30 Design Meditations

Last weekend while I was organizing my house, I found a really cool book I had forgotten I had. The book is called "401 Design Meditations" and it’s all about insights and thoughts from leading designers. There are amazing quotes which are very inspirational.

Below I have listed some from the book and others I have found online:

"Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see."
Paul Klee - Swiss painter, graphic artist, and art theorist
"Design without thinking is like a story with no plot."
Pat Hansen - Pat Hansen Design
"There are only two types of graphic design: good and bad."
Ken Cato - Principal, Cato Purnell Partners
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
Douglas Adams - Creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
"My wife keeps complaining that I am married to my art. But my art keeps complaining that I am still sleeping with my wife."
Emek - Artist and designer
"Every night I pray that clients with taste will get money and clients with money will get taste."
Bill Gardner - Principal, Gardner Design
"We spend a lot of effort trying to make things look effortless."
Alexander Isley - Principal, Alexander Isley Design
"I am a student - a beginner like you are... To learn yourself is more difficult than to listen to a teacher."
Alexey Brodovitch - Addressing a design laboratory class in 1954, excerpted from Nine Pioneers in American Graphic Design, by R. Roger Remington and Barbara J. Hodik
"To do what you love to do and do what you hate to do at the same time is to be an artist."
Emek - Artist and designer
"My early design work looks like I was sick and my throw-up designed it."
Jesse von Gluck - Motive Design
"These days all you need is the ability to watch television and hold a potato at the same time to call yourself a designer."
Glenn Martinez - Sun Microsystems
"You will never really like anything you do, and you will die knowing that you still have to do your best."
Garth Walker - Orange Juice Design
"The work is hard, if you can get it."
Steve Sikora - Design Guys
"Never let your clients see you drive a more expensive car than they drive."
Rick Tharp - Principal, Tharp Did it
"Design awards are pure vanity. Except for all the ones we’ve won."
David Turner - Principal, Turner Duckworth
"Being a famous designer is like being a famous dentist."
Noreen Morioka - Principal, AdamsMorioka
"You have to be careful what you criticize today because it may be a new way of looking at things tomorrow."
Herbert Matter - From a clipping the Swiss designer had filed away with his own papers
"Change for the sake of change has nothing to do with vision."
Jack H. Summerford - Designer and writer
"It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question."
Eugene Ionesco - French playwright
"We imagine ourselves able to do anythng, and our software helps us believe that we can... But we must consider the what and the why."
Neville Brody - designer
"A well-defined problem is half solved."
Michael Osborne - Principal, Michael Osborne Design
"The evolution of the form begins with the perception of failure"
Henry Petrosk - From the evolution of Useful things
"A good design is not learned - it is realized."
Jesse von Glück - Motive Design
"Use a unique point of view: your client’s."
Earl Gee and Fani Chung - Principals, Gee+Chung Design
"There are no bad clients, only bad designers."
Bob Gill - Founding partner of Pentagram; from Graphic Design as a Second Language
"The moment clients realize that the revisions are not an all-you-can-eat buffet, suddenly, they realize they are not hungry."
Soonduk Krebs - Principal, SK Designworks
"I’ve yet to have a client ask me to make them look smaller than they are."
Bill Gardner - Principal, Gardner Design
"Without contrast, you’re dead."
Paul Rand - designer and art directors
"If you have a great idea, it will tell you how to execute it."
Jack H.Summerford - Designer and writer
"We just build stuff we want to use. If we need it, they need it."
Jason Fried - 37Signals
"Too much teamwork, too many cooks in the kitchen, too many people making decisions."
Jason Fried - 37Signals

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I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.

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