Here are 15 Famous and Creative Graphic Design Quotes

A powerful quote will simultaneously entertain and teach you. It’s important for graphic designers to have a steady supply of motivational material, such as graphic design quotes, to keep them focused, motivated, and excited about their job.

Great graphic design quotes can be used as a piece of guidance as well as inspiration. They can inspire us to think about design in new ways and try out new methods.

You’ll need help from time to time as you navigate the murky waters of creation, no matter where you are in your graphic design journey.

What better place to look than famous designers’ quotes? After all, none of these men and women would have become industry icons if they hadn’t solved a problem or two along the way.

On this list of the 15 top graphic design quotes of all time, you’ll find quotes from some of the industry’s biggest names. Their words provide us with a glimpse into their personalities and show us how they view specific aspects of design.

1. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci did not have a formal education that was complete and structured. He was mostly and solely self-taught. It was the profound awareness of life’s totality and essence that led him to realize and say that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Simplicity is a valuable resource. When it becomes a much-loved and highly prized feature for a person, he or she embarks on a quest to find this hidden gem within.

quotes on graphic design

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

Milton Glaser, a well-known graphic designer and co-founder of New York magazine, has a long and illustrious career. His iconic designs include the DC Comics logo and Obamas 2009 campaign poster.

He was the one behind the “I ❤ NY logo” design. Although the logo was designed to promote tourism in New York City, it has evolved into much more. It attracts a wide range of people due to its mesmerizing appearance and general appeal.

Its basic concept and simplicity combined well to generate the “WOW” factor that continues to delight millions of people generations later.

A simple yes, according to Glaser, isn’t good enough because it doesn’t inspire the kind of emotion that excellent design should. This remark represents what every designer should go for when creating a design: something that will make people say WOW.

quotes on graphic design

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

Paula Scher, a design legend, soothes the fears of many aspiring designers by saying that making mistakes can help you improve your skill.

Scher is an identity designer known for her bold use of street typography, particularly for projects concerning The Public theater, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Windows 8 logo.

She began her career as a layout artist for Random House and climbed the ladder to become Pentagram’s first female principal.

In any field of art, overnight success is impossible, especially in a crowded industry like graphic design. She highlights the need of using mistakes for self-improvement rather than self-flagellation.

If you spend too much time and effort looking for the “perfect” design, you’ll wind up spending more time waiting than creating.

Allow yourself to see each mistake as a step closer to getting it perfect; do not let them discourage you. Coming from someone with so much design experience, it’s sound advice that should be taken seriously.

4. “Design is thinking made visual” – Saul Bass

Saul Bass is most recognized for his iconic movie posters, title sequences, and logo designs. Designs for The Shining, Anatomy of a Murder, Vertigo, and The Man with the Golden Arm are among his most famous posters.

Graphic design is at the end of the day, an art form. If you want to be successful at anything, you must approach it in this way.

Design, according to Bass, is “thinking made visual.” His imagination was very amazing, and his concepts resulted in a magnificent design.

Keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the viewer, therefore make sure that your primary goal is to create universally attractive work.

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

This gem from designer, author, and entrepreneur Jeffrey Zeldman is one of the most widely quoted graphic design quotes.

Imitation, as the old saying goes, is the best form of flattery. Artists in all fields will continue to seek “inspiration” from other sources.

You’ll have to get used to it because it’s just how the game is played. When it comes to professional research, it would be beneficial for you and your company to follow the same strategy.

When it appears that other well-known creative graphic design experts are openly taking your work and ideas, however, you should never go on the offensive.

On the contrary, those small “thefts” should be celebrated as small victories.

Why? It gives you confidence that your effort has impacted not only your clients and their customers but also your competition.

6. “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

Bob Gill is the cofounder of Pentagram and a longtime artist for magazines such as Glamour, Esquire, and Fortune.

As a hobby, you are the only one who must be satisfied with your work.

If you make a living as a graphic designer, however, the perspective of your clients will be crucial to your success.

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

Consider some of the most well-known logos and designs that have been created over the years. The art of simplicity and clarity is mastered by many of the most profound logos.

Lindon Leader is the designer of Avery and FedEx’s classic logos, which are undoubtedly the ultimate of simplicity.

However, due of Lindon’s awareness of the importance of those two cornerstone principles, it has become a timeless classic in the field of graphic design.

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

Petrula Vrontikis is a designer, professor, and industry leader who now serves on the board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and teaches design at the Art Center College of Design.

The concept is the idea for a design; without it, the design loses its significance and becomes merely decorative.

As a result, rather than skimping on the design brief, it is preferable to prepare before you design. A good design is constantly focused on the message it is trying to say.

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

David Carson is a graphic designer who is most known for pioneering “grunge typography” in the print world, particularly with alternative music magazines like Ray Gun.

In this graphic design quotation, David outlines two of his favourite pastimes.
Carson, who has been creating outstanding magazine covers for many years, knew how to blend the two better than most.

10. “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” – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs need no introduction, yet this quote regarding product design may be unfamiliar to some.

People typically don’t know what they want until you show it to them, according to Jobs.

It’s one of the graphic design quotes in this list that highlights the idea that designers should create for themselves, and that if the design is good enough, everyone else will love it.

11. “To create a memorable design you need to start with a thought that’s worth remembering” – Thomas Manss

A design must be inspired by something memorable in and of itself, according to German graphic designer Thomas Manss, or it will be forgotten.

The idea for the design should be a thought from which you believe your audience might learn something.

12. “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine De Saint Exupéry

Antoine was a pioneering pilot and a French writer, poet, aristocrat, and journalist.

Simple design is not necessarily the greatest, but the best design is always simple, as the saying goes. Rather than striving for perfection in design, one should always strive for simplicity.

If your design successfully communicates with your target audience, it has succeeded. To summarize, good design is self-evident.

13. “Design is as much a matter of finding problems as it is solving them” – Bryan Lawson

Bryan Lawson is a man who knows the thinking processes behind design better than most, as both an architect and a psychologist.

According to Lawson, design is not only about fixing issues, but also about discovering them. When it comes to design, innovation must be a top focus, and Lawson understands the importance of being ahead of the competition.

14. “Technology over technique produces emotionless design” – Daniel Mall

With one of the most important graphic design quotes for the current design industry, creative director Daniel Mall shows wisdom beyond his years.

According to Mall, adopting new technologies into a design is a fantastic idea as long as it doesn’t interfere with your ability to generate original and excellent work.

Excessive dependence on technology, on the other hand, might limit design creativity and uniqueness. To keep the human aspect of the design intact, use technology minimally.

15. “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent” – Joe Sparano

According to Joe Sparano, an excellent design is invisible and functions effectively in both visual and functional senses.

The design must operate in perfect harmony with the subject, not obstructing or concealing its significance in any manner.

Each design element serves a specific purpose, and your design should not detract from your overall goal. If you’re designing intending to attract attention, you’re on the wrong track.

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