Design Quotes

An occasionally updated collection of quotes that speak to my philosophies on design, productivity, creativity, and the making of things.

Never delegate understanding.
— Charles Eames

You get your ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.
— Neil Gaiman, in an afterword to Anansi Boys

Every creative act is open war against The Way It Is. What you are saying when you make something is that the universe is not sufficient, and what it really needs is more you. And it does, actually; it does. Go look outside. You can’t tell me that we are done making the world.
— Jerry Holkins (Penny Arcade)

Research is the gathering of facts. In the absence of facts, you have assumptions. And assumptions are the enemy of design.
— Mike Monteiro

If design is to be ecologically responsible, it must be independent of concern for the gross national product.
— Victor Papanek (Design for the Real World p. 212)

Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.
— Jean Cocteau

There’s nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
— Ansel Adams
There’s no image so vague that words can’t lock it into a desired meaning.
— Scott McCloud, Making Comics

Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay.
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes

[F]eeling creative produces great work in approximately the same way that “feeling like a doctor” makes you a gifted thoracic surgeon.
— Merlin Mann (43folders)

Repetition is the death of magic.
— Bill Watterson
You can’t look at a half-finished piece of magic and know if it’s any good or not.
— Teller (of Penn & Teller)

The reality of the final moment, just before shooting [the scene], is so powerful that all previous analysis must yield before the impressions you receive under these circumstances, and unless you use this feedback to your positive advantage, unless you adjust to it, adapt to it and accept the sometimes terrifying weaknesses it can expose, you can never realize the most out of your film.
— Stanley Kubrick