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A must for all graphic designers: Dieter Rams 10 Principles of Good Design

Dieter Rams 10 Principles of Good Design

As head of design at Braun, the German consumer electronics manufacturer, Dieter Rams (1932-) emerged as one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century by defining an elegant, legible, yet rigorous visual language for its products.

Rams’ objective was to design useful products which would be easy to operate. Yet he achieved much more by dint of the formal elegance and technical virtuosity of his work. Rams’ designs always looked effortless with an exquisite simplicity borne from rigorous tests and experiments with new materials and an obsessive attention to detail to ensure that each piece appeared flawlessly coherent.

Today, Dieter Rams remains an enduring inspiration for younger designers, notably Jonathan Ive and Jasper Morrison, who have acknowledged his influence in their work at Apple and Rowenta respectively. Rams’ work has been celebrated and analysed in numerous exhibitions around the world.

And these are his 10 Principles of good design:

1. Good design is innovative

2. Good design makes a product useful

3. Good design is always aesthetic

4. Good design makes a product understandable

5. Good design is unobtrusive

6. Good design is honest

7. Good design is long lasting

8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail

9. Good design is environmentally friendly

10. Good design is as little design as possible

Adrian Kimpton