“It is part of the photographer’s job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveler who enters a strange country...I believe this power of seeing the world as fresh and strange lies hidden in every human being...We are most of us too busy, too worried, too intent on proving ourselves right, too obsessed with ideas, to stand and stare. We look at a thing and believe we have seen it. And yet what we see is often only what our prejudices tell us to expect to see, or what our past experience tells us should be seen, or what our desires want to see. Very rarely are we able to free our minds of thoughts and emotions and just see for the simple pleasure of seeing. And so long as we fail to do this, so long will the essence of things be hidden from us.”

Bill Brandt, Camera in London, 1948

“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 Exupéry

“Beauty is the ultimate defense against complexity.”

David Gelernter

“You are what you are seen to be.”

Erik Spiekermann

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Pablo Picasso

“It is not daily increase but daily decrease; hack away the unessential.”

Bruce Lee (an expert at hacking away)

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think about only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution isn'’t beautiful, I know it is wrong.”

Richard Buckminster Fuller

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”


“I tell you: one must have chaos in one to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you still have chaos in you.”


“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”

Pema Chödrön

“Design, done well, requires that you be ever-present but invisible.”

Greg Galle

“If graphic designers can learn anything from their past, it should be that the best graphic design doesn't use the past to solve the complex problems of the present: it uses the present to reveal the possibilities of the future.”

Jeffery Keedy

“A well-defined problem is half solved.”

Michael Osborne

“Expectations deny discoveries.”

Rick Valicenti

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, keep me here.”


“Sometimes a cowboy's just a man in a cowboy suit.”

John Vanderslice

“The cruelest lies are often told without a word. The kindest truths are often spoke but never heard.”

Ben Folds

“It has been my observation that people are just about as happy as they make up their minds bo be.”

Abe Lincoln

“A designer...has the true responsibility to give his audiences not what they think they want, for this is almost invariably the usual, the accustomed, the obvious, and hence, the unspontaneous. Rather, he should provide that quality of thought and intuition which rejects the ineffectual commonplace for effectual originality.”

Lester Beall, from “The Creative Process of Lester Beall” by Roger Remington, Step-By Step Graphics, July/August 1990, p 120-129

“Edges are important because they define a limitation in order to deliver us from it. When we come to an edge, we come to a frontier that tells us that we are now about to become more than we have been before. As long as one operates in the middle of things, one can never really know the nature of the medium in which one moves.”

William Irwin Thompson

“You cannot understand the universe without learning first to understand the language in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its letters are triangles, circles and other geometric forms. Without this language humans cannot understand a single word of the universe. Without it we wander in a dark labyrinth.”

Galileo Galilei

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Albert Einstein

“Mud thrown is ground lost.”


“The strategy in communications is not to sell the quarter-inch drill bit, but the quarter-inch hole. The message needs to be results oriented.”

Rober Louey, Principal, Louey Rubino Design

“We are in the self-expression business. Just not our own.”

Greg Galle, Designer and member of C2 LLC

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

Henry Miller

“Art takes wind from the platform of reality. We observe reality; we may or may not feel anything about it. If we do feel something, we may have a moment of recognition of the imperative subject and its qualities in terms of a photograph. In a sense this is a mystical experience, a revelation of the world that transcends fact and reaches into the spirit.”

Ansel Adams, Polaroid Land Manual, pg. 69

“That's been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Steven Jobs, BusinessWeek, May 1998

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple—that's creativity.”

Charles Mingus

“First you learn your instrument. Then you learn music. Then you forget both of those and just blow.”

Dizzy Gillespie