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Article: 30 Famous Graphic Design Quotes To Motivate Your Day

30 Famous Graphic Design Quotes To Motivate Your Day

Do you often feel unmotivated? In this article, we have curated 30 famous graphic design quotes to inspire and motivate your day. Check these out!

Working in a creative industry, you are required to come up with fresh new ideas for your work. However, the ideas do not always flow as you expect. You need the supply of inspiration to be more driven and passionate. Reading some graphic design quotes might help you to get your focus back.

Quotes give you a source of motivation to work harder and give you insights on how to do your work uniquely and effectively. You can learn much from the icons of this industry on how to come up with ideas, methods, and other important details.


Reasons Why Reading Creative Quotes Are Important

As mentioned above, quotes will help you a lot in the creative process. It can broaden your mind to find brand new ideas which are beneficial for your work. Here are two reasons why reading graphic design quotes will empower your creativity:


1. To Keep You going

Have you ever felt stuck on the same old ideas? Felt like you cannot find something new for your design? If so, you need to re-navigate your direction in this industry. You need to find new insight that keeps you going.

What should you do, then? Empowering yourself through quotes from icons of the design industry will show you that many designers out there have been through the same phase as you. You will realize that every designer has their lowest point in this field, then you can


2. To Keep Your Creativity Flowing

Given the fact that inspirational quotes from icons of the industry exist because they have been through trials, failures, and even triumph, it can be a source of reflection for you on how to deal with issues in the industry.

Furthermore, you will find more opinions and beliefs of each designer. So then you will find a pattern of their thoughts. From the way, they find, shape, and develop their ideas. 


Famous Graphic Design Quotes That You Should Know

There are a lot of sources of quotes that can entertain and educate you at the same time. Not only does it come from designers themselves, but it also comes from architects, painters, and even entrepreneurs.


1. Paula Scher

"It's through mistakes you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good."

To start your stock of inspiration, let's begin with quotes by Paula Scher, one of the most influential graphic designers in the world. The quote actually triggers you to do the best for your work.

From the quote we can learn that mistake is inevitable, especially in the graphic design industry where all you have to explore his creativity. You need to view a mistake as a step to go to the next stairs, not as an obstacle. Without mistakes, you cannot produce great work. 


2. Saul Bass

"Design is thinking made visual."

As a designer who has produced a lot of great movie posters, Saul Bass believes that artwork is as simple as thinking that it is made visual.

He believes that design is a process of delivering messages through a stunning visual. That is why it is important to keep in mind that you can actually present and represent your thoughts on the creative concept. 


3. Milton Glaser

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

Milton Glaser has produced great designs, including Obama's 2009 campaign poster and DC Comics logo. With that high and valuable achievement, he came to the conclusion that great design is the one that can get a WOW reaction.

Having so many people love your work is a good thing, but it does not necessarily make it great if it does not leave marks on people's minds and hearts every time they view it. Always remember that the key to great designs is the one that can move people. 


4. Salvador Dali

"No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist."

One of the graphic design quotes from Dali emphasizes the idea of hard work and persistence. You have to keep exploring ideas and sharing opinions and thoughts in order to produce a masterpiece. Without these elements, your design will not be special.


5. Paul Arden

"Do not seek praise. Seek criticism."

Now you are reminded once again that criticism is what you need to improve as oppose to praise. Whilst praise is good as a self-appreciation, criticism is more needed as it can trigger the hidden potentials you have.

Too many praises will hamper your improvement, while criticism will trigger the fire in you to give the best that you can. Why is that so? Because criticism can reconstruct your thoughts, so you can do more with your craft. 


6. Paul Rand

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

Paul Rand, a man behind many well-known brands, explains that ideas can be simple and complex at once. Creative concepts are delivered implicitly. That is why it can be translated to many different things on different levels. It can be so simple but also can be very complex. 


7. Pablo Picasso

"Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions."

Picasso stated that the choice of colors for your concept would either make it a great design or vice versa. The choice of colors indeed conveys emotions to the people who view it. Make sure you convey the right emotions. 


8. 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 clients to accept it."

This piece of graphic design quotes by Bob Gill, An illustrator for the magazine Fortune, Glamour, and Esquire has highlighted the balance between your ideas and clients' point of view.

