What would Dieter do?

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Peter Kuyt

January 10, 2018

Peter Kuyt


design | presentation

Over the years, you’ve witnessed an awful lot of presentations (or more likely, a lot of awful presentations). You’ve experienced that elegant, simple slides are far more engaging and effective.

Applying this insight to your own slides however can be difficult. Who guides you? Your colleagues may give you feedback (honest or kind), but you know better than to bother them all the time.

Wouldn’t you like to have a reviewer you could consult at all times?

Introducing Dieter.



That’s Dieter Rams, the German industrial designer, famous for his work at Braun and Vitsoe and his 10 “Good Design” principles. Dieter Rams is the master of simplicity. Essential design to the max.

Unknowingly, Dieter has long been my personal advisor. Virtually of course, but effective nevertheless. And now he can be yours, too.

Here’s how it works.

After you’ve spent some serious time designing your presentation, you will find yourself polishing your slides. Let this be your cue. Step away from the computer and take some distance.



This is where Dieter comes in. He’ll stand beside you, while he quietly looks at what you’ve made. And I know what he’ll say next:

“Less, but better.”

You listen, you pause, you nod, you let it sink in. You politely say “Vielen Dank, Dieter”. And then you get back to work.

With your new found essentialism, you will strike all irrelevant details. You will kill a few redundant slides. You will pay serious attention to alignment. You will create more space around the objects that require attention. You will create harmony and balance in your slides. You will delete those designerish elements (principle 10: Good design is as little design as possible). You will free your slides from all superfluous texts.

Challenge yourself to continue doing this until it starts to hurt. And then some more. Until your imaginary friend Dieter gives you the final nod of approval.

Now you are ready to face your audience. Go and impress the hell out of them. Good luck!


PS: do check out the wonderful documentary portrait by Gary Hustwit on Dieter Rams: https://www.hustwit.com/rams

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About me:
I am a brand designer at Visual Friday. I help serious startups with serious brand building, to make serious impact. Want to know even more about me? Check the About page. Want to see what I’ve done? Check my portfolio. Want to get serious? Send me a note at peter@visualfriday.nl.