Good examples of "Design Language"

Greetings all! I’m pulling together a presentation on Design Language and am looking for some examples of brand/products that exemplify a strong Design Language. I’m looking for some designer help to get me past the obvious Apple, BMW, Dyson, Method, OXO, KitchenAid (which I’ve already used)

Any help is appreciated to get me past my ‘writers block.’


maybe you could look at some smaller design studios and designer.
most of the successful ones have a signature style, i.e. design language. Sort of a general theme by which they operate which goes back to a certain philosophy and inspiration that makes them special.

Barber&Osgerby, Studio Feiz, Nakashima, Jasper Morrison, Konstanin Grcic, Ron Arad and so so many more could be mentioned.
Just find the ones you like, look at why their things look the way they do and not like anybody else.

check out Mazda’s ‘Nagare’ design language. I think its a great case study:

i did an internship with DeWalt. That place really helped me out.

The words they used to describe their aesthetic were, “precision and strength.” I think if you used those words in your presentation, it would be clearly understood. And to elaborate on precision, you will notice all vents run horizontally pointing down toward the point of work/action.

I hope that helps as a less traditional example.


I’ll try to stay away from Cars or Lifestyle/clothing brands:

Black & Decker, Ryobi, DeWalt (although is it just color?)
Lego, Playmobil
Philips medical



from Italy

What about Architects ?

Zaha Hadid has a very strong ‘design language’
Frank Gehry too, you know a Frank Gehry when you see one

Try and think outside of industrial design.
Even Stalinist Russian propaganda posters have a certain design language to them.
Hope this helps

I’m having trouble finding images, but Volvo did a great job with their car keys a few years ago when they still had keys in the traditional sense. They pulled the signature shoulders off of their car designs and interpreted them as a key fob… it looked kind of like a squashed V70 with buttons on the roof.

I believe Porsche has key fobs that are abstractions of their vehicles as well. Personally I think Volvo did a better job, it was a bit more subtle, but hey I’m biased.

Stuff like that is a bit obvious though. There was a terrific article posted on the Core homepage a while ago… A Periodic Table of Form: The secret language of surface and meaning in product design, by Gray Holland - Core77

Very interesting stuff, I’ve had the headline image as my computer background for a month now :sunglasses:

IBM/Richard Sapper have a long term iconic design language… back before Lenovo their stuff was instantly recognizable.

Say what you want about their specific designs, but you can’t doubt that Oakley doesn’t have a very signature style.

Maxtor Hardrives
Seagate Hardrives
WD Hardrives
Netgear Routers
Targus Mac Accesories
Eton Radios
MS Zune

You had me until here…

Haha, now I didn’t say “good” design languages…just languages.

Good examples

How about

Nixon (esp now with their foray into headphones)
Phillips (New Norelco Architec stuff)

Thanks everyone! Alot of great examples in here!


Trek Bikes have two awesome ‘design languages’ they use to differentiate and segment - ‘race’ and ‘rush’. There was a great video put out by SolidWorks last year talking about this.

Anyone had any experience in ‘writing’ a unique design language? Something they have personally been involved with?

I’ve got some good ideas, just wondering if anyone else on here has done it before.

Any advice or help will be appreciated?

Here are my suggestions:

Brion Vega, B&O, Philips, Nokia, Sony-Erricson, Samsung and LG.

I think Lacie is also doing some nice things with their micro collections by different designers. They all seem to relate… maybe cause they are all rectangles. Also, the new Samsung printers at the Apple store show a nice direction shift.

Can you say more about what you mean by “writing” a design language?