"art is not life, nor a reproduction of life, but a representation
carried out within the specific terms, conversions and limitations
of the particular art used. hence absolute truth, with reference
to objective fact, is not to be found in the business. the
most realistic art is considerablely removed from reality.
art does not give real things or imitations of real things.
the thing that art gives is strained first through the artist's
selections and judgments, and then through the specific techniques
with he used to present them. if you are to enjoy an art,
you must first accept its terms."
thomas hart benton
"the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your
"there are no days in life so memorable as those which
vibrated to some stroke of the imagination."
ralph waldo emerson
"genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience."
george-louis de buffon
"you can always spend a lot of money and drop a chandelier
on people, but if you can break their hearts, then you've
"think of and look at your work as though it were done
by your enemy. i you look at it to admire it, you are lost."
consider the late great english painter, francis bacon. he
once told an interviewer that each of his paintings would
only start to come together when he got disgusted with how
bad it was, which would cause him to start throwing paint
at the thing in despair.
"a new idea is delicate. it can be killed by a sneer
or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried
to death by a frown on the right person's brow."
"creativity often consists merely turning up what is
already there. did you know that right and left shoes were
thought up only a little more than a century ago?"
"any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about
doing it right or better."
"without aesthetic, design is either the humdrum repetition
of familiar clichés or a wild scramble for novelty.
without the aesthetic, the computer is but a mindless speed
machine, producing effects without substance. form without
relevant content, or content without meaningful form."
"curiosity about life in all of its aspects, i think,
is still the secret of great creative people."
"a common mistake that people make when trying to design
something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity
of complete fools."
p.l. travers, the author of mary poppins books, put it best
when she wrote, "you do not chop off a section of your
imaginative substance and make a book specifically for children,
for if you are honest you have no idea where
childhood ends and maturity beings. it is all endless and
"the real issue is not talent as an independent element,
but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence.
talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent
with those characteristics grows."
" a man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man
who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but
a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart
is an artist."
"don't worry about people stealing your ideas. if your
ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's
"a man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea
john f. kennedy
"creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. art
is knowing which ones to keep."
the dilbert principle
"i am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination."
simplicity is not the goal. it is the by-product of a good
idea and modest expectations.
"you got to be very careful if you don't know where you're
going, because you might not get there."
"you can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertising."
"the consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife. you insult
her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few
vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything."
david ogilvy, confessions of an advertising
"i am still learning."
"the designer does not, as a rule, begin with a preconceived
idea. his idea is the result of subjective and objective thought,
and the design a product of the idea. in order, therefore,
to achieve an honest and effective solution he necessarily
passes thought some sort of mental process ... consciously
or not, he analyzes, interprets, translates ... he improvises,
invents new techniques and combinations. he coordinates and
integrates his material so that he may restate his problem
in terms of ideas, pictures, forms, and shapes. he unifies,
simplifies, eliminates superfluities. he symbolizes ... abstract
from his material by association and analogy. he intensifies
and reinforces his symbol with appropriate accessories to
achieve clarity and interest. he draws upon instinct and intuition.
he considers the spectator, his feelings and predilections."
our educational system doesn't have exclusive rights on the
guilt and anxiety associated with learning. learning inherently
involves some trauma; it requires a certain amount of exertion
and implies giving up one way of thinking for another.
richard saul wurman
the role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention
rather than provide ready-made knowledge.
"any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex,
and more violent. it takes a touch of genius -- and a lot
of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
"in marketing you must choose between boredom, shouting
and seduction. which do you want?"
roy h. williams
"memory is a net: one that finds it full of fish when
he takes it from the brook, but a dozen miles of water have
run through it without sticking."
oliver wendell holmes
"we are more easily persuaded, in general, by the reason
we ourselves discover than by those which are given by others."
"experiences the hardest kind of teacher. it gives you
the test first and the lesson afterward."
"success is a journey, not a destination."
"no one has a contract with god to succeed."
i will destroy my enemies by converting them to my friends.
"it is easy to be brave from a safe distance."
"nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight
of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
"if everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn�t thinking."
general george s. patton
"a market is never saturated with a good product, but
it is very quickly saturated with a bad one."
"it�s a poor workman who blames his tools."
"whenever an individual or business decides that success
has been attained, progress stops."
thomas j. watson jr.
"kites rise highest against the wind � not with it."
sir winston churchill
"life is pretty simple: you do some stuff. most fails.
some works. you do more of what works. if it works big, others
quickly copy it. then you do something else. the trick is
doing something else."
if you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be
always do sober what you said you'd do drunk, this will teach
you to keep your mouth shut.
good ideas are a dime a dozen...it's execution that counts.
check out this book with quotes about design from designers:
"everything reverberates: thoughts on design"
"if you have ideas and imagery, technique will follow."
picasso was in a park when a woman approached him and asked
him to draw a portrait of her. picasso agreed and quickly
sketches her. after handing the sketch to her, she is pleased
with the likeness and asks how much she owed to him. picasso
the woman screamed, "but
it took you only five minutes."
