Dieter Rams ten design principles

Dieter Rams Ten Design Principles: Recently I wrote about Jonathan Ive design interview quotes, and if you're familiar with industrial design and Apple design, you know you can't mention Jonathan Ive without also mentioning Dieter Rams, a world famous designer for Braun.

(If you don't know why I say that you can't think of Apple or Jonathan Ive without thinking of Dieter Rams, this Gizmodo article shows the amazing comparisons between Mr. Rams' designs and current Apple products.)

Dieter Rams 10 design principles (commandments)

So, to give Dieter Rams a little honor and credit -- both for his work at Braun and the evolution of his work at Apple — here are the famous "Dieter Rams 10 Design Principles":

  • 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

You can find a deeper discussion of these "Dieter Rams ten design principles" on the Vitsoe website. (Mr. Rams designed the "606 Universal Shelving System" for Vitsoe back in 1960.)

Dieter Rams design quotes

I haven't been able to find many quotes from Mr. Rams, but here are a few Dieter Rams design interview quotes that I have found so far:

"Things which are different in order simply to be different are seldom better, but that which is made to be better is almost always different."

"My goal is to omit everything superfluous so that the essential is shown to best possible advantage."

"The first thing was that it had to be very easy for people to use; it could not be overloaded with functions that only technicians could understand. Products have to be designed in a way that they are comprehensible. We know most people don't like to read instruction manuals."

"Having small touches of colour makes it more colourful than having the whole thing in colour. Having a cigarette lighter in colour means it can be like a flower on a table."

"It had always been my opinion not to use bright colours for Braun products… they must stay in the background, must harmonise with any environment. Strong colours could upset and confuse."

"At Braun they were always willing to take a risk - nobody could tell you if a product would become successful. We as designers cannot work in a vacuum. The entrepreneur has to want it; the people at the top of the company have to want it."

(These Dieter Rams design quotes come from and

Dieter Rams design - Resources

I'll come back and work on this some more in the future, but for now, here are a few links to some Dieter Ram design resources:

For the record, I have these Dieter Rams design principles (also known as the "Dieter Rams Ten Commandments") posted on a wall near my work area. I also have folders containing everything I've been able to find on both Dieter Rams and Jonathan Ive.

I'm sure that's a little geeky, but I like to be able to look around and easily see the words from Dieter Rams and the other Jonathan Ive design quotes I wrote about yesterday. I think we all need some design inspiration from time to time, and this is one way I get mine.

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