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Quotes

This is a collection of quotes that speak to me, that resonate with my design philosophy, and align with what’s important to me. I’ve arranged them into a flow that has meaning and impact. Each one builds on the next. If you have any you’d like to contribute, please comment.

“There is no difference between life and design for a real designer!”
— Marco Romanelli

“Inspiration. From real life. I open my eyes and I travel and I look. And I read everything.”
— Erik Spiekermann

“A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist, and evolutionary strategist.”
— Buckminster Fuller

“Nature loves simplicity and unity.”
— Johannese Kelper, astronomer

“Simple design, intense content.”
— Edward Tufte

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

“Creativity is people who care enough to keep thinking about something until they find the simplest way to do it.”
— Tim Cook

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
— Hans Hofmann

“The challenge is about taking things that are infinitely complex and making them simpler and more understandable.”
—Robert Greenberg

“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-Exupery

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions. [...] It’s not just minimalism or the absence of clutter. It involves digging through the depth of complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. [...] You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential.”
— Steve Jobs

“Simple is hard. Easy is harder. Invisible is hardest.”
— Jean-Louis Gassée

“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.”
— Joe Sparano

“If typography is calling attention to itself, it’s taking that attention away from what the words are saying…”
— Michael Bierut, Pentagram

“A grid is like underwear, you wear it but it’s not to be exposed.”
— Massimo Vignelli

“Designers + artists see potential in things where others do not. I think artists in many ways are the original entrepreneurs.”
— Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
— Steve Jobs

“If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!”
— Henry Ford

“Our role is to imagine products that don’t exist and guide them to life.”
— Christopher Stringer

“Products and services don’t fail because they malfunction, they fail because no one needs them.”
— Robert Stulle

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
— Steve Jobs

“Skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.”
— Wayne Gretzky

“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”
― Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

“A brand is a living entity—and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”
— Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney

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

“I’ve been amazed at how often those outside the discipline of design assume that what designers do is decoration. Good design is problem solving.”
— Jeff Veen

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

“What works is better than what looks good. The ‘looks good’ can change, but what works, works.
— Ray Eames

“If something is going to be better, it is new, and if it’s new you are confronting problems and challenges you don’t have references for.”
— Jony Ive

“The design is done when the problem goes away.”
— Jason Fried

“When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive.”
— James Gleick

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

“Test everything, including assumptions”
— Jeffrey Zeldman

“If you want to improve the world, you need first-hand knowledge of the world you want to improve.”
— Erika Hall

“What is more informative to the design process than knowing how to make? Making teaches how to simplify, reconsider, obey physics.”
– unknown

“It’s so rare that we have the opportunity to work on a project that is fueled by raw unbridled enthusiasm, with little regard for payment, sleep, or settling for ‘good enough.'”
— Micah Barrett

“Web-site creation isn’t something you learn once and then check off on your to do list.”
— Jeff Veen

“The more I learn, the less I realize I know.”
— Socrates

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Maya Angelou

“Be willing to make bold decisions and be willing to make glorious mistakes. Learn from your mistakes, but you’ve got to be willing to make them first.”
— Gavin Newsom

“Real self respect is tempered with the ability to know when you’re wrong.”
— Mike Monteiro

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
— Ken Robinson

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else”
— Yogi Berra

If you focus on what you’ve left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead”
— Chef Gousteau from Ratatouille (Pixar)

“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”
— unknown

“Satisfaction is doin’ what’s important to yourself. A man ought to honor other people, but he’s got to honor what he believes in too.”
— Madison Wheeler, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon

“Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only the important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
— Steve Jobs

“The fact that Latin America does not have the same kind of typographic tradition that exists in Europe and the United States is important and relevant because it means we can try out new things without fear, without prejudices, without a past and with a lot of future.”
— Daniel Hernández, Chilean type designer, LatinoType

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”
— Steve Jobs

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“You can’t let the people around you define your happiness.”
— Kevin Schwall

“I learned to travel, then I travelled to learn.”
— Brother Patrick Duffy, Blue Highways, (book) William Least Heat Moon (author)

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
— Mark Twain

“To believe something strongly when it is clearly hard to define and prove, and has not been proven, is to be prejudiced.”
— Simon Ramo, Ph.D.

“Fate always gives you two choices, Scorpio George once said: the one you should take, and the one you do.”
— Shantaram, written by Gregory David Roberts (p. 858)

“Faced with a choice, do both.”
Dieter Rot/Roth

“The interesting thing is: if you do it for love, the money comes anyway.”
— Richard St. John

“From that moment on, I’ve dedicated myself to type design full-time (and more). It’s been a crucial decision for me, because type design is something I am passionate about; and there is nothing more rewarding in life than doing what you love to do — your work.”
— Daniel Hernández, Chilean type designer, LatinoType

“The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter. [...] When you’re doing something for yourself, or your best friend or family, you’re not going to cheese out. If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.”
— Steve Jobs

