Artist Resources

Daily Inspiration: Great Designers on Bad Design

Great designers can inspire us to build better, think harder, and create more for the future. They can also say some pretty snarky things about design. To celebrate the industry’s snark and disdain towards mediocrity, here is a series of quotes by great designers talking smack about bad design. Some are lofty and inspired by mass media culture, while others are unashamedly abrupt and would be best discussed over a drink ¬†(or two) with someone like architect Juan Carlos¬†Fernandez.

"Good design goes to heaven; bad design goes everywhere." - Mieke Gerritzen
"The public is more familiar with bad design than good design. It is, in effect, conditioned to prefer bad design, because that is what it lives with. The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring." - Paul Rand
"The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design." - Massimo Vignelli
"Bad design is smoke, while good design is a mirror." - Juan-Carlos Fernandez
"Thinking about design is hard, but not thinking about it can be disastrous." - Ralph Caplan
"There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite." - Paul Gauguin
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." - Douglas Adams
"People ignore design that ignores people." - Frank Chimero
"If the users can't find it, the functions not there." - Human Factors International

[Header image: “Advantage Giraffe” by TheBensanity]