30 famous graphic design quotes to inspire, motivate and get a chuckle out of you

November 16, 2021 Written by Abby Kury

Inspiration may strike anytime and can come from anywhere, but a creative mind is all too familiar with the enemy that is the dreaded creative block.

Professionals in the creative industry know that they simply cannot afford to be short of ideas or the energy to put said ideas into action -- deadlines are fast approaching and clients, businesses and customers are always waiting, after all.

So, what’s a graphic designer to do when they hit a slump? They read up on inspiring words of wisdom, of course -- especially ones by master designers and famous figures!

To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve curated a list of 30 thought-provoking, awe-inspiring and quick-witted quotes to get you through your projects and deadlines.

Famous design quotes by famous people


Milton Glaser, the co-founder of the New York magazine and the designer of the I ❤ NY logo. Photo credit: New Yorker

“Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs.” – Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero is a famous brand designer and collage artist. His clientele includes big brands like Nike, Facebook and Nike.

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

Lindon Leader is a highly esteemed American graphic artist who is credited with designing one of the most recognisable logos in the world – the FedEx logo.

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

Known as the co-founder of New York magazine, Milton Glaser is most known for his iconic designs for DC Comics, Obama’s 2009 campaign poster and the I ❤ NY logo.

“Good design’s 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

Kare is one of the very first pixel artists and designed the first icons, typefaces, and interfaces of the Apple Macintosh.

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

Apart from being the co-founder of the design agency Sagmeister & Walsh, Stefan is known in the music industry for his design work for the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, David Byrne and more.

Inspirational graphic design quotes

image-3 Salvador Dali the Spanish surrealist artist. Photo credit: Wikipedia

"Have no fear of perfection -- you’ll never reach it." – Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí was a famous Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship, and striking and bizarre images in his work.

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

Famous worldwide as the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs was also known as an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor.

"Design is the intermediary between information and understanding." – Hans Hoffman, artist and teacher

Hans Hofmann was a German-born American painter, whose career spanned two generations and two continents, and is considered to have both preceded and influenced Abstract Expressionism.

"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

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist and pioneering aviator who also became a laureate of several of France's highest literary awards and also won the United States National Book Award.

"Good design is good business." – Thomas Watson Jr.

Thomas Watson Jr. was an American businessman, political figure, Army Air Forces pilot, philanthropist, the second president of IBM, the 11th national president of the Boy Scouts of America, and the 16th United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Funny graphic design quotes

image-4 Paul Rand, an American art director and graphic designer. Photo credit: Famous Graphic Designers

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” – Nolan Bushnell

Nolan Kay Bushnell is an American businessman and electrical engineer who established Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre chain.

“Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.” – David Carson

David Carson is an American graphic designer, art director and surfer best known for his innovative design and use of experimental typography with the magazine Ray Gun, in which he employed much of the typographic and layout approach for which he is known.

“Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” – Paul Rand

Paul Rand was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and NeXT.

“The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design.” – Massimo Vignelli

The late Massimo Vignelli was known for developing identities for now-reputable brands such as American Airlines and the New York subway system.

“If design isn't profitable, then it's art.” –  Henrik Fisker

Henrik Fisker is a Danish-American automotive designer and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California.

Quotes about logo design

image-5 Designer Saul Bass created this popular poster for the movie “The Shining”. Photo credit: Artsy

“The strongest logos tell simple stories.” – Sol Sender

Sender, founder and principal of Sender LLC, spearheaded the logo development for Obama's 2008 campaign.

“A logo is the period at the end of a sentence, not the sentence itself.” – Sagi Haviv

Sagi Haviv is an Israeli-American graphic designer and a partner in the design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.

“Logos are the graphic extension of the internal realities of a company.”  – Saul Bass

Saul Bass was an American graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker, best known for his design of motion-picture title sequences, film posters, and corporate logos.

“A logo doesn’t sell (directly), it identifies.” – Paul Rand

Paul Rand was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and NeXT.

"A logo is not a brand—it's only a symbol for a brand. A brand is much more than a logo." – Marty Neumeier

Marty Neumeier is an American author and speaker who writes about brand, design, innovation and creativity -- he is currently Director of CEO Branding for Liquid Agency

Branding graphic design quotes

image-6 Famous companies Tesla, Inc. and SpaceX were founded by Elon Musk. Photo credit: Website Design Ltd

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin

Seth Godin is an author and businessman who has written over 17 books about marketing, social media, leadership and entrepreneurship.

“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.” – Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer at SpaceX; early-stage investor, CEO, and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI.

“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.” – Lisa Gansky

Lisa Gansky is the co-founder and CEO of Global Network Navigator, the first commercial website, which was acquired by America Online, and was also the co-founder, CEO and chairman of Ofoto, a digital photography company, which sold to Eastman Kodak.

“If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.”  – David Brier

David Brier is a brand identity expert, veteran designer, author, speaker and Fast Company expert blogger.

“Products are made in a factory but brands are created in the mind.” – Walter Landor

Walter Landor was a brand designer, the founder of Landor and an acclaimed designer and a pioneer of branding and consumer research techniques widely used to this day.

Quotes by famous Malaysian creatives

image-7 Han Chong, the founder and creative director of the fashion label Self-Portrait. Photo credit: Business of Fashion

“I think inspiration can come from anywhere and anyone. It’s so important to keep an open mind. I like to bounce ideas off people to help me realise an idea. Even the most casual of conversations can inspire you.” – Han Chong

Han Chong is the Malaysian designer behind Self-Portrait, the contemporary luxury label which has experienced a rapid rise to global commercial success.

“I love the idea of couture and its emphasis on creation. There's where I made my name - in design - and there's where I'd like to stay.” – Jimmy Choo

Datuk Jimmy Choo is a Malaysian fashion designer who co-founded Jimmy Choo Ltd, which became known for its handmade women's shoes.

“Energy cannot be destroyed. It just takes on different forms.” – Yasmin Ahmad

Yasmin Ahmad was a Malaysian film director, writer, scriptwriter and executive creative director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur; her television commercials and films are well known in Malaysia for being humorous and touching.

“My personal view is that one shouldn’t be too consumed with competing with others, but to always give one’s absolute best in whatever one pursues.” – Zang Toi

Zang Toi is a Malaysian fashion designer based in New York City, who is also a recipient of The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence.

“What I want to avoid is staying at the same place. As I improve in skills, I am able to approach each element of my programs with perfection. As I’m preparing, I build momentum and confidence until I reach a peak of concentration. It is the moment that I feel my best. Then I can bring out one hundred percent, which makes me satisfied with myself.” – Yuna Zarai

Yunalis Mat Zara'ai, known professionally as Yuna, is a Malaysian singer-songwriter whose initial exposure came through the viral success of her music uploaded to Myspace, which received over one million plays.

Stay inspired and get started on your project with Brandripe today

Now that you’ve familiarised yourself with the great quotes that famous graphic designers have shared, you know for a fact that they too have encountered problems with their work and have experienced creative blocks many, many times.

Though your problem and theirs may not be similar, just remember that you always have these quotes to look back on and inspire you to get out of your slump.

However, if you do need an extra helping hand, just know that the team at Brandripe is always ready to help you create just about anything, from logos to T-shirt ideas, and from food ads to web banner designs.

Simply schedule a 15-minute VIP Demo Call with us and we’ll tell you more, or drop us a line via chat or through email at hi@brandripe.com.

We can’t wait to join creative forces with you, and who knows, your quote might be an inspiration for others out there one day.

For now, here’s one from Abby Kury, the co-founder of Brandripe:

“Your next customer’s first impression is happening online. Perception is reality, and you can control it through your owned media”


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