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 more important than technology in most consumer applications.     

Dave McClure

The beauty of design ought to be totally incidental to the enterprise itself.     

Stephen Metcalf

Design is all about learning from doing, that's how we evolve to the best solution.     

Tim Brown

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it's decoration.     

Jeffrey Zeldman

Design is the search for a magical balance between business and art; art and craft; intuition and reason; concept and detail; playfulness and formality; client and designer; designer and printer; and printer and public.     

Valerie Pettis

Design everything on the assumption that people are not heartless or stupid but marvelously capable, given the chance.     

John Chris Jones

Design implies a sense of mapping something out and then you follow the plan.     

Andy Goldsworthy

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

Steve Jobs

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.     

Jim Rohn

Good design is a lot like clear thinking made visual.     

Edward Tufte

The word design is everything and nothing. The design and the product itself are inseparable.     

Jonathan Ive

Design is the beauty of turning constraints into advantages.     

Aza Raskin

Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.     

Charles Eames

In design as in life, smart can also mean wise, kind, inspiring - and cost-effective. And that has a charm all its own.     

Nancy Gibbs

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

Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.     

Massimo Vignelli

The design of each element should be thought out in order to be easy to make and easy to repair.     

Leo Fender

Design isn't crafting a beautiful textured button with breathtaking animation. It's figuring out if there's a way to get rid of the button altogether.     

Edward Tufte

Design is a dreadful form of expression.     

Philippe Starck

Design isn't just about making things beautiful; it's also about making things work beautifully.     

Roger Martin

Designs are increasingly winning competitions because they are literally green, and because somewhere they feature a small windmill.     

Rem Koolhaas

Design is so simple. That's why it's so complicated.     

Paul Rand

Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.     

Dieter Rams

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

Walt Disney

Good design is long-lasting! It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated.     

Dieter Rams

Great design is a multi-layered relationship between human life and its environment.     

Naoto Fukasawa

Design is about making things good (and then better) and right (and fantastic) for the people who use and encounter them.     

Matt Beale

Making good design is easy. It's polishing the half-assed stuff that takes time.     

Stefan G. Bucher

Design is the art of planning, and it is the art of making things possible.     

Paula Scher

I think design covers so much more than the aesthetic. Design is fundamentally more. Design is usability. It is Information Architecture. It is Accessibility. This is all design.     

Mark Boulton