The Designer Says

Tweet-sized advice from design legends


“I just want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.” – Saul Bass

Framed as a call-and-response between designers, “The Designer Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom” delivers hundreds of quotable blurbs from the industry’s leading minds. Each spread pits two designers against each other on a given theme, creating a mock dialogue in the process. As they debate the utility of the grid system, the problem with money and the importance of authenticity, their wisdom comes across in gorgeous type and succinct humor. Published by Princeton Architectural press and compiled by Sara Bader of Quotenik, the pocket companion makes for an inspirational reference with words from the likes of Saul Bass, Stephen Doyle, Milton Glaser, Chip Kidd and Paula Scher.


The snippets range from very specific advice to general mantras, and some are even tweet-sized biographical notes. As Tobias Frere-Jones relates, “I was thrown out of French class for a day because I was in the back of the room drawing a lowercase k. It was then that I knew I should go to art school.”

“The Designer Says” is available from Princeton Architectural Press and Amazon.

Images by James Thorne