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Ten Principles of Good Design, part 1

18 August 2013 by Joey Cofone

Radio design by Dieter Rams / 1959

Dieter Rams, a legendary industrial designer, compiled a list of principles that he followed in his work. Being fans of his, we've kept them in mind while going through the process of designing our first book. Here's how they relate.

 

1. Good Design is Innovative

From the very beginning we've had to ask ourselves to define and redefine what a notebook is. Is it a luxury piece? An item for leisure? For entertainment? We eventually came to the conclusion that a notebook is a tool—one that can be used for leisure, entertainment, and work. Essentially, it's a means to something greater than itself. Using this understanding as a guide we began to break down the individual subtleties that comprise the whole and improve the design in small ways. There are no gimmicks, no unnecessary parts—just intelligent improvement of a simple tool.

 2. Good Design Makes a Product Useful

As a tool, a notebook is inherently a useful item. However, some are more useful than others. Usability is important, and we want it to feel natural when you use this book at your desk, on your couch, in the train—anywhere. To do this we had to account for several different user cases, including laying the book flat on a desk, holding it with one hand and writing with the other, carrying it in a backpack or purse, using it all day or just in spurts. We worked through each of these cases with a lot of testing, questioning, and care to bring you a more refined book.

 3. Good Design is Aesthetic 

Essentially, good design is beautiful. Not flashy or sexy beauty—because aesthetics like that only have a temporary lifespan—but timeless and elegant beauty. We strove to design a book that is neither loud nor quiet, but just right; one that is attractive in it's simplicity.

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