The new edition of The Design Manual and the vagaries of self-publishing


This month’s guest speaker is David Whitbread, who has just released the third edition of The Design Manual. The fruit of twelve years’ research and two years’ writing and production, the manual is an essential reference for graphic design studios and all communications professionals, including editors, printers, web designers and students, among others. (See the press release with reviewers’ comments below.)

You can attend either in person or via a Zoom webinar. Please register on this Trybooking page if you wish to attend in person.

Date: Wednesday 26 April 2023
Time: 5.45 pm (on site), 6.30 pm (webinar)
Dinner to follow at Bambusa, Manuka at 8pm.
Further details below.

(For details of upcoming meetings, scroll to the bottom of the page.)

About the presentation

As editors, we are keenly aware that different audiences take up content in different ways. David will talk about reimagining content by creating tie-in products to promote the manual and provide extra resources that readers can access from the website, for instance, a newsletter, a ‘super index’ and standalone chapters that can be printed and sold separately.

While authors are increasingly turning to self-publishing, David will also inform and entertain us with tales about unexpected events that can befall authors who choose this route, as well as their editors.

Join us for what promises to be an informative and lively presentation … with a bonus!

David is generously offering CSE members a discounted price of $75 (RRP $79) for the new edition of the manual. In-person attendees at his talk will be able to inspect the manual and buy it on the night, while all members are eligible to use the discount code EDIT23 to purchase it at the same price (which includes free shipping).

About David and the third edition of The Design Manual

David Whitbread was the Design Director of the Australian Government Publishing Service. In 2004, he became the Director of Corporate Communications, then Web, Design and Video for an Australian Government department. Later, he was the Corporate Communications Manager and Marketing Team Leader for the Australian Government Solicitor for 10 years. He was also the Head of Graphic Design at the University of Canberra. David was art director and one of the co-authors of the Australian Government’s Style manual for authors, editors and printers, 6th edition (Wiley, 2002), and an adviser and expert reviewer on the 7th edition (Digital Transformation Agency, 2020).

Press release: New edition of The Design Manual

Canberra-based designer, author and now publisher David Whitbread has just released the third edition of The Design Manual.

David’s inspiration for the rewrite was Jack Reacher author Lee Child. David analysed his writing style to evolve a new style of lively writing for what might otherwise have been academic text. In the hopes that it is as easy to read as Jack Reacher. Wherever you open it to.

The result is a book filled with anecdotes, quotes from diverse voices around the world, pithy explanations of terminology. And up-to-date guidance for how to approach all sorts of design projects. From logos and branding to animation and web apps. From marketing and advertising to publications and exhibitions. UX, UI, VR and AR …

Editors will be interested particularly in the new chapter on ‘Text preparation’ which encapsulates the guidance of the 3 Australian online style manuals into one resource.

CSE member Ted Briggs AE, the Janet Mackenzie Medallist in 2021, reviewed the new chapter and says, ‘It’s a good read and a very handy encapsulation of the key style decisions most authors and editors are faced with – I’ll keep a copy handy to use myself.’

Melbourne-based designer, author and publisher, Tess McCabe says, ‘The new edition content is very considered and well-written, and would be a must-read for anyone starting out or emerging in our industry.’

The new 680-page book is available now. It has a recommended retail price of $79.

To attend in person

Please register on this Trybooking page if you wish to attend in person.


The Durie Room
St Mark’s National Theological Centre
15 Blackall St (not Blackall Place)
See MAP.


The room opens at 5:45 pm. The presentation begins at 6:30 pm.

Need to cancel?

Return your ticket directly into the TryBooking system to make it available for someone else.


Would you like to dine at Bambusa in Manuka at 8 pm after the meeting? If you’d like to join us, please REGISTER by 3pm, Wednesday 29 February, so that we can finalise bookings.

To attend the webinar (via Zoom)

A link for the Zoom meeting will be supplied to all members by email. If you are not a member and wish to attend by Zoom, please send an email to the contact email address you will find on the About page and ask to be sent a link. Please do not pass on your link to other people.

The webinar audience can use Zoom’s Q&A functionality to ask questions or offer opinions. (You will not be able to see the presentation or participate in the Q&A if you attend by phone call.)

The webinar will not be recorded.

Other General Meetings this year

31 May

Hugh McKay

Truth in fiction and non-fiction

28 June

Stephanie Owen Reader

Stephanie is both a well-published author of children’s literature and an editor. (Topic to follow.)

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