Dieter Ram's 10 Principles for Good Design

TP 1 radio/phono combination, 1959, by Dieter Rams for Braun

Dieter Rams has been proved one of the 20th Century's most influential designers. He was Director of Design at Braun from 1962 - 1995 and his elegant yet minimalist designs have found themselves into many of homes from calculators to coffee machines, clocks to cigarette lighters.

In the 1980's Ram's set about asking himself whether his design was good design. In response, he came up with the following 10 principles for good design:

Good design is innovative
Good design makes a product useful
Good design is aesthetic
Good design helps us to understand a product
Good design is unobtrusive
Good design is honest
Good design is long-lasting
Good design is consequent to the last detail
Good design is concerned with the environment
Good design is as little design as possible

Read more about the design master here:

Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design


New Poster Underway

I've been working on an illustration for the past couple of days. I'm not quite happy with it yet. The colours aren't quite right and it doesn't really capture the depth of the original image. The subject matter is a beautiful young peruvian girl who I photographed sitting on a ledge overlooking Colca Canyon in Peru. Here's a sneak preview...


Local Heros work found in...Argentina!

While I was away I made a few design related purchases. One of my favourite days on my trip was spent perusing the antique markets of San Telmo in Buenos Aires. The array of well designed books astounded me. Books that, in the UK, would cost upward of £10 purely based on their cover design, I picked up for less than £2. Most of the books on offer were lovingly packaged in plastic wrapping and were in good nick.

I bought 2 books; 'Los Isleros' by Ernesto L Castro, a story of family struggles of islanders living on the Parana river. I haven't been able to find out much about Castro himself but the book was turned into a film in 1951. The second book was 'El Libro de los Numeros' by Sepharial, who turns out to be from Handsworth Wood, just down the road from where I live in Birmingham.

I chose these books purely for their cover design so am suprised and so pleased that one of the authors turned out to be a Brummie! Here's a little bit about Sepharial:

Dr Walter Gorn Old (born 20 March 1864, at 2:06 a.m. LMT in Handsworth, England; died 23 December 1929 in Hove, England) was a notable 19th century mystic and astrologer, better known as Sepharial.

An eminent English Theosophist, Sepharial was a well-known and respected astrologer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and wrote numerous books, some of which (particularly those on numerology) are still highly regarded today. He was editor of "Old Moore's Almanac", which is still published in the 21st century.

As a young man Sepharial initially studied medicine and followed this up with studies in psychology, oriental languages, astrology and numerology. In 1886 he started to write an astrology problem page in the Society Times, where he answered the public's questions, and in 1887 at the age of just 23 was admitted to the "inner sanctum" of the Theosophical Society. He was in fact one of the founder members of the Theosophical movement in England. Madame Blavatsky (whom he lived with until her death) called him "The Astral Tramp" because of his nightly explorations into the astral plane (Ref: Kim Farnell's book).

He became a very influential author in the fields of the occult, astrology and numerology, and his writings had a considerable impact on E. H. Bailey and Alan Leo, who he introduced to Theosophy. He can be credited as the first astrologer to use Earth's "dark moon" Lilith in his calculations. Genuinely erudite, Sepharial had for example a greater knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, and historical methodology than most of his astrological contemporaries and this showed in his writings. Sepharial's "Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolised" (co-written with Charubel) foreshadowed Marc Edmund Jones's subsequent (and nowadays better known) work on Sabian Symbols. However, many of his books and other works were put together in a rather slapdash way, which made his reputation less enduring than it might have been. A colourful character, Sepharial started a number of astrological magazines, all of which failed to establish themselves.

He sounds like an interesting guy and I'm just disappointed that my spanish isn't good enough to read the book!

Here's a photo of my purchases at San Telmo:


Back to Business

I returned from my little jaunt round South America at the beginning of January and since thengs have been pretty hectic, settling back into the routine of work and home life. I haven't yet had chance to pick up my illustrator pen but hope to do so in the next couple of weeks, putting some of my travelling inspiration to paper, or should I say, PC.

What I have been up to, is designing a logo and set of stationery for a good friend of mine's new business venture, Centreline Couriers. The logo design has now been agreed but rather than let the cat out of the bag, here are a few of my initial designs. See if you can guess which was the winner!


Artsfest Photos and more news...

Here are some photos I took at Artsfest 2 weeks ago. Sorry for the late update, but I will fill you in with an explanation further down the page...

My space at Art on the Railings:

The Hall of Memory in Centenery Square on the gloriously sunny Saturday:

The fireworks display on Saturday night:

Now for the explanation...

I am going to be leaving the UK for 3 months from the 3rd October, to do some travelling around South America. I'll be visiting Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, all on a big yellow truck with a group of people whom I've never met, but hope will become good friends.

In that time, I hope to pick up some good inspiration for future work and will have my camera at the ready at all times!

I will have a sale on in my etsy shop next week to celebrate my leaving. While I'm away a friend will fulfill any etsy orders, but the stock may be limited so if you're looking for anything specific, please get in there quick!

I'll also be at Moseley Market this Saturday so hope to see a few of you there.

Bye for now!


Great first day at Artsfest

Wow, it's been a pretty hectic day.

The arts on the railings went pretty well, the sun was shining and lots of people came out to say hello. My pitch was directly in the sunlight for 5 hours so it's safe to say I'm now looking a bit crispy and feeling a little bit of a glow. Met some great people though and sold a decent amount of work.

Packed up at 6pm and then was back in centenery square for the classical fantasia.

Off to bed now as am pretty exhausted and am going to do it all over again tomorrow!

Full report and photos to come after the recovery preiod...


Framed up and ready to go!

Here's a sneak preview of what delights will be on sale at Artsfest tomorrow:

All of the framed prints:

A new square format print of Emmylou Harris, one of my idols. There will only be one of these so be quick if you want to snap it up!

I'll also have the usual cards and unframed prints on offer.

See you tomorrow!

Artfest is upon us!

Artsfest kicks off tonight. Hope those of you that are coming are looking forward to an excellent weekend of entertainment!

I set up my area on the railings of Centenery Square tomorrow, opening at 12 o'clock. I popped down today to check out the site being set up and take a quick photo of the railings so I can plan my space. Here are the photos I took:

Special Offers on Etsy

A fellow member of the Etsy Midlanders, Phillisb, will be leaving the UK for Zambia soon and so is adding special offers to her site over the next 2 weeks. She has some great cards and modern cross stitch designs on the site so go over and check them out:



New Commission!

Lavenderwool, the company that I produced 3 bumper stickers for through Etsy have commissioned me to design 2 more. I shall post the new designs when they're finished.

I've also sold 2 more prints through etsy this week to Seattle in the US. Beckyismyname is going stateside!