26 May, 2010

The 10 Commandments of Design: Introduction

I am currently watching a television series called The Genius of Design on BBC 2. I happen to have done a little graphic design, when I lived in London, and it is a subject I find compelling.

Design is ubiquitous in modern life and indeed human life. (In a sense, all human action ids) A
big part of my interest in Comics and Animation centres on the role design plays in how (and whether or not) they work.

Genius of Design focusses on Industrial Design, but I believe that the processes and motivations of design transcend their fields of practice. One of the designers featured on the first programme was Dieter Rams, a German industrial designer whose designs for Braun in the 1960s and '70s are considered iconic.
'Back in the early 1980s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him – “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?'
This, then, is the first of a short series of blog posts musing on design, through the lens of Rams's Ten Commandments of Design:
  • Good design is innovative
  • Good design makes a product useful
  • Good design is aesthetic
  • Good design makes a product understandable
  • Good design is unobtrusive
  • Good design is honest
  • Good design is long lasting
  • Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  • Good design is environmentally friendly
  • Good design is as little design as possible