Less, but better - 10 Principles for Good Design
As a long-time believer in minimalism, it’s no secret that I am a fan of simplicity and clarity-so it’s no surprise that Dieter Rams (an industrial designer most known for his work at Braun) is one of my personal heros. Many of the products he has designed (ranging from coffee makers to calculators) have been permanently added to museums and galleries the world over-including the MoMA in New York City. Not only are these objects highly coveted by museums, collectors, and designerds (myself included) they’ve served as a beacon of inspiration and influence for decades. Perhaps the most accessible example of this influence is Apple. Many of Dieter Rams’ principles shine through the Apple products designed by Jonathan Ive—Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design—and I think that’s one of the reasons they are so often admired.
Dieter Rams’ design approach/philosophy is the main reason he has been able to consistently create work that is exceptional, timeless, and highly influential. Although Rams’ principles for good design are chiefly related to industrial design, I believe that these tenants transcend this discipline and can apply to the entire field of design. It’s easy to see how the following could apply to graphic design, architecture, industrial design, web design, and almost every other design discipline. So without further adieu, Dieter Rams’ 10 principles for good design:
Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design makes a product understandable.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is long-lasting.
Good design is thorough, down to the last detail.
Good design is environmentally friendly.
Good design is as little design as possible.