12 Best Graphic Design Quotes Ever

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The value of criticism is highlighted in this quote by the former creative director of Saatchi and Saatchi Paul Arden.

Praise is often trivial and doesn’t result in anything meaningful. Criticism on the other hand provides an opportunity to learn and grow. While sometimes criticism can be unhelpful, constructive criticism can be highly beneficial.

2. “Designers may be the true intellectuals of the future.” – Paola Antonelli

Here we see Paola Antonelli sharing her belief that designers may be the true intellectuals of the future. In a world where visual communication has become so important, there’s a chance that her words might eventually ring through.

Antonelli is a very forward thinking art curator, and has used the likes of video games and emojis in her exhibitions.

3. “Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.” – Pierre Bonnard

The power of color in design cannot be understated, and Pierre Bonnard emphasises that in this quote. Bonnard was an extremely talented painter, illustrator and printmaker who backed up his claims in his work.

Color is not just there to make a design look good, but to reinforce its message. Its presence should not be regarded as an afterthought, but a fundamental element of any design.

4. “No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended.” – Adrian Forty

Professor Adrian Forty states that functional design must have an audience that is equipped to respond to it. If the people who interact with a design don’t find some sort of commonality with the piece, the design is ultimately a failure.

Forty’s area of expertise is architecture, so he’s very accustomed to designing buildings and spaces that are created for certain purposes.

5. “Design is a solution to a problem; art is a question to a problem.” – John Maeda

Possibly one of the most controversial and thought-provoking graphic design quotes on this list is from designer and technologist John Maeda.

Maeda states that while design provides solutions to problems, art only exacerbates the problem by asking more questions. While many people might agree with Maeda, there is a lot to be said for the questions art prompts us to ask about all facets of life.

Design should also not be viewed as merely a solution to a problem, but something that excites and amazes.

6. “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas, worry about the day they stop.” – Jeffrey Zeldman

Here we have another quote from Jeffrey Zeldman, this time on the subject of stealing ideas. Zeldman encourages us that we shouldn’t be worried about our ideas being stolen, but rather the fact that people may not want to steal them.

Zeldman seems to believe that the mark of a truly great piece of design is that people want to copy it and use it as their own idea.

7. “Design is the body language of your marketing. Don’t slouch.” – Mark King

The quality of design can make or break a marketing campaign. Designer and illustrator Mark King says that design is in fact the body language of marketing and that slouching will poorly reflect on your brand.

This graphic design quote encourages designers and marketers alike to put thought into their work and not to cut corners.

8. “I think designers who aren’t selfish do really awful work.” – Paul Sahre

American graphic designer Paul Sahre unreservedly shares his thoughts on designers who aren’t selfish with this withering remark.

Sahre seems to believe that designers need to have a degree of selfishness to create something of note. Without this, Sahre thinks that their work will be awful.

Sahre probably feels that some of his fellow designers are pandering to clients and that their own unique style is not being reflected in their creations.

9. “Design adds value faster than it adds costs.” – Thomas C. Gale

This famous quote from automobile designer Thomas C. Gale says that investing in design is a very worthwhile endeavour. He believes that the value of a car will only be increased by design and that it will ultimately be worth the cost.

The same applies to any project that design is a part of. Design will enhance it, adding more features and increasing its appeal.

10. “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” – Robert L. Peters

Design is more than how it appears, it has the potential to create culture. It influences the behaviour of people and shapes their values.

Canadian graphic designer Robert L. Peters recognises the significance of what design can do and its ability

11. “Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” – Paul Rand

Design can be interpreted as many different things, says Paul Rand. It can be viewed as complex and artistic or as simple and functional.

The simplicity of design allows it to take on so many different forms and this versatility also allows it to be complex.

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

One of the most famous graphic design quotes ever uttered came from the lips of the esteemed Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Saint-Exupéry was basically saying that perfection comes about, not from accumulating elements in your design, but rather taking them away until you have something that’s clear and concise.

A famed poet, writer and journalist, Saint-Exupéry became a laureate of many of France’s most coveted literary awards.