Dieter Rams
10 principles of good Design

Published: 29.07.2022

Dieter Rams famous 10 principles of good design have become iconic and have inspired designers across the world.
Born in Wiesbaden on May 20, 1932, Dieter Rams soon made a name for himself in the field of industrial design. Over the course of half a century, he has developed more than 500 products ranging from audio to furniture. In the 19070s Dieter Rams has laid out of a list of 10 principles which made history ever since. This straightforward list lays out the fundamentals of good design, which are valid up to this day decades after.

Dieter Rams design philosophy of "Less, but better." along with his famous 10 principles are building the fundamentals of the successful & iconic Braun designs which have ultimately inspired other famous brands (such as Apple) and designers (ie. Johnathan Ive) across the world. With no further ado, here are the ten fundamental principles of good design:

Ten principles of good design by D.Rams - Photo: Abisag Tüllmann, Source: Vitsœ
01. Good Design Is Innovative

In design, technological development ensures that new opportunities for innovation are always emerging. However, innovation should never be used as an arbitrary novelty. It serves the function of the product, which can make significant progress as a result.

02. Good Design Makes a Product Useful

People buy products in order to use those. Products should fulfill certain functions - primary functions as well as complementary psychological and aesthetic functions. Good design optimizes usability and disregards everything that does not serve this goal or even contradicts it.

03. Good Design Is Aesthetic

The aesthetic quality of a product is an integral aspect of its usability. After all, devices that we use every day shape our personal environment and influence our sense of well-being. However, only what is well made can be beautiful.

04. Good Design Makes A Product Understandable

Good design eliminates the need to read an instruction manual. In the best case, the design speaks to the user and explains itself. It clarifies the structure of the product in a clear way. Even more: It can make the product speak.

05. Good design is unobtrusive

Products that serve a purpose have a tool character. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be neutral, let the tools take a back seat and give people room for self-realization.

06. Good design is honest

It does not make a product appear more innovative, more powerful, more valuable than it really is. It does not try to manipulate the consumer by making promises that it then cannot keep.

07. Good design is durable

It avoids being fashionable and therefore never seems antiquated. In marked contrast to short-lived fashion design, it lasts for many years, even in today's throwaway society.

08. Good design is consequent to the last detail

Nothing should be left to arbitrariness or chance. Thoroughness and accuracy of design are ultimately an expression of respect for the consumer.

09. Good design is eco-friendly

Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It incorporates the conservation of resources as well as the minimization of physical and visual pollution into product design.

10. Good design is as little design as possible

Less design is more, concentrating on the essentials rather than cluttering products with superfluous features. Back to the original, to the simple!

These principles are timeless. They will never be outdated and we will still be using them in 100 years from now to create successful products for customers. We hope Dieter Rams' 10 principles for good Design will inspire you as it inspired thousands of designers worldwide!


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