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The 40 Best Quotes on Graphic Design

By September 10, 2013One Comment

Good design is a lot like clear thinking made visual. – Edward Tufte

Here at DuoParadigms, we love to help make your thinking clearer through great design, whether that’s a website, a logo or your wedding invitations!

Below is a collection we have put together of great quotes about graphic design and design in general that will motivate you to create to the best of your ability. We hope you are inspired by them!


Everything is designed. Few things are designed well. – Brian Reed

People ignore design that ignores people. – Frank Chimero

Design isn’t finished until somebody is using it. – Brenda Laurel

The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness. – Massimo Vignelli

Design is where science and art break even. – Robin Mathew

Technology over technique produces emotionless design. – Daniel Mall

Stop looking at yourself as a designer, and start thinking of yourself as a deliverer of ideas. – Stle Melvr

Design is the application of intent – the opposite of happenstance, and an antidote to accident. – Robert L. Peters

Designers are meant to be loved, not to be understood. – Fabien Barral

Design is intelligence made visible. – Alina Wheeler

Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy. – Leisa Reichelt

Good design is good business. – Thomas J. Watson Jr

Design trends online change more often than the wind, and slightly less often than my socks. – Suleiman Leadbitter

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

For me, design is like choosing what I’m going to wear for the day – only much more complicated and not really the same at all. – Robynne Raye

If I was influenced by anything, it was architecture: structure having to do with logic. If you don’t do it right, the whole thing is going to cave in. In a certain sense, you can carry that to graphic design. Fortunately, however, nobody is going to die if you do it wrong. – Paul Rand

Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop. – Jeffrey Zeldman

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo Da Vinci

Design should never say, Look at me. It should always say, Look at this. – David Craib

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

Design is the conscious effort to impose a meaningful order. – Victor Papanek

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure–which is: Try to please everybody. – Herbert Bayard Swope

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent. – Joe Sparano

You can’t do better design with a computer, but you can speed up your work enormously. – Wim Crouwel

No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended. – Adrian Forty

Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it. – Pierre Bonnard

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

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. – Hans Hofmann

Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated. – Paul Rand

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep. – Scott Adams

Waste is a design flaw. – Kate Krebs

Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better. – John Updike

Type is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters. – Matthew Carter

Math is easy; design is hard. – Jeffrey Veen

Design is as much an act of spacing as an act of marking. – Ellen Lupton

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

The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire and persistence. – Milton Glaser

To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master. – Milton Glaser

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