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. Whether a particular object is a design classic might often be debatable[1] and the term is sometimes abused[2] but there exists a body of acknowledged classics of product designs from the 19th and 20th century. [3] [4] For an object to become a design classic requires time,[2] 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.[2]


  1. ^ Campbell, Emily (20 January 2009). "Design Classics: unequivocal, tangible, iconic?". Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Bayley, Stephen (27 August 1999). "What makes a design classic?". The Independent. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  3. ^ Hill, David (12 September 2006). "What Makes a Design Classic?". Archived from the original on 23 October 2016.
  4. ^ Glancey, Jonathan (13 January 2009). "Stamps of approval: British design classics". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 September 2011.