What Makes a Good Jewelry Design

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye”

Walker Evans

Jewelers are constantly looking for inspiration, and this inspiration materializes in the design of a concept which takes form in a piece.

There are several methods that a designer can follow to test if a prototype has a good design. Dieter Rams, a German industrial designer proposed ten principles to know if a design is good. For him, good design is innovative, makes a product useful, is aesthetic, makes a product understandable, is unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, thorough down to the last detail, environmentally friendly and is as little design as possible.

Human perception plays an important role in our sensibility to a design. The Gestalt school captured some principles which apply to our way of maintain meaning within our perceptions, this whole which is something else than the sum of its parts. These principles are Figure vs ground, Similarity, Proximity, Common region, Continuity, Closure and Focal point. Figure versus ground states that we perceive objects as either being a figure in the front or being the background. Similarity says that when things are similar, they seem to be a part of a whole. Proximity and common region highlight our tendency to group together objects that are close. Continuity is what we perceive when objects follow a line or a curve. Closure underlines how our mind tends to recognize patterns and figures which have missing parts. Focal point emphasizes how we tend to direct our attention to the object which stands out. Having these in mind design can be not only neat, but also playful with the mind. 

Design in jewelry requires a selecting a theme, materials, shape, color, movement… all conveying to reflect a concept, a feeling, an idea. We believe it is style that adds to the soul who wears it.

The most basic elements to consider for jewelry design are color, shape, line, space and texture. They are intimately connected to the material selected by the designer. Its characteristics conform the piece even before it has its form.

When we designing a piece, we continuously ask ourselves which material goes better with the concept of the piece, if the piece is to be worn by itself or combined with others, what outfit would suit it and for what occasion. These questions conform the piece, taking the shape that reflects that idea.

Design goes beyond fashion, because its base knows time and space in a relative way. It is not for a season, but for a life. In jewelry, this concept is embedded in each piece, which is made to be worn for generations.  

For us, a good design is key for the connection with a piece, for its permanency with me; it is all about the sustainability throughout the whole production process to make timeless pieces. Handmade, sustainable and thought to be with you. These are jewelry pieces with meaning, for you and for us.

Good design requires education of the eye throughout one’s life. Designers and those who select their designs are called for a critic sense of aesthetics, purpose and durability.

Do you think design should follow these principles, or others? Which are the most relevant for you? What activities can educate the eye and mind for design?