How Dieter Rams Shaped the Design of Apple and Other Brands

Off topic,Digital,

designer dieter rams portrait

Dieter Rams' impact on the world of modern design is indisputable.

The design principles theorized by Rams have shaped the aesthetic and functional philosophy of several brands and especially influenced one of the most innovative technological giants: Apple.


  • Who is Dieter Rams?
  • Dieter Rams' Mantra: “Less is Better”
  • Dieter Rams' 10 Principles of Good Design
  • Dieter Rams: The Inspirer of Apple
  • Conclusions

Who is Dieter Rams?

Dieter Rams is a German designer. An emblematic figure in the world of design, known for his minimalist philosophy and his lasting impact on modern aesthetics. 

In collaboration with Braun staff, he created numerous memorable products, including the famous SK-4 turntable and the 'D' series projector. He is also known for designing the 606 Universal shelving system, produced by Vitsœ in 1960.

Many of its products, such as coffee makers, calculators, radios, audiovisual equipment and office supplies, are now displayed in numerous museums around the world, including MoMA in New York.

His career has spanned decades, during which he has transformed the concept of functionality by mixing it with a clean and timeless aesthetic. With a vision that emphasizes practicality without compromising style, Rams has become a mainstay in the field of industrial design.

Dieter Rams' Mantra: “Less is Better”

Dieter Rams' mantra, “Less is better,” encapsulates his design philosophy. This approach focuses on removing superfluous elements, promoting a form of design that is not only visually appealing but also functionally pure.

This philosophy has gained global admiration, influencing numerous designers and brands seeking to emulate its aesthetic of simple, clean elegance.

Dieter Rams' 10 Principles of Good Design

1. Innovation

Your brand design should be a trailblazer, not simply following trends, but shaping them. Make sure each visual not only grabs attention, but also invites reflection and action.

2. Utilities

Every aspect of your design should add value to the user experience. Whether it's the navigability of the website or the functionality of the packaging, design serves utility.

3. Aesthetics

The visual aspect of your brand must evoke positive emotions and connect on a personal level with your audience, making your product irresistibly attractive.

4. Understandability

The design should make your product or service easier to understand. Intuitive infographics, clear packaging and easily navigable websites are essential.

5. Non-invasive

Design should enrich the experience, not dominate it. The visual elements must be balanced and complementary, not overwhelming.

6. Honesty

Avoid exaggerating your product's capabilities through design. Transparency earns customer trust and builds lasting relationships.

7. Duration

While fashions come and go, good design stands the test of time. Focus on a visual identity that remains current and fresh, without bowing to ephemeral trends.

8. Attention to Detail

From typography to color palette, every detail of your design must reflect the quality and consistency of your brand. 

9. Eco-sustainability

In an age of growing environmental awareness, responsible design is not only ethical, but also expected by consumers.

10. Minimalism

The essence of design is to minimize excess. A simple, effective design is often the most powerful.

Dieter Rams: The Inspirer of Apple

Dieter Adams has had a profound influence on many companies, but perhaps none as greatly as Apple. His imprint is clearly seen in the minimalist and functional design of Apple products. 

Adams' philosophy helped shape Apple's aesthetic direction, emphasizing the cleanliness, functionality, and technological sophistication that now define the brand. The influence of Dieter Rams' design is clearly visible in Jonathan Ive's works for Apple, such as the iMac, the iPod (explicitly inspired by Rams' Radio T3) and the iPhone.
Another example is the iOS 6 calculator app which is inspired by the style of the Braun ET66 calculator designed by Rams.


Dieter Adams remains a tower of strength in modern design. His impact goes beyond the products he created; his true legacy is in the way he taught the world to think about design. With his mantra “Less is better,” Adams not only defined the principles of good design but also left an indelible mark on contemporary visual culture.
His legacy continues to influence new generations of designers and brands, confirming that good design is, indeed, timeless.

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