40 Graphic Design Quotes to Draw Inspiration From

40 Graphic Design Quotes

Graphic design is an extraordinary talent and skill set that experts work years to develop. And for those of us without that specific skill, we can reach out to designers to hire them firsthand or use third-party design tools that make graphic creation easy. The ability to create something out of nothing is an extraordinary one, especially when that something can become stunning visuals and engaging logos that can make a huge impact on your business.

Inspiration is a huge part of graphic design. You need to have a great idea to start with, an aesthetic to draw inspiration from, and the motivation to get the job done. Sometimes it can be hard to get the creative juices flowing, so whenever it’s time to sit down and start cranking out designs, borrowing some knowledge from the experts is a great way to go.

Ready to find some motivation and get some new ideas? Check out these 40 graphic design quotes are sure to get you inspired.

Quotes About the Definition of Good Graphic Design

  • “Good design is good business.” – Thomas Watson, Jr., 2nd President of IBM
design sayings
  • “Design is thinking made visual.” – Saul Bass, designer & filmmaker
  • “Design is intelligence made visible.” – Alina Wheeler, branding consultant & author
best graphic design quote
  • “Good design is honest.”- Dieter Rams, industrial designer
Dieter Rams famous design quote
  • “Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs.” – Frank Chimero, designer & author
  • “The alternative to good design is always bad design. There is no such thing as no design.” – Adam Judge, author, The Little Black Book of Design
inspirational design quote
  • “Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” – Brian Reed
  • “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, graphic designer 

Quotes About Graphic Design as Communication

  • “Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.” – Hans Hoffmann, painter 
  • “The role of the designer is that of a good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.” – Charles Eames, designer, architect & filmmaker 
  • “Design is a formal response to a strategic question.” – Mariona Lopez
quote about graphic design
  • “Design transcends agenda. It speaks to the politics of optimism.” – Paul Bennett, Design Lead, IDEO
  • “Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.” – Massimo Vignelli, designer

Quotes About Whitespace and Breathing Room in Graphic Design

  • “Design is as much an act of spacing as an act of marking.” – Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • “Live in the leading—the spaces in between the rules.” – Stefan Mumaw, Creative Director at First Person
  • “I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” – Lindon Leader, graphic designer, Leader Creative
  • “Whitespace is like air: it is necessary for design to breathe.” – Wojciech Zieliński, product designer
famous graphic design quote
  • “Get rid of everything that is not essential to making a point.” – Christoph Niemann, illustrator, graphic designer & author 
  • “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci, artist & inventor
design quote by leonardo da vinci
  • “Make it simple, but significant.” – Don Draper, Mad Men

Quotes about Graphic Design and Functionality

  • “The function of design is letting design function.” – Micha Commeren, designer
  • “Where you innovate, how you innovate, and what you innovate are design problems.” – Tim Brown, Director of IDEO
  • “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs, former CEO, Apple
  • “You can do a good ad without good typography, but you can’t do a great ad without good typography.” – Herb Lubalin, graphic designer

Quotes About the Human Response to Design

  • “You can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt…or in front of a piece of graphic design.” – Stefan Sagmeister, graphic designer
  • “There are three responses to a piece of design: yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” – Milton Glaser, graphic designer 
  • “Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.” – David Carson, designer
  • “People ignore designs that ignore people.” – Frank Chimero, designer & author
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Quotes About the Value of Graphic Design

  • “Design adds value faster than it adds costs.” – Joel Spolsky, author, Joel on Software
  • “Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” – Irene Au, designer
  • “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” – Robert L. Peters, graphic designer 

Quotes About Creativity and Artistry in Graphic Design

  • “Creativity is nothing but the way to solve new problems.” – Diana Santos, VP Product Strategy & Design, Intelia 
creativity in graphic design quotes
  • “Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali, artist
graphic design image quote
  • “Creativity is a highfalutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday.” – Ray Kroc, founder, McDonald’s
  • “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, author & poet
  • “Creativity is nothing but a mind set free.” – Torrie T. Asai, letterer
inspirational design creativity quote

Quotes About Mastering Graphic Design

  • “It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.” – Paula Scher, graphic designer
  • “Art is anything you can get away with.” – Marshall McLuhan 
art is anything you can get away with quote
  • “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals.” – David Ogilvy, advertising tycoon & founder, Ogilvy
  • “The key to great ideas is not having them, it is executing them. And great ideas come from problems. As designers we call problems briefs, and we call reactions to problems  concepts.” – Kate Moross, graphic designer 


Graphic design is an intricate process, with a lot of moving pieces. Sometimes that process can feel daunting or frustrating, especially when you’re starting from scratch. The good news, though, is that even if you need to go for multiple revisions, there are endless possibilities for what you can create. Just keep these graphic design quotes in mind, take a break when needed, and start anew when you’re ready.

If you’re looking to increase graphics for your business but are struggling with the actual graphic design element, check out tools like Snappa. We offer intuitive drag-and-drop design software, which comes with thousands of free-for-commercial-use stock photos, graphic imagery, and design elements that can be used to create professional-quality graphics and images for every marketing purpose. And if you’re totally stumped, we even offer hundreds of pre-made, totally customizable templates to make the process fast and easy.

What do you think? Which of these graphic design quotes resonated most with you? Which were most inspiring? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!