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Inspirational quotes on design

Design is what you do when you want to express yourself.

We all need a bit of design inspiration from time to time. If you’re stuck in a creative cul de sac, take a read through these inspiring design quotes. Real wisdom, from some of the worlds greatest designers. Enjoy, then go and create great work!

“People ignore design that ignores people.” — Frank Chimero

“Design is what you do when you don’t yet know what you are doing.” — George Stiny

“The perfect time to start something never arrives.” — Anonymous

“Don’t just follow your dreams; chase them down, grab hold and don’t let go.” — Kellie Elmore

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” — Albert Einstein

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” — Vincent Van Gogh

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle

“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.” — Miyamoto Musashi

“If you believe you can do it go out there and do it because that’s the only way you’re gonna get it.” — Harry Main

“It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take things to.” — Jean-Luc Godard

“We tend to forget there’s more to design than designing.” — Justin Ahrens

“The greatest results in life are usually attained by common sense and perseverance.” — Owen Feltham

“Computers are to design as microwaves are to cooking.” — Milton Glaser

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs.” — Frank Chimero

“Design is thinking made visual.” — Saul Bass

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” — Wayne Dyer

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” — Steve Jobs

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” — Vince Lombardi

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” — Albert Einstein

“The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, {your} freedom of thought becomes impossible.” — Salman Rushdie

“Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” — Brian Reed

“Designers are meant to be loved, not to be understood.” — Fabien Barral

“Design is in everything we make, but it’s also between those things. It’s a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda, and philosophy.” — Erik Adigard

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” — Woody Allen

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.” — Steve Krug

“Practice safe design: Use a concept.” — Petrula Vrontikis

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” — Pablo Picasso

“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.” — Cameron Moll

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” — Walt Disney

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” — Joseph Chilton Pearce

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” — Walt Disney

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” — Coco Chanel

“A shoe is not only a design, but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.” — Christian Louboutin

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” — Douglas Adams

“Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful.” — Dieter Rams

“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” — Charles Eames

“Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” — Albert Einstein

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” — Milton Glaser

“The public is more familiar with bad design than good design. It is, in effect, conditioned to prefer bad design, because that is what it lives with. The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring.” — Paul Rand

“You can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt… or in front of a piece of graphic design.” — Stefan Sagmeister

“Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.” — David Carson

“I’ve never had a problem with a dumb client. There is no such thing as a bad client. Part of our job is to do good work and get the client to accept it.” — Bob Gill

“It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.” — Paula Scher

“If you do good work for good clients, it will lead to other good work for other good clients. If you do bad work for bad clients, it will lead to other bad work for other bad clients.” — Michael Bierut

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Never fall in love with an idea. They’re whores. If the one you’re with isn’t doing the job, there’s always, always, always another.” — Chip Kidd

“But I find that for myself, without exception, the more I deal with the work as something that is my own, as something that is personal, the more successful it is.” — Marian Bantjes

“Digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries.” — Neville Brody

“Socrates said, ‘Know thyself.’ I say, ‘Know thy users.’ And guess what? They don’t think like you do.” — Joshua Brewer

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, as opposed to ugly things. That’s my intent.” — Saul Bass

“Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs.” — Frank Chimero

“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” — Lindon Leader

“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” — Jeffrey Zeldman

“The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design.” — Massimo Vignelli

“Think more, design less.” — Ellen Lupton