Inspirational quotes for design clients

These tidbits of wisdom will – quote by quote – reinforce important ideas about design

Inspire & educate your clients about graphic design, logo design, illustration, web design, typography, creativity and the business of design! Below you will find 100+ inspirational quotes especially picked for design clients – for your clients, not for you. A better educated design client will value your creative services higher. Borrow some stardust by quoting these designer stars:

Paul Rand, Ray & Charles Eames, Dieter Rams, Neville Brody, Milton Glaser, Massimo Vignelli, Steve Jobs & Jony Ive..!

QuoteBook SearchSubjectTweet!
"Users will tell you what they think they want. Users will tell you what they think you want to hear. Users will tell you what they think sounds good. Users will not tell you what you need to know. You have to watch them to discover that."Adam Judgeresearch
"If you have to explain it, you've failed."Adam JudgequalityTweet this!
"It might be smart, cool, and cutting edge -- but does it work the first time, easily?"Adam Judgeuser experienceTweet this!
"It is far easier to build something new than to rework someone else's attempt."Adam Judgedesign processTweet this!
"The alternative to good design is always bad design. There is no such thing as no design."Adam JudgegeneralTweet this!
"Love blinds us. Don't love anything - an idea, a tool, a graphic, a technique, a technology, a client, or a colleague - too much."Adam Judgedesign process
"No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended."Adrian Fortyuser experience
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."Albert EinsteinsimplicityTweet this!
"Good design encourages a viewer to want to learn more."Alexander IsleygeneralTweet this!
"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-Exupérysimplicity
"To say that something is designed means it has intentions that go beyond its function. Otherwise it's just planning."Ayse Birselwhat design is
"An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it."Bill Bernbach creativityTweet this!
"Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make."Bill BernbachadvertisingTweet this!
"I have made this letter longer then usual because I lacked the time to make it shorter."Blaise Pascalcopywriting
"No matter how many times your amazing, absolutely brilliant work is rejected by the client, for whatever dopey, arbitrary reason, there is often another amazing, absolutely brilliant solution possible. Sometimes it's even better."Bob Gillgeneral
"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."Bob Gillwhat designers do
"A design isn't finished until somebody is using it."Brenda LaurelqualityTweet this!
"Design, in the end, is about creating better things for people. Along the way, it can generate better profits as well."Bruce Nussbaumwhy design matters
"If you keep shouting, you are not making communication any better. You are only removing the talking and whispering from the system. I find our society a bit noisy. I would like to contribute a little silence."Bruno Monguzzisimplicity
"The ideal situation would be to have a programmer who can code and create the graphics. This is rare, so the second-best option is having programmers and graphic designers working in tandem, like a well-oiled machine."Chad Muretadesign process
"The details are not the details. They make the design."Charles EamesgeneralTweet this!
"To be realistic one must always admit the influence of those who have gone before."Charles EamesgeneralTweet this!
"Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose."Charles Eameswhat design is
"Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design."Charles Eamesdesign processTweet this!
"Nail the basics first, detail the details later."Chris Andersondesign processTweet this!
"Simplify, then add lightness."Colin ChapmansimplicityTweet this!
"Your products run for election every day and good design is critical to winning the campaign."Colin Chapmanwhy design matters
"It's not about knowing all the gimmicks and photo tricks. If you haven't got the eye, no program will give it to you."David Carsondesign software
"Don't mistake legibility for communication."David CasontypographyTweet this!
"Design should never say, 'Look at me.' It should always see 'Look at this.'"David CraibgeneralTweet this!
"Member-created designs were how MySpace got its distinctive Times Square look - all flashing graphics and ribald images."David Kirkpatrickquality
"Truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form."David Lewissimplicity
"If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative."David OgilvycreativityTweet this!
"My argument is that all graphic designers hold high levels of responsibility in society. We take invisible ideas and make them tangible. That's our job."Debbie Millmanwhy design matters
"Design is not about design."Debbie MillmangeneralTweet this!
"The quality of the product has much more influence than what the designer does."Debbie MillmanqualityTweet this!
