Braun’s “RT 20”

Designed by: Dieter Rams

Braun RT 20. As seen on

Dieter Rams defined the aesthetic of the iconic German electronics company Braun where he was head of design from 1961 – 1995. If you don’t know Braun (for shame!) you certainly know Apple.

Rams heavily influenced the designers at Apple. See here and here. I’m not about to have a rant about the brazen similarities, its more to illustrate how much Ram’s austere aesthetic and user friendliness is a living legend, one we all live with.

Braun RT 20. As seen on

His design ethos of “Weniger, aber besser”, translated as “Less, but better”, can be observed meticulously throughout his career. It is an ethos I really admire. It is easy enough to design something that looks nice and works. It is incredibly hard to design something that has the absolute minimum of knobs and buttons, but still has enough information to be able to be used easily by whoever might pick it up.

Braun RT 20. As seen on

I feel like we are getting a bit too obsessed with demonising labels in some areas of contemporary design. I do not feel like labelling a dial or button is always a failure.

Some do.

Lighten up!

If you think you’re product is too well designed to need an explanatory symbol or label you’re probably wrong. A bit harsh? Ah well. Lets all enjoy some beautiful Braun for a minute or too.

Braun RT 20. As seen on

Braun RT 20. As seen on

Oooh look at those lovely labels ;-D

While I’m on the subject of labelling (which wasn’t my intention when I chose to write about this radio!); using words looks neater to me than having a bunch of different symbols beside the dials.

Symbols save money on translations though…