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"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 sources."
   Albert Einstein

"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 got something."
   Ron Bohmer

"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."
   Samuel Butler

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."
   Charles Brower

"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?"
   Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

"Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better."
   John Updike

"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."
   Paul Rand

"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people."
   Leo Burnett

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
   Douglas Adams

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 all one."

"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."
   Milton Glaser

" 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."
    Louis Nizer

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."
   Howard Aiken

"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on."
   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."
   Albert Einstein

Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.
   Paul Rand

"You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
   Yogi Berra

"You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertising."
   Norman Douglas

"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 man

"I am still learning."
   Michelangelo

"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."
   Paul Rand

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.
   Seymour Papert

"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."
   Albert Einstein

"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."
   Blaine Pascal

"Experiences the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward."
   Anonymous

"Success is a journey, not a destination."
   Ben Sweetland

"No one has a contract with God to succeed."
   Tony Mikes

I will destroy my enemies by converting them to my friends.
   Maimodes

"It is easy to be brave from a safe distance."
   Aesop

"Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
   Wayne Calloway

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isnıt thinking."
   General George S. Patton

"A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one."
   Henry Ford

"Itıs a poor workman who blames his tools."
   Unknown

"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."
   Tom Peters

If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?
   Rumi

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk, This will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
   Mark Twain

Good ideas are a dime a dozen...it's execution that counts.
   Anon



Check out this book with quotes about design from designers: "Everything Reverberates: Thoughts on Design"

 

"If you have ideas and imagery, technique will follow."
   Unknown

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 replies: "$5,000."
     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 visually."
   Unknown

"Creation implies self-creation; the making of an aesthetic object implies the generation of the artist."
   Unknown

"Harmony is the grandest artistic aim."
   Unknown

"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."
   Unknown

"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."
   Leo Burnett

"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."
   Daniel Boorstin

"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 Object" 1928

"A great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive, memorable and unique."
   Primo Angeli

"Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one."
   Stella Adler

"Art is the collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better."
   André Gide

"I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time."
   Orson Welles

"What garlic is to food, insanity is to art."
   Unknown

"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 it all."
   John Cassavetes

"Most people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions."
   Anonymous

"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. "
   Chief Seattle

"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities."
   Maya Angelou

"Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors."
   George Santayana

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
   Pablo Picasso

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."
   Oscar Wilde

"The first mistake of Art is to assume that it's serious."
   Lester Bangs

"Art distills sensations and embodies it with enhanced meaning."
   Jacques Barzun

"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."
   Paul Rand

"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."
   Paul Rand

"Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations."
   Paul Rand

"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."
   Beatrice Wade

"It takes a long time to become young."
   Pablo Picasso

"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."
   Thomas Moore

"Life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you respond to it."
   Chuck Swindoll

"You speak an infinite amount of nothing."
   Shakespeare

"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 together."
   Apostle Paul speaking about Jesus in 1 Col. 1:16,17

"You can't depend on your eyes, when your imagination is out of focus."
   Mark Twain

"You can't polish a turd."
   David Reddig

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
   Edmund Burke

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
   Michelangelo

"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 youıve got a good team, you canıt do much with the other two."
   Lee Iacocca

"We want consumers to say, 'Thatıs a hell of a product' instead of, 'Thatıs 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 same box.
   Italian proverb

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
   John Gardner

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.
   Mary Pickford

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.
   Thomas Edison

if you sit in the middle of the road, eventually you will get run over.
  Anon

"To draw you must close your eyes and sing."
   Pablo Picasso

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
   Albert Einstein

"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."
   Unknown

"Foundation design is a search, not for the right answers, but for the significant questions."
   Unknown

"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' ..."
   Morris Hite

"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."
   Harold Rosenberg

"The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes."
   Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"The talent for discovering the unique and marketable characteristics of a product and service is a designer's most valuable asset."
   Primo Angeli

"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."
   Primo Angeli

"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 before."
   Edith Warton

"A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
   Unknown

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
   Pablo Picasso

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."
   Pablo Picasso

"It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them."
   Mark Twain

"My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water."
   Mark Twain

"A poem is never finished, only abandoned."
   Paul Valery

"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.' "
   Robert Flaherty

"Genius ain't nothing more than elegant common sense."
   Josh Billings

"When I die, it will be a shipwreck, and as when a huge ship sinks, many people all around will be sucked down with it."
   Pablo Picasso

"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."
   Lou Dorfsman

"Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies."
   Erich Fromm

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions."
   Naguib Mahfouz

"...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."
   Walter Crane

"Applied good taste is a mark of good citizenship. Ugliness is a from of anarchy…ugly cities, ugly advertising, ugly lives produce bad citizens."
   Lester Beall

"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 this errand."
   Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924)

"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious."
   Albert Einstein

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
   Albert Einstein

"There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules, but thereıs 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. 257

"If it doesnıt sell, itıs isnıt creative."
   David Oglivy

"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 OıToole, The Trouble with AdvertisingŠ, 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 canıt."
   Morris Hite, quoted in Adman: Morris Hiteıs 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 groomedŠbut dull?"
   William Bernbach, 1989, DDB Needham Worldwide

"Advertising doesnıt create a product advantage. It can only convey it."
    William Bernbach, 1989, DDB Needham Worldwide

"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 wonıt 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.
   Anon

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


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