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Infographic of the Day

Dieter Rams’s 10 Principles Of Good Design, Revealed In 10 Clever Posters

Good design is a pair of speaker-shaped boobs. Uh... what?!

  • <p>By Jonathan Yuen. One of Rams’s masterpieces, the RT-20 radio, which is a study in clearly laid out functions.</p>
  • <p>By Abdul Basit Khan. A detail of his poster, showing a quiet classic of design: The wall shields that keep door knobs from destroying a wall.</p>
  • <p>…unlike this guy (girl?). By Roy Poh. [PC types, please direct your outrage to the designer directly.--Ed.]</p>
  • <p>By Yong, a smart take on what "innovation" consists of: An answer to a question that’s never been asked.</p>
  • <p>Taking up as little as possible of the world around.</p>
  • <p>By B.A.L.L.S., a clever nod to the idea that even the curves and detailing of a classic Rams radio can be sexy.</p>
  • <p>By  Daniel Koh. One of the greats of long-lived design, in the constantly changing discipline of typography: Akzidenz Grotesk, which was originally released in 1896 (!).</p>
  • <p>By Edwin Tan, who seems to suggestion that design that is minimal in its approach has the biggest chance of out-surviving its competitors--like the lowly cockroach.</p>
  • <p>By Hanson Ho. An ultrasound of a baby. As Ng points out, reading it is a matter of finding tiny little details amid all the murk.</p>
  • <p>…unlike the letters scattered on this poster, which take up so much empty space (and spell out the word "Gimmicks"). By Larry Peh.</p>
  • 01 /10 | Good Design Makes A Product Understandable

    By Jonathan Yuen. One of Rams’s masterpieces, the RT-20 radio, which is a study in clearly laid out functions.

  • 02 /10 | Good Design Is Unobstrusive

    By Abdul Basit Khan. A detail of his poster, showing a quiet classic of design: The wall shields that keep door knobs from destroying a wall.

  • 03 /10 | Good Design Is Honest

    …unlike this guy (girl?). By Roy Poh. [PC types, please direct your outrage to the designer directly.--Ed.]

  • 04 /10 | Good Design Is Innovative

    By Yong, a smart take on what "innovation" consists of: An answer to a question that’s never been asked.

  • 05 /10 | Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly

    Taking up as little as possible of the world around.

  • 06 /10 | Good Design Is Aesthetic

    By B.A.L.L.S., a clever nod to the idea that even the curves and detailing of a classic Rams radio can be sexy.

  • 07 /10 | Good Design Is Long Lasting

    By Daniel Koh. One of the greats of long-lived design, in the constantly changing discipline of typography: Akzidenz Grotesk, which was originally released in 1896 (!).

  • 08 /10 | Good Design Is As Little Design As Possible

    By Edwin Tan, who seems to suggestion that design that is minimal in its approach has the biggest chance of out-surviving its competitors--like the lowly cockroach.

  • 09 /10 | Good Design Is Thorough, Down To The Last Detail

    By Hanson Ho. An ultrasound of a baby. As Ng points out, reading it is a matter of finding tiny little details amid all the murk.

  • 10 /10 | Good Design Is Useful

    …unlike the letters scattered on this poster, which take up so much empty space (and spell out the word "Gimmicks"). By Larry Peh.

It’s impossible to overstate the influence that Dieter Rams has had on today’s crop of designers, whether you’re talking about Jonathan Ive or Felix Ng. Don’t know about Felix Ng?

Ng is a young Singapore designer and journalist who was so inspired by Rams ("In a way, he put me on the right path," Ng tells Co.Design), he recently curated an exhibit in which 10 like-minded designers created posters that visualize the German legend’s venerated 10 principles of good design.

The images range from reverential (a sketch of Rams’s built-to-last Vitsoe shelves for "Good design is environmentally friendly") to jokey (a guy with his pants down for "Good design is honest") to borderline baffling (a pair of speaker-shaped boobs for "Good design is aesthetic"). No idea if Rams himself would approve of the posters, but he’d have to grant them this: They’re certainly innovative. Incidentally, innovation is "good design" principle No. 1.

[Images courtesy of Felix Ng]

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