A black-and-white portrait of KenKen ZinserMake sense and make better


Find something you like to do and do it with enthusiasm.
—Kenneth “Grandpa” J. Zinser

Don’t avoid the obvious.
—Michael Bierut

Find out who you are and be it on purpose.
—Dolly Parton

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
—Dorothy Parker

Not everything is design, but design is about everything. So do yourself a favor: be ready for anything.
—Michael Bierut

If you do it right, it will last forever.
—Massimo Vignelli

Working without a plan may seem scary. But blindly following a plan that has no relationship with reality is even scarier.
—Jason Fried

Thoughtfulness is free and burns on time and empathy.
—Frank Chimero

The more you are interested in others, the more interesting they find you. To be interesting, be interested.
—Kevin Kelly

Before a lot of advice can be really useful, it’s good to understand why you need that advice.
—Merlin Mann

The details are not the details.
They make the design.
—Charles Eames

There’s a very thin line between simple, clean and powerful, and simple, clean and boring.
—David Carson

To make something good, just do it. To make something great, just re-do it, re-do it, re-do it. The secret to making fine things is in remaking them.
—Kevin Kelly

The most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves.
—Margret Rasfeld

The most effective, most creative problem solvers engage in a process of meta-thinking, or thinking about the thinking.
—Matthew Frederick

Sooner or later, the story you tell needs to be true.
—Seth Godin

Buy a guitar and play in your garage and suck for a while. Don’t worry about a CD or a label, just suck.
—Dave Grohl, via “The Lost Discipline of Practice”

The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald

The first exception should be the hardest one to make. Once you’ve made one, each additional exception gets exponentially easier. Beware that first exception.
—Jason Fried

We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.
—Marshall McLuhan

Anyone who makes up their mind about an issue before they hear the issue is a fool.
—Chris Rock

Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.
—Albert Einstein

Don’t mistake speed for precocity: the world doesn’t need wrong answers in record time.
—Cennydd Bowles

We each have to decide our own comfort level or how much you can tolerate—how much of the unknown, the undefined, and the incomplete you can tolerate.
—Merlin Mann

Amateurs get angry with clients. Professionals educate them.
—Paul Jarvis

I’m not convinced I know how to read, I’ve just memorized a lot of words.
—Nick Miller, New Girl

Aesthetics are debatable, but writing is essential.
—Jason Downey

New is easy. Right is hard.
—Craig Federighi

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve an equation, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
—Robert A. Heinlein

Eventually everything connects.
—Charles Eames

Never delegate understanding.
—Charles Eames

The things that made you weird as a kid make you great today.
—James Victore

Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.

Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting.
—Mike Rowe

Stop counting the hours and start tracking your progress. No one cares how long you struggled to get better… only that you are better.
—Noah Bradley

1,000 bloggers all talking to each other doesn’t get you a report from a war zone.
—Jimmy Wales

Bureaucracy certainly exists, but you decide whether you want to work within it.
—Dan Mall

Anyone can complain about the world, but only a good few can fix it.
—Cennydd Bowles

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.
—Mother Theresa

Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.
—André Gide

Every project is improvable

Being against things got boring

We will do anything for design

We probably eat more avocados than you

Visit Joe’s Shanghai

Love = Oxygen

Keep a business diary

Beauty is part of the function

3rd World offices, 1st world prices

For a good time call (212) 647 1789

Ointment sounds good

Beauty = price


A donkey in a castle doesn’t make it king, it makes the castle a stable.

In matters of style swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.
—Thomas Jefferson

I like people who are not sure of themselves, the perplexed, the modest, those who try to understand.
—Ettore Sottsass

Many people assume they are bad at writing because it is hard. This is like assuming you are bad at weightlifting because the weight is heavy.

Writing is useful because it is hard. It’s the effort that goes into writing a clear sentence that leads to better thinking.
—James Clear

If you need 10 of something, make 30. Then pick the best.
—Rick Rubin

Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I’ve never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.
—Anne Frank

Perfectionism is not as much the desire for excellence, as it is the fear of failure couched in procrastination.
—Dan Miller