Ten Principles of Design – Dieter Rams

Innovative. Useful. Aesthetic. Understandable. Honest. Unobtrusive. Long lasting. Consequent to the last detail. Environmentally friendly. As little as possible.

“Konsequent bis ins letzte Detail.” Translated as thorough down to the last detail. That’s a lousy translation. Rams says literally consequent/consistent to the last detail. Meaning, integrated in each and every aspect.

Dieter Rams – German 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 had Ten Principles of Good Design: Innovative. Usable. Aesthetic. Understandable. Discreet. Honest. Durable. Consistent to the last detail. Environmental. Minimalistic. Watch this excellent long-form interview with Dieter Rams on YouTube.

More Dieter Rams

Product designer Dieter Rams became famous in the 20th century for his household products. Rams’ credo: “less is more” was a garantee for success. And some fifty years ago he came up with his 10 principles of good design. These guidelines remain valid even to this day.

See Dieter Rams’ famous Schneewittchensarg, in English Snow White’s Coffin. designed when he Rams was only 24 year old, and on the market in 1954. The Schneewittchensarg was considered a revolutionary in design.

denken mit auf Augenhöhe

“Bei aller Strategie bleiben wir menschlich: Wir hören zu, denken mit und kommunizieren auf Augenhöhe.” In English: “Yes, it’s about strategy. But more importantly it’s about people. We are people. We listen. We think with. And we communicate at eye-level.”

Think with. At eye-level. That’s it. The German logic. In black and white. Clear as a bell.

The quote is from gambit. A Germany-based marketing and communications agency. Specialists. Serving companies who build buildings. gambit understands architects and interior designers.

I stumbled across gambit when noticing how superb the Simonswerk website is. Created by gambit. Simonswerk. A German mid-sized company located near Hanover, with a strong presence in France, Italy, and most importantly in the United States.

And why the term gambit as the name of their agency? They provide the definition on their website: “gambit [gæmbit], n. (Schach) einleitender Schachzug, (in conversation) einleitende Bemerkung.”

From MerriamWebster: “A chess opening in which a player risks one or more pawns or a minor piece to gain an advantage in position; a remark intended to start a conversation or make a telling point.”