Less but Better

reading minimalism

The beautiful Less but Better book is the latest edition of the benchmark work originally published by the Dieter and Ingeborg Rams Foundation and Jo Klatt. Very few product designs have the staying power of those created by Dieter Rams. Almost everything produced by arguably the most influential designer of the twentieth century is today considered a classic. This revised edition of Less but Better shows once again why Dieter Rams’ approach to design will be relevant for the foreseeable future.

You can’t miss this book if you want to understand ideas of what can and must be achieved through good design, which is in a constant state of flux as a result of cultural and technological developments. Dieter Rams, however, came up with ten principles that advocate for a purist, almost imperceptible design. These principles are still considered timeless fundaments of design theory and practice today.

Published by Phaidon, Less but Better does not set out to be a complete documentation of Dieter Rams’ body of work, nor does it claim to tell the full story of the company Braun. Rather, the book explores the ideas, criteria, and methods behind Rams’ creations and reveals how a shifting culture of product manufacturing gave rise to universal design benchmarks. From his reflections on design ethics and values, we can distill a clear paradigm for future design—because one principle has remained firm over the years: less is simply better.

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