Jeremy Allan

Travel & Design Blog

Designer Series 001 - Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams

First Exposure

Dieter Rams was one of the first well known designers I became aware of, while in school. Like many, my first exposure to Dieter was when I was shown the influence his work has had on Apple's design, the computer company. The reason that is of interest in the conversation of Dieter Rams, is that the appreciation for his design philosophy, which was developed in the 50's, is one key characteristics to Apple's success. Giving only what the consumer needs and nothing more, has lead both him and Apple to be some of the pioneers in minimal design. This minimalism through functionality, is what differentiates the design work Dieter Rams has created from those around him, throughout his career. 

Influence in my personal work

The way I view the work of Dieter Rams, is the same way I do while formulating sentences when trying to convey something important. Meaning the best way to get any message across is to be as concise & straight forward as possible. Selecting each word, or in relation to design, each "feature" with intention. Removing every feature that isn't absolutely necessary to better tell your story.  The attention to detail, in which you are selecting what to display and what not to display, makes all of the difference. I believe that Dieter Rams's philosophy about lasting design is was makes him relevant today. One of the key characteristics for him while designing is being environmentally friendly design. There are a couple ways of achieving this goal, one of which would be designing goods to last both physically and aesthetically over time. Some of the work that Rams did could be released in five years and still look like a brand new product, relevant to the trends currently in the market. That is pretty crazy considering how outdated some products look after just a couple years, while a coffee machine designed by Dieter Rams from 1969 is still relevant in terms of design. I want to leave you with the design principles that Dieter Rams created in the 1950's, with the thought that they would change and evolve over time. It's already been fifty years and these principles haven't changed, the reason behind that is due to their relevance to society and design as a whole.

10 Design Principles

  1. Good Design is innovative
  2. Good design must be useful.
  3. Good design is aesthetic design.
  4. Good design makes a product understandable.
  5. Good design is honest.
  6. Good design is unobtrusive.
  7. Good design is long-lasting.
  8. Good design is consistent in every detail.
  9. Good design is environmentally friendly.
  10. Good design is as little design as possible.
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