Adrian Shaughnessy 

Again not someone who I see directly as an inspiration but my COP was based on things he has said - most of which I agree with. I have read quite a few of his books and I admire his no bullshit attitude towards design. 

"By turning design into branding, we've allowed creativity to pass into their control. By abandoning its mystique for the dull science of branding, we've lost the one incalculable gift we can give out clients - the rebel yell of genuine creative vision."

"The simple reality is that, in most cases, marketing leads and design follows. Marketing that hires designers to put flesh on their plans and schemes, result in design that is generally subordinate, where as it should be an equal partner." 

"As branding is increasingly seen as little more than hype and spin, and part of the coercion industry, design becomes tarnished in the eyes of users and practitioners alike."

"We cannot claim to have a monopoly of virtue. But we can claim to have a tradition of honesty and integrity that we can relieve if we chose to remember graphic design is about the way a company presents itself truthfully and not the way it would like to be seen."

"There is an important role for designers in the creation of honest, functional and clear depiction of any venture's public facing image, but when that becomes confused with the creation of what the brand gurus call brand values, problems ensue."