Sometimes, inspiration can be hard to find. However, reading quotes from like-minded/inspirational individuals can help you get inspired. Here’s a list of quotes about design that can help you if you’re stuck on a design project or looking for some inspiration.
1. “There are three responses to a piece of design. Yes, no and Wow! Wow is the one to aim for.” – Milton Glaser
Milton Glaser was a renowned graphic designer. His designs include the I ♥ NY logo, DC Comics logo, and the Brooklyn Brewery logo. In addition, he also started New York magazine.
2. “You have power as a designer to change the relationship someone has with an object. Your challenge is to keep people looking. Build in those little details. To some people, they might mean a lot.” – David Pearson
David Pearson is a designer known for designing book covers (for publishers such as Penguin and Picador) and doing typography. Pearson is also a teacher.
3. “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” – Joe Sparano
Joe Sparano is a designer and educator.
4. “Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” – Irene Au
Irene Au is a Design Partner at Khosla Ventures. She built and led the User Experience and Design teams at Google, Yahoo!, and Udacity.
5. “Design is thinking made visual.” – Saul Bass (This is one of my favorite quotes about design.)
Saul Bass was a graphic designer and an Oscar-winning filmmaker who was known for his film posters and title sequences. Some of his film poster designs include Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Vertigo and Stanley Kubrick’s movie The Shining. In addition, Bass designed AT&T’s original bell logo.
6. “Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.” – Massimo Vignelli
Massimo Vignelli was an Italian graphic designer and industrial engineer. He designed the American Airlines logo. Vignelli also created a subway map and a signage system for New York City’s subway system.
7. “A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist, and evolutionary strategist.” – Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller was a designer, architect, systems theorist, author, inventor, and futurist. In addition, he popularized the geodesic dome.
8. “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” – Jeffrey Zeldman
Jeffrey Zeldman is a web designer, entrepreneur, author, podcaster, and speaker. His books include Designing with Web Standards and Taking Your Talent to the Web.
9. “Design adds value faster than it adds costs.” – Joel Spolsky
Joel Spolsky is a software engineer and writer. Some of his books include Joel on Software and The Best Software Writing I. In addition, Joel created Trello. Trello is a popular project management app.
10. “I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” – Lindon Leader (This is another one of my favorite quotes about design.)
Lindon Leader is a renowned graphic designer with a focus on corporate identity. Additionally, he has designed popular logos such as FedEx and Hawaiian Airlines.
11. “The key to great ideas is not having them, it is executing them. And great ideas come from problems. As designers, we call problems, briefs and we call reactions to problems, concepts.” – Kate Moross
Kate Moross is a British illustrator, designer, and art director.
12. “I believe that every designer has to have personal projects—it’s the only way to grow and find a unique voice. At any given point in time, I’m working on an independent project in the studio and that’s very important to me—it’s what defines me as a designer.” – Louise Fili
Louise Fili is an Italian-American graphic designer. She worked for the publishing company Random House where she designed book covers with a typographic focus. Also, Fili has her own studio where she focuses on designing restaurant identities, food-related logos, and packaging.
13. “No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended.” – Adrian Forty
Adrian Forty is professor emeritus of architectural history at the Bartlett, University College London. He’s also the author of the books Objects of Desire, Words and Buildings, and Concrete and Culture.
14. “Design, in the end, is about creating better things for people. Along the way, it can generate better profits as well.” – Bruce Nussbaum
Bruce Nussbaum was an assistant managing editor for Business Week. He’s the author of a book called Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire. Also, he has a blog where he talks about things such as creativity, design thinking, and innovation.
15. “Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” – Charles Eames
Charles Eames was an industrial designer who’s designs (along with his wife Ray Eames) help revolutionize furniture design and modern architecture.
16. “Good design keeps the user happy, the manufacturer in the black and the aesthete unoffended.” – Raymond Loewy
Raymond Loewy was an industrial designer. He designed things such as the Coca-Cola bottle, the Greyhound bus design, and President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One.
Now that you’ve read these powerful quotes about design, it’s time to start creating! If you’re looking for additional inspiration, check out this article on 7 simple methods to help fuel your creativity.