50 Inspirational Quotes on Design

Words have the power to open iron doors and move entire mountains.

Inspirational quotes can often motivate us to achieve what we may have previously considered impossible.

In that spirit, here are 50 inspiring quotes on design that are truly beautiful.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to use these to create great designs of your own or highlight the qualities of great designers.

Quotes on Design

1. Richard Grefé

Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.

2. Hans Hofmann

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

3. Jon Franklin

Simplicity, carried to an an extreme, becomes elegance.

4. Steve Jobs

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

5. John Maeda

Skill in the digital age is confused with mastery of digital tools, masking the importance of understanding materials and mastering the elements of form.

6. Don Newgren

Design is intelligence made visible.

7. Roi James

Great design is all about details. With innovative material selection, sensible construction techniques and modern aesthetics one can craft a unique design language that sets a new standard.

8. Michael Ian Kaye

What a graphic designer tries to do is make sure the typography is emotionally consistent with the brand.

9. Erik Adigard

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

10. Paola Antonelli

Designers may be the true intellectuals of the future.

11. Steff Geissbuhler

I have never designed a logotype without first trying it in Helvetica. It is still the most versatile, classic and readable of all typefaces.

12. Jenaiha Woods

Design is the contrast of the core of limitations therefore there are no boundaries. It is simply an interpretation of creativity.

13. Milton Glaser

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

14. Tate Linden

Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up.

15. Walt Disney

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

16. Richard Buckminster Fuller

When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution isn’t beautiful, I know it is wrong.

17. Pablo Picasso

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

18. Salvador Dali

Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.

19. Leonardo Da Vinci

Learning never exhausts the mind.

20. Joe Sparano

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.

21. Robin Mathew

Design is where science and art break even.

22. Bruno Munari

A designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense.

23. Jeff Smith

The design process, at its best, integrates the aspirations of art, science, and culture.

24. Paola Antonelli

People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It’s not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.

25. Steve Jobs

Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

26. Carrie Phillips

I’m convinced that without bad design, the world would be a far less stimulating place; we would have nothing to marvel over and nothing to be nostalgic about.

27. Robert L. Peters

Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.

28. Wouter Stokkel

It’s art if can’t be explained.
It’s fashion if no one asks for an explanation.
It’s design if it doesn’t need explanation.

29. Hans Höger

Designers have a dual duty; contractually to their clients and morally to the later users and recipients of their work.

30. Robynne Raye

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.

31. Daniel Mall

Technology over technique produces emotionless design.

32. Frank Chimero

Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs.

33. Petrula Vrontikis

Practice safe design: Use a concept.

34. Steve Jobs

It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

35. Steve Rogers

Designing a product is designing a relationship.

36. Thomas J. Watson Jr.

Great design will not sell an inferior product, but it will enable a great product to achieve its maximum potential.

37. James Randolph Adams

Great designers seldom make great advertising men, because they get overcome by the beauty of the picture – and forget that merchandise must be sold.

38. Milton Glaser

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

39. Douglas Adams

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

40. Milton Glaser

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

41. Clement Mok

Design, in its broadest sense, is the enabler of the digital era – it’s a process that creates order out of chaos, that renders technology usable to business. Design means being good, not just looking good.

42. John D. Berry

Only when the design fails does it draw attention to itself; when it succeeds, it’s invisible.

43. David Hockney

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

44. Scott Adams

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

45. Stanley Morrison

Type design moves at the pace of the most conservative reader. The good type-designer therefore realizes that, for a new fount to be successful, it has to be so good that only very few recognize its novelty.

46. Adrian Frutiger

If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape. The spoon and the letter are tools; one to take food from the bowl, the other to take information off the page… When it is a good design, the reader has to feel comfortable because the letter is both banal and beautiful.

47. Jan Tschichold

Perfect typography is certainly the most elusive of all arts. Sculpture in stone alone comes near it in obstinacy.

48. Zuzana Licko

The most popular typefaces are the easiest to read; their popularity has made them disappear from conscious cognition. It becomes impossible to tell if they are easy to read because they are commonly used, or if they are commonly used because they are easy to read.

49. Adrian Frutiger

Helvetica is the jeans, and Univers the dinner jacket. Helvetica is here to stay.

50. David Carson

If you have no intuitive sense of design, then call yourself an “information architect” and only use Helvetica.


If you have any other amazing quotes about design please share them with our community! Take a peak at HubSpot’s design blog too. There are some great bits in there.



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