Design as Art by Bruno Munari

Quotes I saved

Mathieu Baele
3 min readJun 12, 2023

Everything written below was created for educational purposes for myself and anyone interested. All credits go to Bruno Munari and his book Design as Art.

“Anyone who uses a properly designed object feels the presence of an artist who worked for him, bettering his living conditions and encouraging him to develop his taste and sense of beauty.”

“Our task is to make a new kind of artist, a creator capable of understanding every kind of need: not because he is a prodigy, but because he knows how to approach human needs according to a precise method. We wish to make him conscious of his creative power, not scared of new facts, and independent of formulas in his own work”

“A new kind of artist, an artist useful to society”

“A designer tries to make an object as naturally as a tree puts forth a leaf. He does not smother his object with his own personal taste but tries to be objective. He helps the object.”

“With every innovation the problem arises again and the form of the object may change”

“He works in such a way as to reestablish contact between art and the public, because he has the humility and ability to respond to whatever demand is made of him by society…he responds to the human needs of his time, and helps people to solve certain problems”

“Design is neither style nor applied art. It is planning: the planning as objectively as possible of everything that goes to make up the surroundings and atmosphere in which men live today.”

“A poster must stand out a mile from the other posters displayed around it in the street. It must jump out at you, surprise you, capture your attention by act of banditry. The same thing goes for all the other posters nearby”

“…what should one use to roof a wooden house? A layer of cypress bark of course, for bark is the part of the tree accustomed to alternations of sun and frost, damp and drought, so it will not rot or perish. In using wood for the rest of the house it is always borne in mind that every treetrunk has a back and a front: the front is the part facing the sun, the back is the shady side. They do not put wood that has always been in the shade in a sunny part of the house, or vice versa.”

“…a thing made with precision is also beautiful, and the study of natural and spontaneous forms is of the highest importance to the designer, whose habit it is to use materials according to their nature and their technical characteristics.”

“Manufacturers sometimes have fixations. They impose limitations on themselves. They think that their product can only be used for one particular type of goods. But with experiment and good will one can think of new things to make, and enlarge the commercial possibilities of a given product.”

| Still writing… |


The book helps frame what Design in whatever form it comes out (Graphic, Industrial Design, UX…) really is about. For some designers a lot of what is said is pretty obvious. For others this could help them think about design in a holistic way.

But this book is really for non-designers, giving them an understanding of what we do and why we do it.

This industrie can sometimes be very vague or looks like we just make things pretty or handy. In reality a lot goes into making these products and the best design is the one you don’t think about as a user.

All in all this is a standard read and should, just like ‘The design of everyday things’, be in every bookcase.




Mathieu Baele

Hey there! I am a designer living in Antwerp, Belgium. I love solving problems. This is a way to document my thoughts and research cases.