Today, I’m introducing a new weekend project of mine, the Dieter Rams Wallpapers. They are a series of wallpapers for phones and tablets, each featuring an iconic design from Dieter’s time at Braun or Vitsœ. I hope that you may find one that you like.
What follows is a little story about the project.
For most of my life, I’ve been an admirer of Dieter Rams and the work he did at Braun and Vitsœ. Previously on this site, I have written about Gary Hustwit’s Rams documentary, the little-known story behind the razer Dieter designed for Gillette, and the delight of using the Braun MPZ2 citrus juicer.
Dieter continues to have a profound impact on the work of designers that have come after him. His ten principles for good design have become more relevant today than they were when he originally wrote them.
A few years ago, Chicago auction house Wright held an extraordinary auction. JF Chen, an esteemed antique collector from Los Angeles, sold more than 130 works either directly designed by Dieter or designed under his leadership as the head of design at Braun. Some are even unique prototypes that never made it to series production.
Although I didn’t participate in the auction, I was struck by the beauty of the photographs. I downloaded a few and used them as wallpapers on my phone. Lifting my phone to see an iconic piece of design became an instant source of inspiration. It reminds me that to do great work, I should have strong principles and stick to them.
I thought that the photographs were too beautiful to only live on Wright’s website. So, I emailed them to ask for permission to give them away as wallpapers. To my amazement, Wright’s founder Richard Wright himself responded and gave the project his blessing.
I had a tremendous amount of fun while designing and building the site. The highlight for me was creating the floating iPhone image and working out the animations and clipping masks required.
There are still some rough edges to work out, but as they say, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
Please check it out and download a wallpaper or two.
Thanks to Q for reading drafts of this.