Good Design Principles
Portrait of Dieter Rams. German architect and one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century.

Dieter Rams

The German architect Dieter Rams served as a designer for the Braun manufacturing company from 1955 to 1997. He frequently gave lectures on design. He began creating rules in the 1970s to define what makes a good design. The initial list included six design principles and grew to ten by 1985. This list is his current version, completed in 2003.


Good Design is innovative.

Constant technological advancement means that there are always new possibilities for innovative design, and both must keep growing together.


Good Design makes a product useful.

Rams said, “A product is bought to be used.” A product is useful if it is effective, easy to use, and pleasant to look at.


Good Design is aesthetic.

Humans react to beauty with positive emotions, so having beautiful objects in our environment contributes to our overall well-being, which is one of the goals of good design.


Good Design makes a product understandable.

Good design is user-friendly. The consumer should be able to use the product without having to learn a lot of complicated instructions.


Good Design is honest.

Clever packaging and catchy marketing are no replacement for genuine usefulness. Truly Good Design speaks for itself.


Good Design is unobtrusive.

The beauty of Good Design should be simple and understated, never flashy or opulent.


Good Design is long-lasting.

Good Design isn’t trendy–it never goes out of style.


Good Design is thorough down to the last detail.

A Good Design includes exactly what it needs to perform its function well, nothing more or less


Good Design is environmentally friendly.

Materials, manufacturing methods, and product function are all planned with conservation of the environment in mind.


Good Design is as little design as possible.

Good Design focuses on simplicity in both appearance and function.