Design Quotes

In no particular order, these mantras inform my creative mindset.
Updated: 1/13/2021

What works good is better than what looks good, because what works good lasts.

— Ray Eames

Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.

— Cecil B. DeMille

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

— Albert Einstein

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.

John Cage

If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.

George S. Patton

Attractive things work better.

Donald Norman

You don’t have to please everyone — you have to please the user.

Brenda Laurel

If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.

Juan Ramòn Jimènez

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

Milton Glaser

Art has to move you and design does not, unless it’s a good design for a bus.

David Hockney

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

Scott Adams

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

Henry David Thoreau

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.

Vincent van Gogh

A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures.

Ben Shneiderman

Beauty and brains, pleasure and usability — they should go hand in hand.

Donald Norman

The details are not the details. They make the design.

Charles Eames

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

Paul Rand

Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.

Paul Rand

Knowledge is the antidote to fear.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better.

Jonathan Ive

Design is intelligence made visible.

Don Newgren

Less is more.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I never design a building before I’ve seen the site and met the people who will be using it.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Good design is a lot like clear thinking made visual.

Edward Tufte

If the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

Buckminster Fuller

Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

Chuck Close

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.

John Maeda

Form follows function—that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one joined in a spiritual union.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Good design is problem solving.

Jeffrey Veen

In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind, there are few.

Shunryu Suzuki

If I ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.

Isaac Newton

Well done is better than well said.

Benjamin Franklin

There is no ‘i’ in team but there is in win.

Michael Jordan

No great website in history has been conceived of by more than three people.

Seth Godin

The user interface is a symptom of organizational culture.

Leisa Reichelt

Work alone... Not on a committee. Not on a team.

Steve Wozniak

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.

Joe Sparano

Design should never say ‘look at me.’ It should always say, ‘Look at this.’

David Craib

Good design is good business.

Thomas J. Watson Jr.

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

Love what you do and do what you love.

Ray Bradbury

Don’t compromise.

Steve Jobs

Always deliver more than expected.

Larry Page

One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion.

Tim Ferriss

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Albert Einstein

No technical creation can be said to be perfect until it is also perfect from an aesthetic point of view.

Ettore Bugatti

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

Benjamin Franklin

Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.

Paul Rand

Think more. Design less.

Ellen Lupton

Everything is important.

Steve Jobs

The design is done when the problem goes away.

Jason Fried

Good design is the most important way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

Yun Jong Yong

Visual design is about problem solving, not about personal preference or unsupported opinion.

Bob Baxley

The interface is the product.

Jef Raskin

Good design makes a product understandable.

Dieter Rams

Good design is thorough down to the last detail.

Dieter Rams

Business success is always defined by the quality of the overall customer experience.

Forrester Research

Design is the easiest way to reenergize a product.

Fast Company

Imagine products that don’t exist and guide them to life.

Christopher Stringer

Slow down, reduce things to their essence, and focus on the details.

Oliver Reichenstein

It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.

Scott Belski

Intuitive design is how we give the user new superpowers.

Jared Spool

Well-designed things give us the valuable present of time.

Oliver Reichenstein

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

John Wooden

Obey the principles without being bound by them.

Bruce Lee

You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well.

Juan Manuel Fangio

Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.

Woody Guthrie

Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.

Robert Schuller