Design classic

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A design classic is an industrially manufactured object with timeless aesthetic value. It serves as a standard of its kind and remains up to date regardless of the year of its design.[1] Whether a particular object is a design classic might often be debatable[2] and the term is sometimes abused[3] but there exists a body of acknowledged classics of product designs from the 19th and 20th century.[4] [5] [6] For an object to become a design classic requires time,[3] and whatever lasting impact the design has had on society, together with its influence on later designs, play large roles in determining whether something becomes a design classic. Thus, design classics are often strikingly simple, going to the essence, and are described with words like iconic, neat, valuable or having meaning.[3] for example a vacuum cleaner is now known as a hoover, which was not the vacuum cleaner's name but instead was the surname of its inventor, William Henry Hoover.


  1. "Phaidon Design Classics". Phaidon. Retrieved 22 September 2011. [dead link]
  2. Campbell, Emily (20 January 2009). "Design Classics: unequivocal, tangible, iconic?". Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bayley, Stephen (27 August 1999). "What makes a design classic?". The Independent. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  4. Taylor, Patrick. "Design Classics". Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  5. Hill, David (12 September 2006). "What Makes a Design Classic?". Retrieved 22 September 2011. [dead link]
  6. Glancey, Jonathan (13 January 2009). "Stamps of approval: British design classics". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 September 2011.