"Design is supposed to be about something else, and not about you; but I think the only way it's actually any good - and to get people to care about it - is if it's also about you at the same time."Debbie Millmanquality
"Work that goes beyond its functional intention and moves us in deep and mysterious ways we call great work."Debbie Millmanquality
"Having small touches of colour makes it more colourful than having the whole thing in colour."Dieter Ramscolor
"Good design is innovative, makes a product useful, is aesthetic, helps a product to be understood, is unobtrusive, is honest, is durable, is thorough to the last detail, is concerned with the environment, is as little design as possible."Dieter Ramsquality
"People react positively when things are clear and understandable."Dieter Ramsuser experienceTweet this!
"Clients don't understand their success is reliant on standing out, not fitting in."Don DraperpositioningTweet this!
"Urban public space is a stage for viewing the field of graphic design in its diversity. A mix of voices, from advertising to activism, compete for visibility."Ellen Luptongraphic design
"Design is as much an act of spacing as an act of marking."Ellen LuptongeneralTweet this!
"Typography is what language looks like."Ellen LuptontypographyTweet this!
"The best work is produced in relation to interesting situations - an open-minded client, a good cause, or great content."Ellen Luptongeneral
"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 Adigardwhat design is
"At a meta level, design connects the dots between mere survival and humanism."Erik Adigardwhy design mattersTweet this!
"You are what you are seen to be."Erik SpiekermannpositioningTweet this!
"A friend once insisted to me that the plural of 'moron' is 'focus group.'"Ethan MarcotteresearchTweet this!
"Designers are meant to be loved, not to be understood."Fabien Barralunderstanding designersTweet this!
"Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn't theirs."Frank Chimerounderstanding designers
"Start brave and brash: you can always make things more conservative, but it's hard to make things more radical."Frank Chimerocreativity
"You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site."Frank Lloyd Wrightwhy design matters
"An image can only be one element in constructing a sequence of understanding."Germano Facettibook cover designTweet this!
"Traditional marketing is often seeing is getting people to do things but I think web marketing is about helping people do things."Gerry McGovernonline marketing
"Keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you."Grace CoddingtoninspirationTweet this!
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."Hans Hofmannsimplicity
"A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time."Henry FordadvertisingTweet this!
"A wise person once said that you're only as creative as the obscurity of your sources."House Industriesinspiration
"Great designers seldom make great advertising men, because they get overcome by the beauty of the picture - and forget that merchandise must be sold."James Randolph Adamsunderstanding designers
"White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background."Jan Tschicholdwhite spaceTweet this!
"It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to."Jean-Luc GodardinspirationTweet this!
"Make the system familiar. Use concepts, terminology, and graphics that users already know to make the system as familiar to them as possible, requiring them to think about it less."Jeff Johnsonuser experience
"Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it's decoration."Jeffrey Zeldmanwhat design is
"As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product."Jef Raskinuser experienceTweet this!
"Design brings content into focus; design makes function visible."Jennifer Moriawhy design mattersTweet this!
"Money is usually attracted, not pursued."Jim RohnbusinessTweet this!
"Design adds value faster than it adds cost."Joel SpolskybusinessTweet this!
"Only when the design fails does it draw attention to itself; when it succeeds, it's invisible."John D. Berryquality
"Skill in the digital age is confused with mastery of digital tools, masking the importance of understanding materials and mastering the elements of form."John Maedadesign software
"Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better."John UpdikecreativityTweet this!
"It's easy to be different, but very difficult to be better."Jonathan IvepositioningTweet this!
"A lot of what we are doing is getting design out of the way."Jonathan IvequalityTweet this!
"Simplicity, carried to an an extreme, becomes elegance."Jon FranklinsimplicityTweet this!
"Drawing is speaking to the eye; talking is painting to the ear."Joseph JoubertcommunicationTweet this!
"An ad should be an appetizer, not a buffet."Lee Clow's BeardadvertisingTweet this!
"Don't design for everyone. It's impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy."Leisa Reicheltpositioning
"Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read."Leo BurnettadvertisingTweet this!
"When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity."Linda Naimancreativity
"I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things."Lindon Leaderquality
"Less is more."Ludwig Mies van der RohesimplicityTweet this!
"Understanding, talking to and observing your audience is a fundamental part of graphic design research. In fact, it's the first thing they teach you about communication theory: what are you trying to say, and who are you trying to say it to."Mark Boultonresearch
"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 Boultonwhat design is
"Design is easy. All you do is stare at the screen until drops of blood form on your forehead."Marty Neumeierunderstanding designers
"The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness."Massimo Vignelliunderstanding designersTweet this!
