Dieter Rams is an 89-year-old German designer whose belief in “less, but better” has earned him worldwide recognition and influenced many of the brilliant products we know and love today.
His work is best recognised in the now-classic designs he created for Braun, from shavers and slide projectors to cameras, clocks, and coffee makers.
If you haven’t encountered his creations before, you’ll likely own something he has profoundly influenced, particularly if you’re reading these words on an Apple device.
Like Dieter, we love good design, and if you’ve visited the distillery in Tarbert or held a bottle of our Isle of Harris Gin, you’ll know how important it is to us to elevate alongside the craft of our spirit-making.
In 1976, he gave a speech in New York setting out his ten principles for good design. We think they’re as relevant today as they were way back then.
So, as we release the first piece in our new Isle of Harris Gin gift range, we thought it would be fun to share these ten simple ‘design commandments’ at the same time.
Good design is innovative. New ideas, techniques, and technology mean we can and should keep evolving and improving what we make for our customers.
Good design makes a product useful. We make our products to be used, shared, and to serve specific function.
Good design is aesthetic. As well as being useful and functional, it should strive to be beautiful. Looks matter, and what we create should also delight you visually.
Good design makes things understandable. We want to make our packaging self-explanatory and straightforward, never confusing.
Good design is unobtrusive. We want our Isle of Harris Gin presented without too much fuss, fanfare, or anything detracting from the unboxing experience.
Good design is honest. Our new gift boxes don’t pretend to be anything they are not; there’s no fake bling or fancy finishes just for the sake of it.
Good design is long-lasting. We never want to follow trends, fads, or fashion. What we make should be timeless.
Good design is thorough down to the last detail. We consider every aspect of our packaging, from how it unfolds and opens to where the graphics go and what they say.
Good design is environmentally friendly. We try to minimise waste during manufacture and allow every part to be recycled when its use finally ends.
Good design is as little design as possible. This last point sums things up for us and what we give you. If it doesn’t serve a purpose for you, it shouldn’t be there.
The new Isle of Harris Gin presentation box is just the first glimpse at our forthcoming new gift range, and we hope you'll agree these ideas apply.
The recycled card and paper materials are brought together in a simple celebration of form and function without overpowering the beauty of the bottle within.
Our team has designed the Z-fold construction from scratch and tested it to its limits to ensure it can endure the long and often rough journey from our shores to your door.
It also looks and feels great, from the subtle natural ripples debossed on the exterior to the organic card and copy inside, telling our story as the unboxing unfolds.
There’s much more still to come, but we hope you like what you see for now.
Thanks to our small island creative team and designer Graham Walker for their hard work on this project.
And thanks, of course, to Dieter for inspiring so much of the thinking behind our distillery design.