The Ten Principles of Good Design: Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams is a world renowned German industrial designer known for his clean, innovative designs for Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design. In the 1970s, Rams introduced the concept of “sustainable development and of obsolescence being a crime” in design.

The ten principles of good design according to Dieter Rams are…

Innovative : The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

Useful : People purchase products to be used. A product must not only be well designed but it must be functional.

Aesthetic : A well designed product must be beautiful. Usefulness and aesthetic go hand-in-hand. You want the consumer to purchase it out of aesthetic but also use the product.

Understandable : What’s the sense in designing a beautiful product if the user does not understand its functionality. A good product is not complicated.

Unobtrusive : A product should not demand attention other than the fact that it is useful and beautiful. A good product is neutral and restrained.

Honest : A good product does not make promises it cannot keep. They are a representation of their function – nothing more, nothing less.

Long-lasting : A good product goes beyond trends, instead they are ageless.

Thorough Down to the Last Detail : Care and detail are an integral part of a good design.

Environmentally Friendly : Good design uses as few resources as possible and fits in with the environment.

As Little Design as Possible : Unnecessary excess and frills take away from a good design. Simplicity, form and function is important in the creation of a good product.

And because I can’t help myself, I’ve created an infographic depicting Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles of Good Design.

10 Principles of GoodDesign


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