The History of Braun’s 
Design & Innovation

Design is at the heart of Braun. The concept of ‘less, but better’ has its origins in the Bauhaus movement, but it was Braun and H.C. Dieter Rams [HR1] that created a mindset of order, clarity and simplicity and applied it to electrical appliances. For six decades, Braun’s humanistic approach to design and focus on ‘less, but better’ has inspired designers and companies around the world. Today, we refer to it as ‘Strength of Pure’ which we look to instill in everything we do. The values of quality, functionality, clarity, longevity and timelessness can be seen in the hundreds of products Braun has brought to market and the products it creates today.

The term “Braun Design” refers to a particular approach to creating products. A typical feature is the combination of technical innovation, a new aesthetic, and a degree of user-friendliness that has been thought through down to the smallest detail.

Both Fritz Eichler and later Dieter Rams described the main features of Braun Design by referring to Richard Moss*, according to whose analysis three laws govern Braun Design: simplicity, order, and harmony. The first of these terms refers to the creation of a harmonious form using a minimum of materials.

Braun products therefore consciously eschew short-term design effects and everything that is trendy, spectacular, loud, or obtrusive. The result is products that possess an iconic clarity and visual longevity – “Less, but better,” so that the focus is on the essential aspects. A common design foundation connects all Braun products into one distinctive product line, no matter how different the functions of the appliances may be. 

Why Braun

Pure Thinking

A fascinating fusion of design and function: Braun’s product design is human-centered, meaning it’s empathetic to the human form and user needs. We ensure the right functionality is in place for each product and that they are intuitive to use. The form of our products follows their function – whatever we design, we design for a reason. We hold true to the principles of ‘Strength of Pure’, designing for what really matters.

Nature and Nurture

A fascinating fusion of design and function: Braun’s product design is human-centered, meaning it’s empathetic to the human form and user needs. We ensure the right functionality is in place for each product and that they are intuitive to use. The form of our products follows their function – whatever we design, we design for a reason. We hold true to the principles of ‘Strength of Pure’, designing for what really matters.

Art of Creativity

In his History of Modern Design: Graphics and Products Since the Industrial Revolution, David Raizman compares the Braun design look to fine art.

Fullgrabe explains that art inspired design features in the matrix pattern on the foil of the Series 1 shaver. “It owes its existence to the patterning you find on decorative mosaic wall tiles” he explains. As in the art world, the human form has also played a part in influencing some of Braun’s most stylish designs. Grabes describes how the trapezium shapes of the Braun Series shavers take their outline from the traditional proportions of a masculine torso with wide shoulders and a slim waist.

The dimpled rubber patterns on the shaver body are ergonomic and sculptural. They create a sensation of comfort and great grip. ‘It’s similar to the kind of grips you might find on a golf club or a tennis racket.” Grabes explains “That feeling of fit gives the user the feeling it is dynamic and interactive.”

The end result of this creative observation and download is a design ethic bedded in unobtrusive beauty, and a team bent on the clarity and functionality of great design.

Braun Designers

Erwin & Artur Braun and Dr. Fritz Eichler
On Max Braun’s death in 1951, his sons Artur (1) and Erwin (2) assumed the company leadership until 1961. Artur Braun “designed” the Radio SK 1/2 (3) together with Dr. Fritz Eichler (4) in 1955. To ensure the Braun design philosophy proved itself in the market Erwin Braun sought advice from experts in the field of architecture and design, in particular with the “Hochschule fuer Gestaltung (HfG)” or Ulm School of Design.Professors Hans Gugelot and Otl Aicher came on board and, with the Braun team, designed a completely new radio and phonographic line.

Dieter Rams
Head of Design: 1961—1995
One of Germany’s most important and the world’s best known industrial designers. Dieter Rams’ (1) work has an outstanding quality which distinguishes it from the vast majority of industrial design of the entire 20th Century. His products are designed to be timeless, highly functional and pure in its aesthetics.

His heritage has influenced countless modern designs, such as the Apple iPod (2) created by Jonathan Ives. And he established the 10 Principles of Good Design which have influenced following generations of industrial designers. Dieter Rams consistently implemented his design principles over the course of over three decades as the Braun design leader, and this was critical for Braun becoming an iconic global brand. Milestone products from him and his team are displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Centre de Pompidou (Paris) and the Museum of Applied Arts (Frankfurt). The exhibition “Less and More” showcasing his lifetime accomplishments was displayed in Osaka, Tokio, London, Frankfurt, Seoul and San Francisco and attracted over 370,000 visitors in 2009 –2012.

Peter Schneider
Head of Design: 1995—2008
Peter Schneider (1) won the proprietary BraunPrize in 1973, was hired by Dieter Rams and became later on the Head of Braun Design in 1995, spearheading the re-design of the Braun logo (2).He was also the BraunPrize jury chairman between 1996 and 2009 (4). During his leadership, Schneider and the brand tried to break away from the very defined and ‘tight’ design style that Dieter Rams had determined. It was an experimental phase that was also trying to reconcile the needs of wider cultural contexts in a world that was becoming more and more global.

Peter Schneider
Head of Design: 1995—2008
Peter Schneider (1) won the proprietary BraunPrize in 1973, was hired by Dieter Rams and became later on the Head of Braun Design in 1995, spearheading the re-design of the Braun logo (2).He was also the BraunPrize jury chairman between 1996 and 2009 (4). During his leadership, Schneider and the brand tried to break away from the very defined and ‘tight’ design style that Dieter Rams had determined. It was an experimental phase that was also trying to reconcile the needs of wider cultural contexts in a world that was becoming more and more global.