101 Design Quotes That Will Instantly Inspire You | Toggl Blog
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101 Design Quotes That Will Instantly Inspire You

Logan Derrick Logan Derrick Last Updated:

Creativity is both a natural skill and a developed talent. While some people may feel it comes naturally, others may find they have to work much harder to be creative. This is particularly true in the design industry.

Regardless of your creative aptitude, everyone can use the occasional inspiration to rekindle their imagination. Take a look at these design quotes to spark some new ideas and get you motivated for today’s work!

These 101 design quotes will inspire your creativity and imagination. #design #quotes

1. “Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” – Irene Au

2. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

3. “People ignore designs that ignore people” – Frank Chimero

4. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

5. “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.” – Sophia Loren

6. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

7. “Design is more important than technology in most consumer applications.” – Dave McClure

8. “The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there.” – Ernest Becker

9. “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

10. “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.” – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

11. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

12. “The alternative to good design is always bad design. There is no such thing as no design.” – Adam Judge

13. “Design everything on the assumption that people are not heartless or stupid but marvelously capable, given the chance.” – John Chris Jones

14. “If you’re to create something powerful and important, you must at the very least be driven by an equally powerful inner force.” – Ryan Holiday

15. “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” – Martin Luther King Jr

16. “Creating opportunities means looking where others are not.” – Mark Cuban

17. “Practice safe design: Use a concept.” – Petrula Vrontikis

18. “Reading, conversation, environment, culture, heroes, mentors, nature – all are lottery tickets for creativity. Scratch away at them and you’ll find out how big a prize you’ve won.” – Twyla Tharp

19. “The thing about creativity is, people are going to laugh at it. Get over it.” – Twyla Tharp

20. “Digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries.” – Neville Brody

21. “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Sir Ken Robinson

22. “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Fromm

Design quotes to get your creative juices flowing. #designer #designlife

23. “There is no design without discipline. There is no discipline without intelligence.” – Massimo Vignelli

24. “If it doesn’t sell; it isn’t creative.” – David Ogilvy

25. “Non-judgment quiets the internal dialogue, and this opens once again the doorway to creativity.” – Deepak Chopra

26. “Outrageous behavior, also known as the lunatic fringe, is the seedbed of innovation and creativity.” – Joel Salatin

27. “The details are not the details. They make the design.” – Charles Eames

28. “Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity.” – Marina Abramovic

29. “Creativity is as important as literacy.” – Ken Robinson

30. “Almost all creativity requires purposeful play.” – Abraham Maslow

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

32. “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” – Rollo May

33. “Design is thinking made visual.” – Saul Bass

34. “In order to create you have to believe in your ability to do so and that often means excluding whole chunks of normal life, and, of course, pumping yourself up as much as possible as a way of keeping on. Sort of cheering for yourself in the great football stadium of life.” – T.C. Boyle

35. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King Jr

36. “Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.” – Rollo May

37. “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” – Eero Saarinen

38. “Routine kills creative thought.” – Scarlett Thomas

39. “My humor is my creativity, and my skepticism is a gift.” – J. Tillman

40. “Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” – Arthur Koestler

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

Get inspired with these 101 quotes about design and creativity. #design #quotes

42. “The field of creativity that exists within each individual is freed by moving out of ideas of wrong-doing or right doing.” – Angeles Arrien

43. “Good design is honest.” – Dieter Rams

44. “Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” – Victor Pinchuk

45. “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” – Carl Jung

46. “Reinvent new combinations of what you already own. Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.” – Karl Lagerfeld

47. “Great design is a multi-layered relationship between human life and its environment.” – Naoto Fukasawa

48. “Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity. But without proper preparation, I cannot see it, retain it, and use it.” – Twyla Tharp

49. “Without freedom, there is no creation.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

50. “Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born every day; to feel a sense of self.” – Erich Fromm

51. “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” – Joe Sparano

These amazing design quotes to inspire you.

