Philosophy

Our philosophy, principles and practices govern and guide every experience Designed by IBM.

IBMers believe in progress—that application of intelligence, reason and science can improve business, society and the human condition.

Given our scale and scope, ‘good design’ is not only a requirement, it’s a deeper responsibility to relationships we seek to serve.

Design is how
we build bonds.

Today, the talent, techniques, thinking and tools of design, like technology, have become more and more abundant and accessible to all alike.

Paradoxically, decisions are more distributed, and experiences can become less and less distinctive. The rapid, relentless pace to produce can create an uneven emphasis on immediacy and incrementalism over individuality and innovation.

It is more important than ever that we own our own ethos, make palpable our brand values, and incorporate an instantly identifiable IBMness in everything we do.

Without aesthetic, design is either the humdrum repetition of familiar clichés or a wild scramble for novelty. Without aesthetic, the computer is but a mindless speed machine, producing effects without substance, form without relevant content, or content without meaningful form.– Paul Rand

Aesthetic is defined as the philosophical theory or set of principles governing outward appearance or actions. This characteristic applied to any experience is essential to its effectiveness. Everything we do (and don’t do) communicates. The care and craft we put into every experience is equal to any confidence or consideration we should expect in return.

Stand for =
Stand out

IBM has always served as a medium between mankind and machine, science, service and society, working in partnership on a path to progress. This relationship is the basis of our brand and every experience with IBM. It is this dynamic we are designing when we design anything.

As IBMers, we believe the purpose of every design, and every designer, is to guide… to lead, to provoke, to provide, to progress, to move people emotionally and functionally forward, through big transformations or day-to-day tasks, here to there, to deliver peak professional performance and smarter business by design.

Think → Guide

Like our brand values, our design ethos must be palpable in everything we produce. Our philosophy and principles are for designers and non-designers alike, anyone authoring or authorizing any form of design on behalf of IBM. They provide clear criteria for the conception, creativity and craftsmanship our brand demands and our clients deserve. The expression of our philosophy may evolve and expand over time, but our principles are designed to endure, ensuring everything IBM is distinctly IBM.