17 famous graphic design quotes

If you’re looking for creative inspiration, then take a look at the work and philosophies of famous designers — they’re talented, wise and iconic for a reason! Here are 17 great quotes by the top graphic designers of our time.

1. Milton Glaser


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

2. Paul Rand


“The public is more familiar with bad design than good design. It is, in effect, conditioned to prefer bad design, because that is what it lives with. The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring.”

3. Stefan Sagmeister


“You can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt… or in front of a piece of graphic design.”

4. David Carson


“Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.”

5. Bob Gill


“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.”

6. Paula Scher

Scher copy

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

7. Michael Bierut


“If you do good work for good clients, it will lead to other good work for other good clients. If you do bad work for bad clients, it will lead to other bad work for other bad clients.”

8. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


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

9. Chip Kidd


“Never fall in love with an idea. They’re whores. If the one you’re with isn’t doing the job, there’s always, always, always another.”

10. Marian Bantjes


“But I find that for myself, without exception, the more I deal with the work as something that is my own, as something that is personal, the more successful it is.”

11. Neville Brody


“Digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries.”

12. Joshua Brewer


“Socrates said, “Know thyself.” I say, “Know thy users.” And guess what? They don’t think like you do.”

13. Saul Bass


“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, as opposed to ugly things. That’s my intent.”

14. Frank Chimero


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

15. Lindon Leader


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

16. Jeffrey Zeldman


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

17. Massimo Vignelli


“The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design.”

What are some of your all-time favorite quotes?

The author

Rebecca Creger
Rebecca Creger

Rebecca was born and raised in the Bay Area, where she currently lives. She has a BFA in Design with a Visual Communications emphasis from UC Davis. Her passions include travel, design, pasta, and hanging out with her Beagle, Spud.

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