Favorite Design Quotes

An ongoing list in no particular order:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

Steve Jobs


“Design is intelligence made visible.”

Alina Wheeler


“My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”

Diane Arbus


“Nothing pulls you into the territory between art and science so quickly as design. It is the borderline where contradictions and tensions exist between the quantifiable and the poetic. It is the field between desire and necessity. Designers thrive in those conditions, moving between land and water.”

Katherine & Michael McCoy

Design Educators


“A design isn’t finished until somebody is using it.”

Brenda Laurel


“I grasped the notion that design was not about superficial styling but rather about a process, an investigation, a try-out, and a passion based in curiosity and discovery.”

Rob Forbes

Founder, Design Within Reach


“There is a place for beauty, for beautiful posters and packaging and books. There is also a need for innovation, for making an environmental and social impact.”

Ellen Shapiro



“Design will save the world right after rock and roll does.”

David Carson


“The journey from not knowing to knowing was his work. He was selling his desire to learn about a subject.”

Richard Saul Wurman, founder of TED, on designer Charles Eames


“That small child with the scissors and colored paper, sitting in the middle of the parental living room rug, making shapes out of beautiful colors, for his or her own joy, not for money, not for critical acclaim, that child is you. You have the opportunity to create what never was. Forget about revolutionizing the world. Work for the joy of working, and without intending to, you will help to change your corner of the world.”

Charles Goslin

Design Educator


“Everything I do, I do for love.”

Marian Bantjes



“Living with computers gives funny ideas.”

Wim Crouwel