What Is Good Design?

Design, like art can be subjective. Industrial designer Dieter Rams constructed the ten principles of design that he thought, made a good design.  These include:

1.Good Design is innovative: it is something that has not been created before.

2.Good Design is aesthetic: it is pleasing to look at.

3.Good Design is durable: it is a product that is not disposable and will be thrown away within two years or will not be remembered.

4.Good Design is concerned with the environment: it considers the effect of the design on the landscape and the use of raw materials.

5.Good Design makes a product useful: it has a purpose.

6.Good Design helps a product to be understood :the product explains itself and has a clear purpose.

7.Good design is unobtrusive: it’s more about function than the look.

8.Good Design is honest: it shouldn’t manipulate buyers or be fake.

9.Good Design is thorough to the last detail: it considers every single aspect of the design process.

10.Good Design is a little design as possible: the more simple it is, the better the product is.


Similarly to Dieter Rams, Austrian designer Victor Papanek believes that good design has a positive effect on people and the environment. He explains “The designer’s responsibility must go far beyond these considerations. His social and moral judgeament must be bought into play long before he begins to design.”(Panpanek, 1971, pg 232). He continues to explain a good designer takes into consideration the several minorities spread across the world, a good design is adaptable and can be used by everyone.



Papanek, V (1971). Do-it-yourself murder: The social and moral responsibility of the designer, from design for the real world. Chicago, Chicago Review Press.

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