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Most designers well know that it takes a lot of time and energy to be creative. While there are always good ideas out there, the best ideas are the ideas that are allowed to develop. Hence in part why designers find the amount of “work” it takes to be humorous and sometimes depressing. Here is a collection of quotes from some of the most well-known creative people from various creative industries and what conclusions they came to learn about design… hopefully you find some inspiring.

“The opposite of play is not work — it’s depression.” — Stuart Brown

“Leisure is the time for doing something useful.”— Benjamin Franklin

“Architecture is the reaching out for the truth.” — Louis I. Kahn

“I never design a building before I’ve seen the site and met the people who will be using it.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

“Good design is good business.” — Thomas J. Watson Jr.

“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

“If design isn’t profitable, then it’s art.” — Henrik Fiskar

“Computers are to design as microwaves are to cooking.” — Milton Glaser

“It’s art if can’t be explained.  It’s fashion if no one asks for an explanation.  It’s design if it doesn’t need explanation.” — Wouter Stokkel

“All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” — Philip Johnson

“Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.” — Pierre Bonnard

“Design is a formal response to a strategic question.” — Mariona Lopez

“Good design goes to heaven; bad design goes everywhere” — Mieke Gerritzen

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln

“Supposing is good, but finding out is better.” — Mark Twain

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Good designs come from the heart, not from the brain.” — Danny Sengers

“Form follows function.” — Louis Sullivan

“The definition of an expert is someone who knows what not to do.” — Charles Willson

“My secret is being not terrible at a lot of things.” — Moby

“There is no design without discipline.  There is no discipline without intelligence.” — Massimo Vignelli

“If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written You a Shorter Letter?” — Marcus T. Cicero

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” — Bill Moyers

“You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

“Stop looking at yourself as a designer, and start thinking of yourself as a deliverer of ideas.” — Stle Melvr

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward apperance of things, but their inward signficance.” — Aristotle

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo Da Vinci

“Bad design is smoke, while good design is a mirror.” — Juan-Carlos Fernandez

“Content precedes design.  Design in the absense of content is not design, it’s decoration.” — Jeffrey Zeldman

“If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.” — Albert Einstein

“Design is the concious effort to impose a meaninful order.” — Victor Papanek

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” — Neil Gaiman

“Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up.” — Tate Linden

“The details are not the details.  They make the design.” — Charles Eames

“If the users can’t find it, the function’s not there.” — Human Factors International

“People ignore design that ignores people.” — Frank Chimero

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” — Albert Einstein

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world.  But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” — Walt Disney

“Great stories happen to people who can tell them.” — Ira Glass

“Whenever I have an idea I write it down, even if it’s not a very good idea. Sometimes the bad ideas will lead to better ones.” — Steven Snell

“Form follows function — that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution isn’t beautiful, I know it is wrong.” — Richard Buckminster Fuller

“Math is easy; design is hard.” — Jeffrey Veen

“Less is more.” — Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe

“Roses are red, violets are blue. I won’t send the job unless you pay me.” — Giulio Pinotti

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” — Pablo Picasso

“Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dali

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo Da Vinci

I saved one of my favorites for last…

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” — Thomas Edison

Now get out there and perspire!

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