Less, but better: 10 best Dieter Rams designs

Less, but better: get acquainted with the works of the famous industrial designer Dieter Rams, which set the tone for innovative and functional design

Considered one of design’s world geniuses, Dieter Rams‘ four-decade work for Braun and British company Vitsoe has made him a living icon.

Artists and designers all around the globe follow his 10 Principles of Good Design, which continue to inspire a whole generation even today.

Dieter Rams’ designs embody the beauty of true simplicity and modesty.

His products were made to improve people’s lives, not to showcase his own glory.

The designer’s work could happily sit in the background without trying to attract attention. Still, it looks so good you can’t help but want to look at it!

Did you know that Rams was the first to get rid of instruction manuals?

In fact, the renowned designer can be proud of being the author of many firsts.

With our help, discover 10 of the best and most famous Dieter Rams designs.

1. SK 4 Phonosuper

Dieter Rams’ approach has played an important role in design history.

His sculptural timelessness and minimalism were something unseen in the mass-production world.

The radio-phonograph created in 1956 was one of his most iconic works for Braun, which secured the company’s success.

It’s incredibly detailed while still remaining a compact and simple design.

SK4 by Dieter Rams
© SK4 by Dieter Rams

2. Braun Lectron System

Complicated concepts showed in a simple way – this is a principle that weaves through all of Dieter Rams’ work, especially the Braun Lectron System.

Created by Rams and Juergen Gruebel, it was used as an educational aid in schools to explain the modular magnetic brick system.

Braun Lectron System by Dieter Rams
© Braun Lectron System by Dieter Rams

3. Braun ET66

From today’s perspective, this Braun calculator may not seem like anything special, but it was, in fact, a life-changing design.

The iconic product was created together with Dietrich Lubs.

Thanks to its easy-to-use buttons and classic visual language, it had a huge impact on calculating, becoming an everyday household item.

Today you may recognize from your phone – the design of ET66 was the influence behind iPhone’s digital calculator.

Braun Calculator by Dieter Rams
© Braun Calculator by Dieter Rams

4. The T 3 Pocket Radio

Like many other Dieter Rams products, the pocket-sized radio was well ahead of its time.

Working with just one thumb-operated button, it was the perfect example of a minimalistic design.

If you’ve ever used an iPod, you will surely recognize this masterpiece by Rams, as it served as an inspiration for Apple’s product.

T3 by Dieter Rams
© T3 by Dieter Rams

5. Braun Dymatic Pocket Lighter

Smokers know – it’s difficult to find an elegant lighter that also serves its purpose.

The designer was a smoker himself, and he saw lighters as sculptural objects.

Braun Dymatic Pocket Lighter was available in many different finishes.

Featuring chrome end caps and an ignition switch on its side, it is also a great example of functional design.

Braun Pocket Lighter by Dieter Rams

6. 620 Chair Program

Most people don’t know, but Dieter Rams has also designed chairs.

They look good, sure, but the real appeal is their assembly process.

So forget about all the hassle that comes with furniture installation.

Just within a few seconds, you see the 620 Chair Program, you know how to use it.

620 chair program _ 10 best Dieter Rams designs
620 Chair Program by Dieter Rams

7. T1000 World Receiver

Dieter Rams’ work is all about simplicity and being user-friendly.

Even if you don’t know anything about electronics, just by looking at the T1000 World Receiver’s interface, you get the idea of how it works.

That’s because the 1963 product is created in a way that is understandable from anywhere in the world.

T1000 World Receiver by Dieter Rams
© T1000 World Receiver by Dieter Rams

8. HLD 4

Just because a design is minimalistic doesn’t mean it can’t have a touch of playfulness.

This Braun’s HLD 4 hair dryer is fun but still embodies the rest of his principles.

So even if you don’t need to use it, you crave to touch it.

Braun hair dryer
Braun hair dryer by Dieter Rams

9. Braun cylindric T 2 / TFG 2

When Ram created a design, he presented a product exactly as to what it was.

The cylindrical table lighter includes a stainless steel top and thermoplastic body.

During the design process in 1968, the designer focused on finding the perfect location on the object’s body to apply maximum pressure.

Cylindric T 2 by Dieter Rams
© Cylindric T 2 by Dieter Rams

10. Vitsoe 601 Easy Chair

The aluminum legs with striated cushioning and a fiberglass shell achieve a result that is a sleek and beautiful visual profile, yet, surprisingly comfortable.

This Dieter Rams creation has impressive technical articulation and detail. Simple but chic!

Vitsoe 601 Easy Chair
© Vitsoe 601 Easy Chair by Dieter Rams

While many industrial modernists have already left our world, Dieter Rams is still alive and working.

For more than 50 years, he has made an indelible mark on product design.

His legacy continues to live even today and encourages young designers to create products that are innovative, functional, long-lasting, and, of course, aesthetic. 

We can certainly learn from Dieter Rams and his principle of ‘Less, but better, especially nowadays, when sustainability has become increasingly important.


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