Explore the value of play in design through a new collaboration between Figma and It’s Nice That

Together, we’ve created a playful zine, which is making its first appearance this week at Figma’s annual conference, Config.

21 June 2023


Finding moments for play is an essential part of any design process. Whether you’re building an exhibition, crafting a typeface or designing and developing a new app, opportunities for play open up new paths to follow on the journey to your next idea. Play is also a key value of Figma, which has built an interface design tool for creatives of all stripes to nurture their ideas.

At Figma, play represents a vital aspect of our ability to learn. Purpose built to provide a blank canvas for exploration, anyone who has spent time collaborating in FigJam will know the design tool’s capabilities for connecting the dots and sparking new thoughts. It’s a value we also hold here at It’s Nice That and are thrilled to share a new print collaboration between us and the team at Figma. Say hello to The Playbook!

An exploration of play through a range of essays and visual commissions, The Playbook is a zine developed by It’s Nice That and Figma to showcase the benefits of spontaneous thinking and curiosity through design. Inside, we hear directly from the Figma team via a piece on “how to embrace (and enjoy) endless iteration” by chief product officer Yuhki Yamashita, as well as an investigation into what it truly means to be a collaborative engineer by chief technology officer Kris Rasmussen.

Elsewhere, we speak to a variety of creatives on the importance of curiosity in a world where the possibilities are endless, providing helpful advice on seeking out the “what if?” moment to kickstart any project. We even gain insight into “ten rules for play” that the great Paula Scher has noted down over her career, recommending a surprising spot for sketching logos to how to make peace with how you’re influenced creatively. If you prefer getting hands-on rather than sitting down with an essay, there are also a host of activities within The Playbook to tackle. First of all, you’ll be encouraged to “onboard” in the zine itself, take a quiz to determine your meeting-hosting style and take a break with a design challenge based on the phrase, “How might we?” Or otherwise you’re welcome to just enjoy a variety of visual commissions, from Shawna X’s visualisation of a “lightbulb moment” to Manshen Lo’s interpretation of Bruno Munari’s famed 12-step design methodology.

If you’re attending Config – Figma’s annual design conference exploring design, development and product building, taking place this week – you’ll receive your own copy of the zine to dig into on arrival. As Amber Bravo, Figma’s director of content and editorial, writes in the foreword to The Playbook, quoting Plato: “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Hopefully, our playful zine will facilitate just that.

Taking place from 21-22 June, Config brings together “the brightest minds and makers in product design and development” for a one-of-a-kind conference in San Francisco. Including representatives from the likes of Netflix, GitHub, The New York Times, Twitch and many more, you can join the conference virtually, for free, by registering here, or tune into recordings of each directly on the Config site here. If you’re not able to attend the conference in person, you can also gain access to a selection of essays from The Playbook on Figma’s editorial site, Shortcut.

GalleryFigma x It’s Nice That: The Playbook

In partnership with

Figma is a collaborative interface design tool for teams who build products together.

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