Dieter Rams’ 1976 Speech


In December of 1976, Dieter Rams gave a speech titled “Design by Vitsœ” in New York City about his work with Vitsoe. He also outlined much of his design thinking, which later evolved into his 10 Principles for Good Design.

Vitsoe has released the full transcript of the speech to celebrate Rams’ 80th birthday on May 20th. It’s a must read.

Myths & Misconceptions About Grid Systems

A few myths and misconceptions about grids exist in the design community that can be detrimental, especially to designers who are new to the subject. I recently read an article, which is no longer online, claiming that grids have disadvantages and it listed the reasons why. As you can guess, I very much disagreed with the entire article and felt that it was providing a lot of bad information on grid systems. All of the listed “disadvantages” were distortions derived from the lack of understanding on how a grid works and functions.

In response to that article, here’s my attempt at clearing up this mess.
Continue reading “Myths & Misconceptions About Grid Systems”

8 Simple Ways to Improve Typography In Your Designs

I wrote this article for Smashing Magazine and it was published last Friday on their site. I’m re-publishing it here for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.

Many people, designers included, think that typography consists of only selecting a typeface, choosing a font size and whether it should be regular or bold. For most people it ends there. But there is much more to achieving good typography and it’s in the details that designers often neglect.

These details give the designer total control, allowing them to create beautiful and consistent typography in their designs. While these details can be applied across different types of media, in this articles we’re going to focus on how to apply them to web design using CSS. Here are 8 simple ways you can use CSS to improve your typography and hence the overall usability of your designs. Continue reading “8 Simple Ways to Improve Typography In Your Designs”

10 Principles That Might Make Your Work Better or May Make It Worse

Text and Illustrations by Frank Chimero

I hate the word “tip.” It implies that there’s something that you don’t know. Some secret little gem that, when sprinkled on your work, your creative process, your diet, or your sex life will magically make it all better. They promise to make all of it effervescent, and float above everything, defying gravity above all those poor folks who didn’t happen to stumble upon Dumbo’s magic feather like you did.

Tips are easy. And shallow. Principles, though, now that’s something worth talking about. If tips are puddles, principles can be oceans. They can be deep enough to hold intrepid adventures, yet tame enough to provide a significant bounty to nourish a creative life. They can serve as a north star and a rallying point. More than anything, they can be an inspiration. Sailors will always sing about the sea.

Antonio asked me to map my own ocean and to document a few of my guiding principles. They may be of assistance to you. They may not. But then again, it’d be a shame if we were all working off the same map, looking for the same treasure. Continue reading “10 Principles That Might Make Your Work Better or May Make It Worse”