While it is very important to come up with sincere and exclusive ideas, you have to cooperate with your clients on how they want their work to look. Focusing on your ideas will not work if you do not balance them with your clients' opinions. 


9. Shawn Lukas

"When typography is on point, words become images."

It is obvious that typography is one of the key elements that support the creative process. Coming up with typography that does not suit the composition of the artwork will not convey enough messages. However, when it suits, the design will be memorable for people.


10. Viran Anuradha Dayaratne

"People don't use the product because of the great design; great design help them use the product."

As a UX Technical Architect by Trade, Dayartne is used to deal with user experience. Therefore, he understands deeply how impactful one design can be.

He stated that even though design alone cannot attract people, it can help people to choose which product to buy. Therefore, a great design is more likely to be chosen than the bad one. 


11. Sharon Moore

"Great ideas, like babies, are often conceived after a few glasses of wine."

Whatever you are doing and what you are creating, ideas can be found in many ways. While it is important for you to have serious thought and planning, you also need time to relax and see the thing as what it is. 

Sharon Moore stated that ideas do not always come from careful thoughts but also from random stuff you find in daily life. Thus, try to have fun and take a glass of wine. Sometimes, great ideas come in very unexpected ways. 


12. Thomas Manns

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

Thomas Manns, a German graphic designer, emphasizes the idea of exclusivity in the artwork. Artwork should be something that has values that people can relate to. Not only is it important to come with an eye-catching and memorable work. 

To do so, it is essential to trust your gut on navigating you to find what things you want to present in your artwork. It surely will result in an exclusive and timeless concept. 


13. 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."

Chip Kidd, one of the famous book cover design icons, highlighted in his graphic design quotes that there are a million ideas you can explore, then do not stick to one or two. 

Ideas come and go. You cannot be overly dependent on one or two ideas for your work. If the idea does not work very well, think about other ideas you can come up with. Sticking two one or two ideas will definitely make your stay in your comfort zone and lead you to the deadlock situation. 


14. Jeffrey Zeldman

"Don't worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop."

It is said that a design is never completely new. It is always a remix of the previous works because it's inevitable that you tend to imitate or get a slight inspiration from other sources. Moreover, it happens because of the importance of following the ideal pattern for professional work and business. 

However, you have to get used to people imitating your work as well. You should embrace that as opposed to being offended. Why is it so? Once the other designers steal your ideas, it shows you that your work is considered interesting that other competitors get inspired by them.


15. Henrik Fiskar

"If design isn't profitable, it's an art."

Although design and art are two related things, they both have a slight difference. Design is said to be something that has purposes of achieving, such as monetary purposes. Being that said, it is not just about an interesting visual to look at but also something that reaches its main purposes. 

However, art is something whose purpose is to express one's selves. It is open to much more interpretations than art. Given the fact, art is not purposely made for profit but for satisfaction.


16. Kate Moross

"The key to great ideas is not having them, it is executing them. And great ideas come from problems. As designers we call problems, briefs, and we call reactions to problems, concepts."

Kate Moross that ideas can be gotten and explored if only we try to execute them. She also mentioned that you need to identify the background of why you are working on certain artworks, then make a concept for that as a solution to the problems. 


17. Jessica Walsh

"If no one hates it, no one really loves it."

Jessica Walsh is a designer who has done projects for Levi's. She stated that if there is no hate towards your work, it implicitly tells you that your ideas are not doing the purpose very well. On the contrary, if you find some people hate your work, it is usually followed by more people who love it. 


18. Dan Rubin

"If you find an element of your interface requires instructions, then you need to redesign it."

If the interface requires instructions, meaning that your design does not reach its purpose. Then you probably need to re-navigate the concept. The fundamental of great artwork is that it explains itself. It speaks and delivers its messages without having to explain them. 


19. Paul Sahre

"I think designers who aren't selfish do really awful work."

While it is important to hear clients' opinions about the work, it is way more important to pander to your own style of designing. As a designer, you need to have a degree of selfishness to create something in line with your thoughts and values. 

Those who do not have a degree of selfishness are more likely to end up getting too many interventions from others. This is not good as it can erase the identity that you hold in your work.