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."Maya Angelougeneral
"Clients are the difference between design and art."Michael Bierutwhat design isTweet this!
"What a graphic designer tries to do is make sure the typography is emotionally consistent with the brand."Michael Ian Kayetypography
"Good design goes to heaven; bad design goes everywhere."Mieke GerritzengeneralTweet this!
"There are three responses to a piece of design - yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for."Milton Glaserquality
"The next time you see a sixteen-color, blind-embossed, gold-stamped, die-cut, elaborately folded and bound job, printed on handmade paper, see if it isn't a mediocre idea trying to pass for something else."Milton Glaserquality
"To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master."Milton Glaserwhat design isTweet this!
"Solving any problem is more important than being right."Milton Glaserwhat designers doTweet this!
"Design needs to be plugged into human behavior. Design dissolves in behavior."Naoto Fukasawauser experienceTweet this!
"Graphic design is for and to someone else... It's not about self-expression..."Neville Brodywhat design isTweet this!
"Design is more than just a few tricks to the eye. It's a few tricks to the brain."Neville Brodywhat design isTweet this!
"Many desperate acts of design (including gradients, drop shadows, and the gratuitous use of transparency) are perpetuated in the absence of a strong concept. A good idea provides a framework for design decisions, guiding the work."Noreen Moriokaquality
"Create your own visual style... let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others."Orson Wellesgeneral
"Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations."Paul Randlogo designTweet this!
"It is no secret that the real world in which the designer functions is not the world of art, but the world of buying and selling."Paul Randwhat design is
"A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around."Paul Randlogo design
"A logo doesn't sell, it identifies. A logo derives its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important than what it looks like."Paul Randlogo design
"Good ideas rarely come in bunches. The designer who voluntarily presents his client with a batch of layouts does so not out prolificacy, but out of uncertainty or fear."Paul Randquality
"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."Paul Randuser experience
"You cannot not communicate."Paul WatzlawikcommunicationTweet this!
"Practice safe design: Use a concept. "Petrula Vrontikisdesign processTweet this!
"When I design, I don't consider the technical or commercial parameters so much as the desire for a dream that humans have attempted to project onto an object."Philippe Starckgeneral
"Colour does not add a pleasant quality to design - it reinforces it."Pierre BonnardcolorTweet this!
"A great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive, memorable and unique."Primo Angelilogo designTweet this!
"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak."Rachel Zoewhat design isTweet this!
"What works good is better than what looks good. Because what works good lasts."Ray EamesqualityTweet this!
"Good design keeps the user happy, the manufacturer in the black and the aesthete unoffended."Raymond Loewywhy design matters
"When I`m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."Richard Buckminster Fullerquality
"Design is the intermediary between information and understanding."Richard Greféwhy design mattersTweet this!
"Typography exists to honor content."Robert Bringhurst typographyTweet this!
"Avoid even a split second of confusion over whether a headline, subhead, caption, graphic, etc., belongs with its related material. Create a relationship among elements with close proximity. [...] If they are not related, move them apart from each other."Robin Williamsproximity
"They enjoy giving form to ideas. If designers were made of ideas, they'd be their own clients."Rudy VanderLansunderstanding designers
"[logos are a] graphic extension of the internal realities of a company."Saul Basslogo designTweet this!
"Design is thinking made visual."Saul Basswhat design isTweet this!
"What people want is the extra, the emotional bonus they get when they buy something they love."Seth Godinquality
"The strongest logos tell simple stories."Sol Senderlogo designTweet this!
"You can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt... or in front of a piece of graphic design."Stefan Sagmeistergraphic design
"Real artists ship."Steve Jobswhat designers doTweet this!
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."Steve Jobswhat design isTweet this!
"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."Steve Jobsresearch
"A logo is not a brand."The BrandGapbrandingTweet this!
"Great design will not sell an inferior product, but it will enable a great product to achieve its maximum potential."Thomas J. Watson Jrwhy design matters
"Although people are at the center of each, product design is generally about the object, whereas service design is about the journey."Thomas Lockwoodservice design
"When you make something no one hates, no one loves it"Tibor KalmanpositioningTweet this!
"You can't do better design with a computer, but you can speed up your work enormously."Wim Crouweldesign softwareTweet this!
"Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together."Vincent Van Goghdesign process
"A healthy creative process should be able to give a coherent rationale to a client as to why you designed what you designed."Von Glitschkadesign process
"The client may be king, but he's not the art director."Von Glitschkawhat designers doTweet this!