"no, madam, it took me
all my life," replied picasso.
unknown source for story
"one must seek solutions that are engaging and demanding
"creation implies self-creation; the making of an aesthetic
object implies the generation of the artist."
"harmony is the grandest artistic aim."
"modern french painting is all right; it has produced
many beautiful and interesting things, fully worthy of admiration,
but it has also set up response habits among our artistic
authorities which have worked against a free approach to other
artistic forms. these habits, objectified in numerous critical
and appreciative essays, have crystallized into standards
which, while they may be effective momentarily for the french
painting responsible for them, have little or no validity
when applied to other kinds."
thomas hart benton
"art gives voice to that which has not been spoken."
"the secret of all effective advertising is not the creation
of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar
words and pictures into new relationships."
"an image ... is not simply a trademark, a design, a
slogan or an easily remembered picture. it is a studiously
crafted personality profile of an individual, institution,
corporation, product or service."
"there is an urgent need to examine old opinions and
look at things from a new viewpoint. there must be an increase
in the joy one takes in an object, and the photographer should
become fully conscious of the splendid fidelity of reproduction
made possible by his technique. 'nature, after all, is not
so poor that she requires constant improvement.'"
albert renger-patzsch, "joy before the
"a great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive,
memorable and unique."
"life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds
you that you have one."
"art is the collaboration between god and the artist,
and the less the artist does the better."
"i think an artist has always to be out of step with
"what garlic is to food, insanity is to art."
"great things are not done by impulse, but a series of
small things brought together."
vincent van gogh
"there may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one
ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only
a wisp of smoke."
vincent van gogh
"the most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself,
to express what you have to. as an artist, i feel that we
must try many things but above all we must dare to
fail. you must be willing to risk everything to really express
"most people are more comfortable with old problems than
with new solutions."
"your living is determined not so much by what life brings
to you as by what you bring to life."
john homer miller
"man does not weave this web of life. he is merely a
strand of it. whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
"if one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform
a million realities."
"graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity,
heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors."
"all children are artists. the problem is how to remain
an artist once he grows up."
"art is the most intense mode of individualism that the
world has known."
"the first mistake of art is to assume that it's serious."
"art distills sensations and embodies it with enhanced
"providing, meaning to a mass of unrelated needs, ideas, words
and pictures - it is the designer's job to select and fit
this material together and make it interesting."
"design is the method of putting form and content together.
design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no
single definition. design can be art. design can be aesthetics.
design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated."
"simplicity is not the goal. it is the by-product of
a good idea and modest expectations."
"people who love ideas must have a love of words, and
that means, given a chance; they take a vivid interest in
the clothes which words wear."
"it takes a long time to become young."
"it's unwise to pay too much, but is worse to pay too little.
when you pay too much, you lose a little - that is all. when
you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because
the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was
bought to do. the common law of business balance prohibits
paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done! if you
deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for
the risk you run. and if you do that, you will have enough
to pay for something better."
john ruskin (1819-1900)
"finding the right work is like discovering your own soul
in the world."
"life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you respond to
"you speak an infinite amount of nothing."
"for by him all things were created: things in heaven and
on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers
or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and
for him. he is before all things, and in him all things hold
apostle paul speaking about jesus
in 1 col. 1:16,17
"you can't depend on your eyes, when your imagination is out
"you can't polish a turd."
"the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good
men to do nothing."
"i saw the angel in the marble and carved until i set him
"all business proceeds on beliefs, or judgments of probabilities,
and not on certainties."
charles w. eliot
"in the end, all business operations can be reduced to
three words; people, product and profits. unless you�ve got
a good team, you can�t do much with the other two."
"we want consumers to say, 'that�s a hell of a product' instead
of, 'that�s a hell of an ad.' "
leo burnett, quoted in 100 :leo's,
chicago, il: leo burnett company, p. 14
once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the
life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
if you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always
another chance for you. what we call failure is not the falling
down but the staying down.
simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. -
leonardo da vinci
opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed
in overalls and looks like work.
if you sit in the middle of the road, eventually you will
get run over.
draw you must close your eyes and sing."
"the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
it is the source of all true art and science."
"let us not mince words; the most marvelous is always
beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the
marvelous is beautiful."
andre brenton, 1924
"the creative 'act' is a process, not a moment."
"foundation design is a search, not for the right answers,
but for the significant questions."
