“Whitespace is not so much a luxury
as it is a prerequisite.”
Mandy Brown, Creative Director, W. W. Norton & Company
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 10+ years doing design, it is that problem and solution emerge not sequentially, but concurrently.”
Cameron Moll, Designer, Author, Speaker
“So in one sense, mastering grids is a very low-level, roll-up-your-sleeves kind of thing. But I think in a larger sense, it’s an important part in every designer’s growth because it trains you to see and think about context, how smaller parts fit into a larger whole. Once you begin ordering elements with a grid, then you inevitably apply similar logic to the entirety of a document or site or what have you, and then to the process and workflow that drive your design brief, and then perhaps to the organization as a whole. Rigorous thinking about small details can effect meaningful changes in the big picture.”
Khoi Vinh, Co-Founder of Lascaux Co.
“The more that I think of myself, truly, in the best sense of the word, as a vessel for the writer, as simply there to present the writer’s ideas, the less self-conscious I become and the more I am able to lose myself completely. I think that I’m one of the few actors now on a film set who doesn’t ever look at the video. It’s become habitual for actors to get up after a take and run and watch, and I think it’s a mistake, and I think directors should ban actors from doing it ... because I think that every time you go over to the video, no matter how honest you’ve been on camera, there’s a shard of you that says ‘I look better if I do this’ or ‘Oh my voice’ ... Now I won’t look because I want the process to be the reward.”
Frank Langella, Actor
“A client comes to you with a definition of the problem, or ideas about what they want to accomplish. Sometimes they have a sophisticated view of it, sometimes they don’t. I find myself frequently spending time with the client redefining the problem, backing up, going back to the beginning. Not infrequently the ‘problem’ turns out to be the ‘symptom.’ You have to sometimes move back, in order to move forward to really understand what the nature of the solution should be.”
Saul Bass, Graphic Designer, Filmmaker
“I find working on letterforms to be very relaxing. It allows my mind to slow down and I can background process the day’s events while focusing intensely on something on a very micro level. I get stressed very easily, and working with type forces me to focus intently, which calms me down considerably. I also have insomnia, and I spend that time working on type, which keeps me from getting upset that I can’t get to sleep.”
Corey Holms, Graphic Designer
“So brand-building, whether for individuals or brands, depends on increasing the value you deliver and how you do it. Your brand is not the perception you want to create; it’s the reality of who you are. It’s not the way to get noticed; it’s what you do on a daily basis. It’s not about being different for the sake of being different; it’s about delivering unique value to your customers by being the only person who does what you do the way you do it.”
Denise Lee Yohn, Owner and Consulting Partner of Denise Lee Yohn, Inc.
“Good design is simple. You hear this from math to painting. In math it means that a shorter proof tends to be a better one. Where axioms are concerned, especially, less is more. It means much the same thing in programming. For architects and designers it means that beauty should depend on a few carefully chosen structural elements rather than a profusion of superficial ornament. (Ornament is not in itself bad, only when it's camouflage on insipid form.) Similarly, in painting, a still life of a few carefully observed and solidly modelled objects will tend to be more interesting than a stretch of flashy but mindlessly repetitive painting of, say, a lace collar. In writing it means: say what you mean and say it briefly.”
Paul Graham, Essayist, Programmer, Programming Language Designer
“Design is about the underlying purpose and what you want to communicate. Design as decoration, or design without purpose, often hurts more than it helps.”
Garrett Dimon, Designer/Developer, Next Update
“To me, design is primarily a verb, not a noun. The interactions and conversations that guide it are very important to the final result.”
Susan Everett, Designer and Creative Consultant, Susan Everett Design
“To be able to build a brand, you need to be yourself.”
Steve Ells, Founder, Chipotle
“We’d much rather fail with a bunch of sketches that we did (relatively) quickly and cheaply, than once we’ve modeled, rigged, shaded, animated, and lit the film. ‘Fail fast,’ that’s the mantra. With a team of 10–20 people (director, story artists, editorial staff, production designer and artists, and skeleton production management) you can make, remake, and remake again a movie that once it hits 3D will take an order of magnitude more people to execute. The complexity of the task does not ramp up linearly.”
Michael B. Johnson, Moving Pictures Group, Pixar
“There’s no such thing as simple.
Simple is hard.”
Martin Scorsese, Filmmaker
“There’s a little design in everything.
It’s up to us to find it.”
Tom Ema, Graphic Designer
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