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Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

The publishers have been quite clever in accommodating the huge amount of text and graphic material in a book of just over eight hundred pages. The text, German on left-hand pages and English on the right, has been printed on very thin paper (known as bible stock in the trade) which has a certain amount of show-through. The excellent product shots (314 pages) have been printed on a good matt art with another paper used for the remaining photo essays. Incidentally the color work in the book is printed with an impressive 300 screen, most art books run to 175 to 250.

Eleven of the nineteen chapters are text (on the thin paper) and explore in as much detail as you could want about German and middle European design in the first decades of the last century and how it influenced Rams, particularly the Bauhaus and Ulm design laboratories. A fascinating sixty-five page chapter: ‚Dieter Rams, Braun, Vitsoe and the shrinking world‘ explores the reasons for the companies success and Rams contribution with brilliant product design. Another chapter: ‚Graphic design: Braun and Vitsoe‘ delves, in part, into the typeface used on the products, always in lower-case and originally Akzidenz-Grotesk but after the sixties switching to Helvetica.

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