"Marketing without design is lifeless, and design without marketing is mute."Von GlitschkamarketingTweet this!
"Design is how you treat your customers. If you treat them well from an environmental, emotional, and aesthetic standpoint, you're probably doing good design."Yves Beharquality
"Babe Ruth was a Home Run king but he was also a strike out king. Always go for the fences, even if it means some designs strike out with clients. That's the only way to hit a home run."Alex Zevallosgeneral
"You don`t need eyes to see, you need vision."AnonymousgeneralTweet this!
"I think as an art director, I work as a graphic designer always thinking in the global aim of the project."Aurelio Sánchez
"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well."Brian ReedgeneralTweet this!
"Technology over technique produces emotionless design."Daniel MallqualityTweet this!
"When you have a writer that writes so movingly and inspiringly, all you have to do is act."Danielle Darrieuxcopywriting
"Brands exist in the minds of the people who interact with them."David AireybrandingTweet this!
"We designers, we don't work in a vacuum. We need business people. We are not the fine artists we are often confused with."Dieter Rams
"The designer is a visually literate person, just as an editor is expected by training and inclination to be versed in language and literature, but to call the former an artist by occupation is as absurd as to refer to the latter as a poet."Douglas Martinwhat designers do
"Questions about whether design is necessary or affordable are quite beside the point: design is inevitable. The alternative to good design is bad design, not no design at all. Everyone makes design decisions all the time without realizing it."Douglas Martingeneral
"Don't be so humble - you are not that great."Golda MeirpositioningTweet this!
"If design isn't profitable, then it's art."Henrik Fiskarwhat design isTweet this!
"We [designers] don't get hired to make pretty things or win design awards. We get hired to solve business problems."James Bradleywhat designers do
"Creative without strategy is called 'art'. Creative with strategy is called 'advertising.'"Jef I. Richardsadvertising
"Design has allowed us to stand out; to look different and show that difference boldly."Joe Mansuetowhy design mattersTweet this!
"Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent."Joe Soprano qualityTweet this!
"Socrates said, 'Know thyself.' I say, 'Know thy users.' And guess what? They don't think like you do."Joshua Brewerresearch
"I see graphic design as a matter of solving problems; art as a matter of inventing them."Karl Gerstnerwhat design is
"... another misinterpretation that's always bugged me: Ship early, ship often OR Ship quality product. Quality isn't something to be sacrificed... Ship early, ship often, sacrificing features, never quality."Kyle Neathquality
"Every great design begins with an even better story."Lorinda MamogeneralTweet this!
"I look for three things in a project: 1) Compelling work; 2) fun client; 3) astronomical fees. However, to have a successful project, I really only need two out of three."Lowell Williamsunderstanding designers
"A well-designed text will seem weightless after a time; the initial feel of the book fades away as the mind becomes engrossed in the words."Mandy Browntypography
"Business owners need to realize that their design is a reflection of their business even if it is not intentional. If you don't care about your design then your design is telling people that you don't care about your business."Marco Suarezwhy design matters
"I don't drop my original quote because I don't drop the quality of my work."Paul WilsonqualityTweet this!
"Your products run for election every day and good design is critical to winning the campaign."Procter & Gamblewhy design matters
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."Red Adairhiring
"Design is the application of intent - the opposite of happenstance, and an antidote to accident."Robert L. Peterswhat design is
"And when a design is completed, it should seem natural and obvious. It should look like it is always been this way. And it should last."Roger Blackquality
"Often our hardest job is to remove remove remove."Ronan & Erwan BouroullecsimplicityTweet this!
"Design is art optimized to meet objectives."Shimon Shmueliwhat design isTweet this!
"The most important part of design is finding all the issues to be resolved. The rest are details."Soumeet Lanka what design is
"Designing a product is designing a relationship."Steve Rogerswhat design isTweet this!
"Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up."Tate LindengeneralTweet this!
"I've always held to the belief that the practice of creating compelling graphic design occurs not by employing the principals of a democracy, but rather, that of a monarchy."Thomas Vasquezquality
"Bad design is like wearing a rumpled suit. It doesn't mean you're a bad person, but it may give people the wrong impression."Unknownwhy design matters
"If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn't have to advertise them."Will Rogerswhy design matters