeling even though the design may not be all that compelling to you personally. And don’t neglect the feelings you encounter in the process.
  • Process is the product — Speaking of process. Essays should address ways of thinking or experiencing something. We want to give designers inspiration for how they can approach design and their own self-exploration and self-development.
  • Keep it evergreen — This isn’t a place for trends or the minutiae. Techniques used by the designer within software won’t be helpful in one-hundred years. Workflows can be ok. And processes can be fascinating.
  • We are all capable — Essays must be a reminder to the reader (or fellow designer) that they have an infinite capacity within themselves already to create good.
  • A treatise on what is — Essays shouldn’t be overly “for or against” anything design-related. They should be a treatise on what is, without judgment. They should be stories of being moved in some way. Stories of optimism. Stories of the complete joy of living. Stories about design.
  • Create good — Essays that highlight the good that comes out of design are always encouraged. We believe the designer has an ability to change the world in positive ways and we want to tell those stories.
  • Teach something — We love essays to be entertaining and educational. Simple and approachable. The reader should walk away feeling like they’re smarter and three inches taller.