52. “The role of the designer is that of a good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.” – Charles Eames

53. “Design is a solution to a problem. Art is a question to a problem.” – John Maeda

54. “The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” – Pablo Picasso

55. “Solitude is creativity’s best friend, and solitude is refreshment for our souls.” – Naomi Judd

56. “Creativity is an area in which younger people have a tremendous advantage since they have an endearing habit of always questioning past wisdom and authority.” – Bill Hewlett

57. “There’s the whole Buddhist thing about the essence of a bowl being its emptiness—that’s why it’s useful. Its emptiness allows it to hold something. I guess that means that design must talk about something else. If you make design about design, you’re just stacking bowls, and that’s not what bowls are for.” – Frank Chimero

58. “Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience.” – Masaru Ibuka

59. “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” – Joe Sparano

60. “Creative thinking is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured.” – Edward de Bono

61. “Here is one of the few effective keys to the design problem: the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible; his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints.” – Charles Eames

62. “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” – George Bernard Shaw

63. “Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” – Brian Reed

64. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” – Brené Brown

65. “Design transcends agenda. It speaks to the politics of optimism.” – Paul Bennett

66. “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” – Ray Bradbury

67. “Good designers must always be avant-gardists, always one step ahead of the times. They should–and must–question everything generally thought to be obvious. They must have an intuition for people’s changing attitudes. For the reality in which they live, for their dreams, their desires, their worries, their needs, their living habits. They must also be able to assess realistically the opportunities and bounds of technology.” – Dieter Rams

68. “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett

69. “The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.” – G.K. Chesterton

70. “One sure-fire way to stay creative: force yourself to learn something new.” – Harvey Mackay

71. “Design and art are independent coordinates that provide their greatest satisfactions when experienced simultaneously.” – Milton Glaser

72. “To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry.” – Paul Rand

73. “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” – Ralf Speth

74. “Create with the heart; build with the mind.” – Criss Jami

75. “Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity.” – Robert M. Pirsig

76. “Creativity is people who care enough to keep thinking about something until they find the simplest way to do it.” – Tim Cook

77. “A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist, and evolutionary strategist.” – Buckminster Fuller

78. “To live is to express, and to express you have to create. Creation is never merely repetition. To live is to express oneself freely in creation.” – Bruce Lee

79. “Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

80. “Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing.” – Austin Kleon

81. “Whitespace is like air: it is necessary for design to breathe.” – Wojciech Zieliński

Get inspired with 101 design quotes that will spark your creativity. #design

82. “Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.” – Julia Cameron

83. “Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.” – Massimo Vignelli

84. “For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.” – Jean Dubuffet

85. “Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better.” – John Updike

86. “In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out.” – Austin Kleon

87. “Make it simple, but significant.” – Don Draper

88. “My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.” – Coco Chanel

89. “The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.” – Martin Luther King Jr

90. “I think boredom is the beginning of every authentic act. Boredom opens up the space, for new engagements. Without boredom, no creativity. If you are not bored, you just stupidly enjoy the situation in which you are.” – Slavoj Žižek

91. “Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up.” – Tate Linden

92. “Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

93. “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

94. “Absurdity and anti-absurdity are the two poles of creative energy.” – Karl Lagerfeld

95. “Design can be art. Design can be simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” – Paul Rand

96. “Thinking about design is hard, but not thinking about it can be disastrous.” – Ralph Caplan

97. “Design isn’t crafting a beautiful, textured button with breathtaking animation. It’s figuring out if there’s a way to get rid of the button altogether.” – Edward Tufte

98. “Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.” – Dee Hock

99. “Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” – Charles Eames

100. “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 Naiman

101. “It is indeed difficult to convey simplicity.” – Bruce Lee

Logan Derrick

Logan Derrick is a full-time business writer and content marketing strategist. For years, he has worked closely with several project management professionals, learning from them and increasing his own knowledge of the industry. Having held multiple management positions in fields ranging from customer service to marketing, Logan has found a passion for helping others learn about project management, marketing, and the powerful tools available to professionals today.

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