“I usually work on two projects at once, in order to be able to move away and look at it from a new perspective when I get back to it. That helps me a lot to keep things fresh. Yet I think my main “strategy” is to work on projects that are inspiring, fun and motivating.”
— Daniel Hernández, Chilean type designer, LatinoType

“We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what’s driven me.”
— Steve Jobs

“Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions.”
— Steve Jobs

“Life is about the people you meet”
— unknown

“We don’t settle for anything less than excellence.”
— Steve Jobs

“If you have more than three priorities then you don’t have any.”
— Jim Collins

“and then there is using everything”
— Gertrude Stein

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.”
— Oscar Wilde

“You can understand nothing about art, particularly modern art, if you do not understand that imagination is a value in itself.”
— unknown

“Meaningful, great art is a transcendental experience that lifts us out of the world and makes us look back and view the world more critically.”
— Dr. Damian White, professor in RISD’s liberal arts department

“Art exists to define the ‘undefinable,’ to make the impossible possible, and turn the imaginary real.”
— unknown

“Good art provides people with a vocabulary about things they can’t articulate.”
— Mos Def

“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
— Leonard Bernstein

“Art is a deception that creates real emotions — a lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic.”
— Marco Tempest

“Ce qui embellit le désert, dit le petit prince, c’est qu’il cache un puits quelque part…”
Le Petit Prince, St Exupéry
(That which makes the desert beautiful is that it hides a well somewhere)

“One of the things that makes beautiful things beautiful is their ephemeral nature.”
— Brenton Chamberlain

“The job of art is to chase ugliness away.”
— Bono

“On with the dance, let the joy be unconfined.”
— Mark Twain

“Pleasure is the only thing one should live for. Nothing ages like happiness.”
— Oscar Wilde

“When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny.”
— Bertice Berry

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
— Carlos Castaneda

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
— Oscar Wilde

“…les yeux sont aveugle. Il faut chercher avec le coeur.”
— Le Petit Prince
(The eyes are blind, one must search with the heart)

“Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.”
— Hugh Macleod

“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

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

“Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres.”
(Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.)
— Spanish Proverb

“A newborn is soft and tender,
A crone, hard and stiff.
Plants and animals, in life, are supple and succulent;
In death, withered and dry.
So softness and tenderness are attributes of life,
And hardness and stiffness, attributes of death.”
— Tao Te Ching; 76 Flexibility

“One should always be a little improbable.”
— Oscar Wilde

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
— Steve Jobs

“Hay dos palabras que te abrirán muchas puertas — ‘Tire y Empuje'”
—Les Luthiers
(There are two words that open many doors: pull and push)

“Self-control is not a problem in the future. It’s only a problem now when the chocolate is next to us.”
— Shlomo Benartzi

“You know there’s an old african proverb that i made up. if you want to go quickly, go alone. if you want to go far, go together. we need to go far, quickly”
— Al Gore (on 30 Rock)

“If you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you’re still in the fucking tunnel.”
— John Oates

una poema de Antonio Machado (1875-1939, España)

Cantares (Fragmento)

Todo pasa y todo queda,
pero lo nuestro es pasar,
pasar haciendo caminos,
caminos sobre la mar

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.

Al andar se hace camino
y a volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar

Caminante no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar
caminante no hay camino
se hace camino al andar.

“…les champs de blé? Je ne mange pas de pain. Le blé pour moi est inutile. Les champs de blé ne me rappellent rien. Et ça, c’est triste! Mais tu as des cheveux couleur d’or. Alors ce sera merveilleux quand tu m’auras apprivoisé! Le blé, qui est doré, me fera souvenir de toi. Et j’aimerai le bruit du vent dans le blé…”
— Le renard, Le Petit Prince, St Exupéry

(the wheat fields? I don’t eat bread. The wheat for me is useless. The wheat fields remind me of nothing. And that, it’s sad! But you have hair the color of gold. So that would be marvelous when you have tamed me. The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I will love the sound of the wind in the wheat.” — The Fox in The Little Prince.)

“Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that´s all there is: love and its duty, sorrow and its truth. In the end that´s all we have — to hold on tight until dawn.”
— excerpt from the book Shantaram, written by Gregory David Roberts (p. 346)

“There are many animals that can express their happiness, but only the human animal has the genius to express a magnificent sadness.”
— excerpt from the book Shantaram, written by Gregory David Roberts (Didier, p. 546)

“At first, when we truly love someone, our greatest fear is that the loved one will stop loving us. What we should fear and dread, of course, is that we won’t stop loving them, even after they’re dead and gone. For I still love you with the whole of my heart, Prabaker. I still love you. And sometimes, my friend, the love that I have, and can’t give to you, crushes the breath from my chest. Sometimes, even now, my heart is drowning in a sorrow that has no stars without you, and no laughter, and no sleep.”
— excerpt from the book Shantaram, written by Gregory David Roberts (p. 629)

“‘Silence can wound as surely as the twisting lash,’ the poet Sadiq Khan once wrote. But sometimes, being silent is the only way to tell the truth. (p. 870)
— excerpt from the book Shantaram, written by Gregory David Roberts

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