Design is impossible to ignore, good or bad. Besides visually sending a message, companies such as Apple started using design as a competitive differentiator. Design is inspiring the creation of methodologies and business models such as Design Thinking and Canvas. It’s grown beyond its original meaning. So, what is design?
Although design has different connotations in different fields, we can all agree that design is a way to solve problems visually. It can be through planning, building or creating. The deliverable could be a concept, a plan, a system, an object, anything.
Dieter Rams, a German industrial designer and retired academic, has been involved in design for seven decades and has received many honorary appellations throughout his career. He introduced the idea of sustainable development and of obsolescence being a crime in design in the 1970s. He asked himself the question: “Is my design good design?” The answer he formed became the basis for his celebrated ten principles. Rams once explained his design approach as “Less, but better”. Today, you will find out what is “a good design” according to Dieter Rams.
A good design is:
The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
Makes a product useful
A product is bought to be used. It has to meet certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
Makes a product understandable
It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.
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 user’s self-expression.
It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.
Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
As little design as possible
Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
After learning about what is “a good design” by Dieter, reflect about how you can apply this lesson in your life.
Let’s think about your ads:
- Are you being Innovative? Do you think outside the box?
- Are you being useful to your audience?
- Do you worry about aesthetic?
- Do people understand your message?
- Does it seem natural, like it belongs there?
- Are you being honest?
- Are the message and design compatible with your brand identity and purpose? Do your customers have a clear understanding of your brand in their mind?
- Did you put a lot of thought into it? Did you pay attention to the details?
- When you create an advert, do you consider the material, printing and distribution process?
- Is it simple?
There are lots of questions to consider, I know. So, let us help you!
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