Dieter Rams —
the creator of Braun style
Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer, one of the most iconic and authoritative modern designers, the creator of the concept of functional simplicity and Braun style. it was Rams who came up with that intuitive and simple design of consumer electronics for the Braun brand, the idea that is now actively exploited by Apple.
Rams made modern design both understandable and aesthetic at the same time. his unobtrusive approach and belief in «smaller but better» design have allowed Braun products to achieve worldwide recognition and have influenced the appearance of a range of industrial products. Household appliances created by Rams are elegant and simple, they interact with the user openly and honestly: the geometric shape of the products is proportional and minimalistic, the function of the device is always clearly marked, the control buttons are located logically and conveniently.
design principles of Dieter Rams
Rams developed the idea of timeless design, design that does not become obsolete. he just asked himself the question: how perfect is my design? and as a response formulated 10 rules of good design:
the visual aesthetics of a product should not be an end in itself, it is, first of all, designed to reflect technical progress. modern technologies are new perspectives for the creation of industrial products with original design.
makes a product useful
if a product is purchased for use, it must be useful and meet not only functional but also aesthetic and psychological standards. good design emphasizes the usefulness of the product without distracting from understanding its main function.
the visual appeal of a product is an integral part of its usefulness, only a well-executed product can be beautiful.
makes a product understandable
good design clearly reflects the structure and function of the product and makes them intuitive.
products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the users self-expression.
it does not make a product more innovative, powerful, or valuable than it actually is. it does not attempt to manipulate a person with promises that cannot be kept.
it avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. unlike the design created in line with the immediate trends, good design never loses its relevance.
is thorough down to the last detail
no element of design should be overlooked. A rigorous design approach demonstrates respect for the consumer.
is environmentally friendly
good design makes an important contribution to protecting the environment. it not only conserves natural resources, but also minimizes the physical and visual stress that a person experiences when using the product.
good design should have as little design as possible; less, but better — these phrases of Dieter Rams have become winged in the design environment. he suggests returning to cleanliness and simplicity of forms, concentrating on the fundamentally important properties of the product and not overloading the design with irrelevant details.
the essence of Rams’ approach to design lies in the phrase «weniger, aber besser», which translates as «less but better.» Rams has developed a range of memorable products for Braun, including the famous sk-4 record player and d-series slide projectors. By designing a design based on strict aesthetics and consumer convenience, in the 1950s Rams made Braun electronics recognizable throughout the world.
one of the first projects of Rams for the Braun was the design of the sk-4 radio receiver, which made a splash in the consumer equipment market: a laconic rectangular case without any decorative frills was equipped with a transparent plexiglass cover. this model became the reference point for the release of the Braun series of high-quality electronics and defined the company’s design policy for many decades to come.
Rams managed to create a single line that permeates the design of all Braun products, known as the Braun style and is easily recognizable by the consumer. he came up with a distinctive image for a whole galaxy of household items with simple shapes, clean lines and an achromatic black-white-gray color scheme. this design is based on an orderly and clear constructive solution without unnecessary complication, on the desire to make the thing as useful and convenient as possible to operate.
Dieter Rams was born in 1932 in Wiesbaden. He was strongly influenced by the presence of his grandfather, a carpenter. As a boy, Dieter spent a lot of time in his grandfather’s carpentry workshop. His grandfather did not accept any technical innovations and relied purely on common sense and rational simplicity. these childhood memories had a significant impact on the formation of the views of the future designer and predetermined his further path. In 1953 Rams graduated from the School of Arts and Crafts in Wiesbaden with honors, in 1955 he joined Braun as an architect and interior designer, and in the period of 1961-1995 he was the head of Braun’s design division.