The Simultaneous Multiple Surfaces (SMS) was developed as a design method in Nonimaging Optics during the 90s. Later, the method was extended for designing Imaging Optics. We present an overview of the method applied to imaging optics in planar (2D) geometry and compare the results with more classical designs based on achieving aplanatism of different orders. These classical designs are also viewed as particular cases of SMS designs. Systems with up to 4 aspheric surfaces are shown. The SMS design strategy is shown to perform always better than the classical design (in terms of image quality). Moreover, the SMS method is a direct method, i.e., it is not based in multi-parametric optimization techniques. This gives the SMS method an additional interest since it can be used for exploring solutions where the multiparameter techniques can get lost because of the multiple local minima.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.