"i feel in my very soul that i was born to be great ...
born to do things in which other men have failed. those men
here (chicago institute of art) who call me 'promising' know
not the magnitude of the 'promise' which the gods have given
in the later hours of the night, when the hum of the city
is hushed in the stillness and the winds are dead, and thought
and i communicate alone. they know not the greatness that
has come upon be at these times, when the mind has leapt beyond
the real and soars unrestrained in the mysteries of the infinite."
thomas hart benton
"surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what
it considers to be shackles limiting our vision."
salvador dali, declaration 1929
"it is not the purpose of the ad or commercial to make
the reader or listener say, 'my what a clever ad.' it is the
purpose of advertising to make the reader say, 'i believe
i'll buy one when i'm shopping tomorrow' ..."
"the aim of every authentic artist is not to conform
to the history of art, but to release himself from it in order
to replace it with his own history."
"the hardest thing to see is what is in front of your
johann wolfgang von goethe
"the talent for discovering the unique and marketable
characteristics of a product and service is a designer's most
"it can't be stressed enough that in order to produce
great graphics, you have to have a good product and a good
client capable of making decisions."
"every artist clips his brush in his own soul and paints
his own nature into his pictures."
henry ward beecher
"another unsettling element in modern art is that common
symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done
"a critic is a legless man who teaches running."
"i am always doing that which i cannot do, in order that
i may learn how to do it."
"painting is just another way of keeping a diary."
"it is better to deserve honors and not have them than
to have them and not deserve them."
"my books are like water; those of the great geniuses
are wine. (fortunately) everybody drinks water."
"a poem is never finished, only abandoned."
"the test of a first rate intelligence is the ability
to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and
still retain the ability to function."
f. scott fitzgerald
"there is saying among prospectors: 'go out looking for
one thing, and that's all you'll ever find.' "
"genius ain't nothing more than elegant common sense."
"when i die, it will be a shipwreck, and as when a huge
ship sinks, many people all around will be sucked down with
"creativity is essentially a lonely art. an even lonelier
struggle. to some a blessing. to others a curse. it is in
reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth
from your very soul an idea."
"most people die before they are fully born. creativeness
means to be born before one dies."
"you can tell whether a man is clever by his answers.
you can tell whether a man is wise by his questions."
"...i recognize the truth that all interesting, real,
and quality things become more piquant and beautiful with
vintage. there is not a person alive, if his head isn't up
his ass, who doesn't prefer and value the fullness of years.
with rare exception, everybody
has experienced youth. big deal. the most special thing about
that is surviving it. but give me someone who practices the
wisdom of her learning, who has fought for and protected her
loves, who has and will share her own and the experiences
of others. now that is someone worth knowing well."
doug tennant, about forum member
"let the designer lean upon the staff of the line�line
determinative, line emphatic, line delicate, line expressive,
line controlling and uniting."
"applied good taste is a mark of good citizenship. ugliness
is a from of anarchy�ugly cities, ugly advertising, ugly lives
produce bad citizens."
"you are not here merely to make a living. you are here
to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision,
and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. you are here
to enrich the world. you impoverish yourself if you forget
woodrow wilson (1856 - 1924)
"i have no special talent. i am only passionately curious."
"imagination is more important than knowledge."
"there are a lot of great technicians in advertising.
and unfortunately they talk the best game. they know all the
rules, but there�s one little rub. they forget that advertising
is persuasion, and persuasion is not a science, but an art.
advertising is the art of persuasion."
william bernbach, quoted in stephen
fox, the mirror makers, 1984, new york: vintage books, p.
"if it doesn�t sell, it�s isn�t creative."
"there is no such thing as a mass mind. the mass audience
is made up of individuals, and good advertising is written
always from one person to another. when it is aimed at millions
it rarely moves anyone."
fairfax cone, of foot cone & belding,
quoted in john o�toole, the trouble with advertising�, 1981,
new york: chelsea house, p. 48
"advertising is salesmanship mass produced. no one would bother
to use advertising if he could talk to all his prospects face-to-face.
but he can�t."
morris hite, quoted in adman: morris
hite�s methods for winning the ad game, 1988, dallas, tx:
e-heart press, p. 203
"just because your ad looks good is no insurance that it will
get looked at. how many people do you know who are impeccably
william bernbach, 1989, ddb needham worldwide
"advertising doesn�t create a product advantage. it can only
william bernbach, 1989, ddb needham
"on average, five times as many people read the headline as
read the body copy. when you have written your headline, you
have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."
david ogilvy, confessions of an
advertising man, 1971, new york: ballantine books, p. 92
"when you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, buy
you won�t com up with a handful of mud either."
leo burnett (originated by john
w. craford), quoted by joan kufrin, leo burnett: star reacher,
1995, chicago, il: leo burnett company, inc., p. 52
i can see beauty where others see ugliness. that either makes
me an artist, or a person of very poor taste.
what is success? to laugh often and much; to win the respect
of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn
the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal
of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in
others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy
child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know
even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
that is to have succeeded.
ralph waldo emerson