Dieter Rams and his 10 principles for good design have inspired a generation of industrial designers. And now, to commemorate the new Rams documentary by Gary Hustwit, the pocket notebook brand Fields Notes created a limited edition collection of Rams memo books.
The books, which run all of $13 for a 3-pack, featuring a tacky, matte white cover, with gray type and orange highlights. They’re actually inspired by the color palette of the T3 transistor radio, the pocket radio Rams designed at Braun that is said to have inspired the iPod (even if a product by Bang & Olufsen deserves some credit, too).
On the back, each book also features Rams’s own 10 principles for good design, a set of guidelines that anchored his work, like “Good design is long-lasting” and “Good design is as little design as possible.”
But as Hustwit recently told me after spending the last 3.5 years working on his documentary, Rams never intended the design community to replicate the principles verbatim.
“For Rams, those were really applicable at the time for his team. They didn’t have rules. They were making it up. That was a set of rules to at least give some structure to what they were going to do, what projects they were going to take on,” says Hustwit. “I think they’re valuable and applicable for a lot of different areas. But he didn’t want them to be set in stone like the Ten Commandments. He had assumed that people would update them, change them, and make them their own.”
So in other words, grab the limited edition Rams books, sure, but don’t be afraid to fill them with your thoughts and your rules.