Finding Inspiration: 12 Design Quotes to Inspire Creative Projects in 2022

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Being a designer, or creative professional of any kind, can be incredibly challenging; especially when tasked with creating content on a regular basis. Why is that, you ask? Well, designers are often confined by strict deadlines and a desire to meet their client’s expectations; not to mention that their design education informs their artistic process and personal standards.

Thinking through all of these considerations can leave a creative person feeling uninspired and a bit angry at the designs they are producing. Can you relate? It’s a very common issue designers, of all skill levels, face everyday.

Unfortunately, designers can’t call it quits when they are struggling to stay inspired. But, there is something that might help re-ignite the flames of inspiration – and that is, reading design quotes from inspiring folks in the industry.

Not sure where to start? That’s okay. Here, we’ve compiled of 12 design quotes to inspire your creative projects in 2022.

So, keep scrolling and be hopeful that you’ll find inspiration again – remember, it’s like IDEO’s Chief Creative Officer, Paul Bennett, said “Design transcends agenda. It speaks to the politics of optimism.”

1. Design is a visual language.

“Design is thinking made visual.”

Saul Bass, Graphic Designer & Filmmaker

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Saul Bass (1920-1996) was a graphic designer and an Oscar-winning filmmaker, best known for his designs of title sequences for movies, film posters and corporate brand identities.

2. It is about more than looks.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Steve Jobs, Industrial Designer, Businessman & Co-founder of Apple

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Steve Jobs (1955-2011) was an American industrial designer and businessman, best known for co-founding the tech company, Apple.

3. Design is honest.

“Good design is honest.”

Dieter Rams, Industrial Designer

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Dieter Rams (1932 -) is a German industrial designer, often associated with functionalist design and best known for his designs for the company Braun.

4. It transcends medium.

“Good design [is] not about what medium you’re working in. It’s about thinking hard about what you want to do and what you have to work with before you start.”

Susan Kare, Graphic Designer & Artist

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Susan Kare (1954 -) is an American graphic designer and artist, best known for her typeface contributions to the first Apple Macintosh computer (circa 1983-1986).

5. Color reinforces design.

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

Pierre Bonnard, Printmaker & Post-Impressionist Painter

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Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), was a French printmaker, illustrator and post-impressionist painter, best known for his bold use of color.

6. Logos need meaning, too.

“A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.”

Paul Rand, Graphic Designer

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Paul Rand (1914-1996) was an American graphic designer and art director, best known for his designs of corporate logos for clients such as IBM and ABC, among many others.

7. A design’s function is always top priority.

“What works good is better than what looks good, because what works good lasts.”

Ray Eames, Graphic, Industrial & Textile Designer

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Ray Eames (1912-1988) was an American designer whose work focused on graphic design, textile design and architecture. She is best known for her creative partnership with her husband, Charles Eames, and the Eames Office.

8. Design can be an artistic experience.

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

Stefan Sagmeister, Graphic Designer & Typographer

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Stefan Sagmeister (1962 -) is an Austrian graphic designer and typographer, best known for his designs for the American music industry and his company Sagmeister Inc as well as his partnership with designer, Jessica Walsh.

9. You must plan.

“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”

Charles Eames, Industrial Designer & Architect

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Charles Eames (1907-1978) was an American industrial designer, architect and filmmaker. He is best known for his innovative furniture design and professional partnership with his wife, Ray Eames.

10. Typography is essential.

“Typography needs to be audible. Typography needs to be felt. Typography needs to be experienced.”

Helmut Schmid, Graphic Designer & Typographer

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Helmut Schmid (1942-2018) was an internationally-known typographer and graphic designer, best known for his work exhibited in Japan and The Netherlands.

11. There are 3 potential responses to your work.

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

Milton Glaser, Graphic Designer & Co-founder of New York Magazine

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Milton Glaser (1929 – 2020) was an American graphic designer, best known for designing the DC Comics’ logo, Obama’s 2009 campaign poster and the iconic I love NY logo.

12. Remember, everyone has an opinion about design.

“If no one hates it, no one really loves it.”

Jessica Walsh, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, & Educator

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Jessica Walsh (1986 -) is an American graphic designer, art director, illustrator and educator. She is best known for her partner agency with Stefan Sagmeister (Sagmeister & Walsh) and her teaching career with the School of Visual Arts in New York.


Whether you recently got stuck in a creative rut or you’ve been there for a while, we hope you find inspiration in these design quotes. Remember, progress is much more valuable than perfection. It’s like surrealist artist, Salvador Dali once said, “have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” Just keep creating, no matter what.

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