Iconic Designs

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What is an iconic design?

An iconic design is one that is ground breaking in some way, for example, in its design or use of materials. Iconic designs are also often seen as leading the way for other products. 

Take a look at these links on different iconic products:

50 iconic designs

20 iconic designs 

Find out more about the Beazley Design of the Century in this video which celebrates new designs each year that have the potential to become iconic in the future. 


  • What qualities of a product might make it iconic?
  • What everyday products that are around at the moment do you predict will be seen as iconic in the future?
  • What would your personal top 10 iconic designs be? Justify your choice of products along with where you have ranked them.
  • Surveys on iconic products are popular in the media and in places like museums. The board below was part of a display where visitors voted for their favourite products at Snibston Discovery Museum. Create your own survey to identify what other people’s top 10 iconic designs are.
L invention vote 2711

  • Why not use an iconic design to inspire a wallpaper, t.shirt, fabric print or something else. Take a look at this t.shirt by Uniqlo celebrating the designs of Eames. Tip for teachers: John Lewis often sell wallpaper that uses iconic designs as a motif. They are expensive but you can order several few swatches which make good classroom resources. 

Architee also celebrate architecture and engineering by creating t.shirts using images of iconic designs. 

  • Download this #ThinkDo card (click on the image to see it in more detail). 
    Teachers: Why not use this as a lesson starter? 
    Students: After you have done the activities on the card print it out as a revision card and use it to make revision notes on.
Bic Biro copy

L No 14 side chair steam bending

L Gufram Cactus Coat Stand

Return to the Iconic Designs page to see all resources 

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