German industrial designer Dieter Rams famously asked himself the question:
Is my design good design?
To answer this question, he formulated a framework of ten principles—a ten commandments of sorts—of what good design should incorporate.
Rams concluded that good design is: innovative, useful, aesthetic, understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, thorough, environmentally friendly and—last but not least—good design is ‘as little design as possible’. After all, design should focus on the essential, rather than being burdened by the superfluous.
Whether we’re designing for digital or print, we look to these ten principles to inform and instruct our design approach—an approach in which thoroughness, clarity and meaningfulness play an important role.