Design Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old design quotes, design sayings, and design proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


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

Steve Jobs

Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful.     

Dieter Rams

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

Milton Glaser

Design is a response to social change.     

George Nelson

Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all... good design must primarily serve people.     

Thomas J. Watson

I don't design clothes, I design dreams.     

Ralph Lauren

Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them, examining alternate solutions to them, choosing and executing the best solution.     

Ivan Chermayeff

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

Paul Rand

If you can design one thing, you can design everything.     

Massimo Vignelli

Design is body language for inanimate objects.     

Jarod Kintz

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.     

Joe Sparano

Design is the application of intent - the opposite of happenstance, and an antidote to accident.     

Robert L. Peters

Design is as much an act of spacing as an act of marking.     

Ellen Lupton

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

Jeff Smith

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

Tate Linden

Design is not the narrow application of formal skills, it is a way of thinking.     

Chris Pullman

Behavioral design is all about feeling in control. Includes: usability, understanding, but also the feel.     

Don Norman

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

Robert L. Peters

A design isn't finished until somebody is using it.     

Brenda Laurel

Truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form.     

David Lewis

The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.     

Victor Papanek

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

Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.     

Charles Eames

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

John D. Berry

Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and from trusting your intuition.     

Freeman Thomas

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

Jenaiha Woods

Design is intelligence made visible.     

Alina Wheeler

Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.     

Richard Gref

Design is where science and art break even.     

Robin Mathew

Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and from trusting your intuition.     

Freeman Thomas