Inspiration fuels great design, and we most often seek design inspiration in visual cues. However, some of the best inspiration comes from poignant phrases uttered by some of design’s greatest thinkers. Check out the following ten quotes all graphic designers should know by heart, and give them consideration when you plan your next design. Doing so might lend you the insight needed to turn a static design into a compelling and memorable work that defines your status as a master designer.
1. “Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.” – Charles Eames
Before you set out to create a design, ask yourself what the end goal is. Then create a design that helps that goal be met.
2. “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” – Joe Sparano
Your design shouldn’t distract from your end goal.
3. “Design is as much an act of spacing as an act of marking.” – Ellen Lupton
Great designs are made by excellent use of white space, and plenty of it.
4. “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.” – Jeffrey Zeldman
Always keep in mind why the end viewer or customer is there in the first place.
5. “You can’t do better design with a computer, but you can speed up your work enormously.” – Wim Crouwel
Don’t be afraid to incorporate new technologies into your design business if you can work more efficiently without sacrificing quality.
6. “Technology over technique produces emotionless design.” – Daniel Mall
New technologies should never hamper your ability to craft stellar artwork.
7. “If design isn’t profitable, then it’s art.” – Henrik Fiskar
More people will pay you money to help them achieve a monetary goal than will pay you to give them something pretty to look at.
8. “Practice safe design: Use a concept.” – Petrula Vrontikis
This goes hand-in-hand with goal-setting. Plan before you design; don’t skimp the design brief.
9. “Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” – Orson Welles
When your design speaks to you, those who share your ideals (customers, clients, and end viewers) can hear it too.
10. “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 Exupéry
Keep it simple, stupid!