One means for reconciling the typically different closed-loop controllers produced by conventional and optimal synthesis techniques is shown to be a particular formulation of the optimal control problem. This formulation uses the desired open-loop function to form the reference model. From this formulation, controllers similar to the conventional controllers for the three principal elementary controlled elements-the gain, integration, and double integration-are derived. Results of these derivations are used to infer the general rules of the method for application for any controlled element having a single control point. This paper describes one method for determining optimal controllers which produce the same desirable closed-loop system properties as do “good” conventionally designed controllers.