20. Alin Wheeler

"Design is intelligence made visible."

One of Wheeler's graphic design quotes highlighted that creative concept comes from a process of thinking. A good process of thinking of designers can be seen through their work. Does their work convey the messages? Does it leave marks on people's minds and hearts?

If the answer is yes, then the designer can be said to have gone through a careful process of thinking. With this intelligence, you can ensure that your message can be well-sent. 


21. Joe Sparano

"Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent."

Great design is said to be transparent, not obvious. When your work is obvious, people are less likely to see something special in it. On the contrary, transparency makes one's work achieve both visual and functional purposes.


22. Pierre Bonnard

"Color does not add a pleasant quality to design. It reinforces it."

Color plays a big role in creating great artwork. Bonnard said that color is not just there as a contributing factor of a great visual, but as a fundamental factor of it. You have to ensure using a good choice of colors when creating an artwork.


23. Frank Chimero

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

According to Frank Chimero, a New York based graphic designer, an artwork is considered good if it makes other designers feel like idiots because of not thinking of it. This quote aspires us to do something beyond our limits and try something extraordinary. 


24. Adrian Forty

"No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended."

Forty stated that a successful design is the one that can create a sense of commonality and belonging among people. It is the message when people view it, they can relate to it. If the concept does not meet these elements, it is considered a failure cause it does not send the messages well. 


25. Lindon Leader

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

Lindon Leader is the designer who created the FedEx logo that portrays simplicity and clarity. He really understands the importance of those elements in an artwork. Both simplicity and clarity are more likely to deliver the message well and less likely to be outdated over time. 


26. Freeman Thomas

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

Graphic design quotes by Thomas have always been interesting. He tried to emphasize that a great artwork must come from honesty. What he means by honesty is that the combination of your vision and mission, principles, and values. With those elements, your work will result in authenticity.

Moreover, it also has to come from asking tough questions, collaborations, and trusting your intuition. As much as it is important to rely on your thoughts, that is not to say that collaboration is not needed. Collaboration, exchanging opinions and beliefs is also a must. However, you have to always trust your guts when it comes to decision-making. 


27. Daniell Mall

"Technology over technique emotionless design."

Living in a technological era, this is considered one of the most relevant graphic design quotes. In this era, more people rely on technology and sometimes neglect the technique. Doing so will just produce ordinary and emotionless designs that people cannot relate to.

On the contrary, relying on technique while getting help from technology is the ideal way to create a design. It will create a balance between your thoughts and the contribution from technology. 


28. Robert L. Peters

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

A Canadian graphic designer, Robert L. Peters, signifies the impact of visual art can make. He stated that it is not only functioned as a means of marketing but also as a means of shaping the behavior of those who interact with the message.

Designs can influence how people see things, shaping their values, and even determine the future. Why is it so? Because of the nature of art that can convey understanding to people. 


29. Otl Aicher

"Good art inspires; Good design motivates."

Otl Aicher is one of many designers who tried to create a fine line between art and design. This is one of the graphic design quotes that can finally sum up the differences between the two.

He stated that the nature of art is an inspiration. Art is something that gives people more inspiration to explore their creativity. On the contrary, a design does not work that way. When people view designs, it provides motivation. 


30. Bill Moyers

"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous."

To sum up the inspirational quotes by icons of this industry, here is one of the most inspiring graphic design quotes for all designers who just start the work or for those who have expertise in this field.

Moyers highlighted the importance of creativity. He stated that creativity is something that keeps everything going and innovating. It is the thing that makes the world more interesting in discovering more new ideas and innovations. 



Working in graphic design demands you to have a certain degree of creativity in order to produce great works. You have to always know what you are going to do, what technique you are going to use, and how you are going to execute that plan.

However, as a human being, there is always a time when you feel stuck, so you need to redirect everything. When this happens to you, you should immediately restock new insights by exchanging opinions, beliefs and even learn from these graphic design quotes.

Taking a look at what the experts and the icons have said is quite important to light up the spirit inside you, keep your creativity flowing, and create outstanding designs. 

We hope this reading could motivate your spirit. If you have any comments, please feel free to write them down in the section below. Cheers!

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