Designer Sayings and Quotes

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

Good design is good business.     

Ian Schrager

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

Tate Linden

Design is where science and art break even.     

Robin Mathews

Design is people.     

Jane Jacobs

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

Steve Jobs

A design can excel at one challenge only by compromising at others.     

Steven Pinker

The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable him or her to ‘make the invisible visible.     

Hillman Curtis

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

Robert L. Peters

There is only one type of designer – the type that cares about type.     

Rohan Nanavati

The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living.     

Harry Bertoia

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

Thomas J. Watson

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

Frank Chimero

The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.     

Massimo Vignelli

Design is the courage and brilliance to cover an original and make it different.     

John Hockenberry

People ignore design that ignores people.     

Frank Chimero

Bad design shouts at you. Good design is the silent seller.     

Shane Meendering

Designers are meant to be loved, not to be understood.     


Design cannot rescue failed content.     

Edward R. Tufte

Good design is thorough, down to the last detail.     

Dieter Rams

If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.     

Ralf Speth

Good art inspires; Good design motivates.     

Otl Aicher

Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.     

Brian Reed

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

Jeffrey Zeldman

Every great design begins with an even better story.     

Lorinda Mamo

The function of design is letting design function.     

Micha Commeren

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

Massimo Vignelli

You cannot defend your design without knowing what you're designing for.     

I.M. Pei

Good designers copy; great designers steal.     

Pablo Picasso

Design is a formal response to a strategic question.     

Mariona Lopez

The alternative to good design is always bad design. There is no such thing as no design.     

Adam Judge

A designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense.     

Bruno Munari

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

Victor Papanek

Design means being good, not just looking good.     

Clement Mok

There is no better designer than nature.     

Alexander McQueen

Design is inteliigence made visible.     

Alina Wheeler

Thinking about design is hard, but not thinking about it can be disastrous.     

Ralph Caplan

Design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxe, the practical with the desirable.     

Donna Karan

Everything is design. Everything!     

Paul Rand

Design is not for philosophy, it's for life.     

Issey Miyake

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

Naoto Fukasawa

Bad design is smoke, while good design is a mirror.     

Juan-Carlos Fernandez

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

Paul Rand

Style is a matter of taste, design a matter of principles.     

Thomas Church

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.     

Joe Sparano

To create a memorable design you need to start with a thought that's worth remembering.     

Thomas Manss

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.     

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Good design goes to heaven; bad design goes everywhere.     

Mieke Gerritzen

Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.     

Charles Eames

Designing a product is designing a relationship.     

Steve Rogers

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

Dieter Rams