No one loves authenticity like a graphic designer. And no one is quite as good at simulating it.

— Michael Bierut

The most satisfaction Michael Bierut quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

BE PURPOSEFUL AND THOUGHTFUL IN THE CHOICES YOU MAKE WHEN THE OPTIONS ARE NEARLY INFINITE.

80

If you do good work for good clients, it will lead to other good work for other good clients. If you do bad work for bad clients, it will lead to other bad work for other bad clients.

72

Most processes leave out the stuff no one wants to talk about: magic, intuition and leaps of faith.

69

Graphic design is the fiction that anticipates the fact.

51

The Nike swash that cost $30 and was designed by a Portland State University art student was probably worth that when she first showed it to them. At that point it had no equity at all. None of the guys commissioning it particularly liked it, they all wanted the Adidas three stripes and they thought that was a good logo.

20

I had a lot of enthusiasms that were very contradictory, I was never very doctrinaire in the type of design I wanted to do.

15

Australia is one of the few places that I can think of where the cities, at least those I've been to, seem to have strikingly different characters and visual textures. To an American like me, there's basically Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and the rest is all bush.

13

I'm not sure about my design work every time.

13

If you can announce the Higgs Boson in Comic Sans, clearly anybody can do anything.

9

I think different designers have different points of view and different strong personalities can influence the way certain cities are perceived.

9

I think once the artistic world of the type designer merged with the scientific world of the computer programmer, you began to see this crossover.

8

The scientists at CERN were actually surprised that people commented on this.

Reportedly Fabiola Gianotti, the coordinator of the CERN program to find the Higgs Boson, was asked why she had selected Comic Sans. She simply said, "Because I like it."

8

About Michael Bierut

Quotes 61 sayings
Profession Graphic Designer
Birthday 1957

I actually don't think that brand new logos are worth that much or mean that much in and of themselves. So why not have a class of third graders compete to design your logo?

6

The truth about logos is that they are not that hard to do.

6

A good cook can make something amazing out of even the blandest ingredients.

Still, you don't want to eat the exact same dish every day.

4

I grew up in a Cleveland suburb called Parma, Ohio.

Somewhere along the way I fell in love with a typeface called Bodoni. It turns out that Giambattista Bodoni had his foundry in Parma, Italy. So I pick Bodoni because us guys from Parma have to stick together.

3

If you look at the Olympic graphics for Mexico or Los Angeles, those programs don't look contemporary by today's eyes but they really look like they are of their place and time.

3

A lot of times, you design a logo to be timeless, but with something like the Olympics, timelessness is maybe not something you should be going for.

3

The design of the notorious Palm Beach County "butterfly ballot" in the 2000 Presidential election is certainly one of them. But I would say most of the time this is less about a conscious attempt to manipulate an outcome, and more about pure ineptitude.

3

For instance, I assume those "carrots" we have on our keyboards were there originally to express "greater than" and "less than." Then they were adopted by coders, and now they show up all the time in the way email addresses are constructed. At least I think that's what happened.

3

I wanted to be a graphic designer from the time I was 15, without ever having actually met one. I lived in the mid-west, not in a media centre, and I didn't know anyone who did that for a living. It took me a while to find out what that thing I wanted to do was actually called, but once I sorted that out I got really interested in it.

3

I believe sans serif typefaces - today upheld as models of neutrality and legibility - were called "Grotesques" in the 19th century because people thought they were hideous. But now we're used to them.

2

A simple MS Word document, or a Powerpoint presentation, has its limits, particularly the unpredictability in how the page will actually display. With a PDF, you are locking down all those variables.

2

The studies I've seen about readability and legibility tend to focus on a specific set of metrics: size, not just the point size, but things like the size of the lower case letters as a proportion of the overall letter height, and line length. People simply can't read really small type set in really long lines.

2

Everyone can have an opinion on a logo.

2

If you ask people in the US what logos they like and recognise, they'll name Target or Nike.

1

I've heard some designers talk about the design process being centred on invention, starting with a blank slate. I admire that and occasionally I'm capable of that, but I have to admit that I really have trouble working with completely open briefs.

1

Compared with now when almost everyone knows what graphic design is and has some sort of access to the tools to make it, back then, it was really esoteric, you had to quantify it as being 'like commercial art', as one still does in certain circles. It was a strange thing to want to do for a living.

1

Good typography, first, makes words readable.

At its best, it does something more: it helps express the animating spirit of the ideas behind the words.

0

I can see how some people get sentimental about how we used to do things in 'the good old days' but in a way I just think they are being nostalgic for the way they were brought up.

0

It was 4 or 5 years into my first design job before the idea of doing graphic design on computers started taking hold. I started working in 1980, the Macintosh was introduced in 1984, then the real desktop publishing only started coming around in 85-86, but it wasn't really until the end of the decade that the transition became irresistible.

0

We use the word typography to describe two different things: the design of letterforms, and the layout of typeset passages on a page. Both of those experiences are really important to communicating information, especially when that information involves complex ideas.

0

If typography is calling attention to itself, it's taking that attention away from what the words are saying.

0

When it comes to working on identities, a lot of the time I find myself working with a company that has been around for a while. No matter what they say their goal is, the history and the impression that they have already made in the minds of the public is a real thing that you have to deal with.

0

The problem contains the solution.

0

People in the UK will say that the design community in the US is much more coherent than other countries. It has no government support at all, so it's really like a grass roots thing.

0

Most people have no idea how much goes into designing a typeface.

Twenty-six letters in the alphabet, usually with two versions of each, upper and lower case. Punctuation and alternate characters and numbers - let's not forget numbers - can add another 40 or so.

0

It was stone carvers in ancient Rome, scribes in the Middle Ages, all the way through Gutenberg to the present day. That's a pretty long track record. More likely we may reach a point where each one of us is a typographer with our own custom proprietary typeface.

0

I'm not an expert in typefaces that serve scientific writing, but I'd guess that's another dozen or two.

0

We get used to things, and we like reading the way we're used to reading.

0

I have a really shallow idea about what Australia is.

0

Not everything is design. But design is about everything. So do yourself a favor: be ready for anything.

0

Simplicity, wit, and good typography.

0

I'm always conscious of the context, the history, the specific environment of anything that I design and what it is going to be operating within.

0

I've never really acquired any facility for working on the computer, though one day I think I would like to. My generation just barely missed it, which I don't think is a good thing or a bad thing.

0

I think that you could design a terrible logo for a good company with great people and they could build it into a great program. Alternatively you could design what seems to be a brilliant logo for people who are not smart or energetic or are incapable of associating with anything positive and it would become a terrible logo.

0

I have half a dozen designers who work for me, they 'realise' most of the design work, and I act as the design director and the main point of client contact on each project.

0

Australia seems to strike a balance between big and small.

It's big enough to have that diversity, but not so big that it disintegrates into something that is not connected.

0

Every little job counts. Design counts.

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