In every industry there are the big players, the ones who’ve made a recognizable name for themselves. In the design industry, these tend to be multi-national design firms, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the smaller, family-run businesses can offer more flexibility and niche expertise to clients.
This list of industrial design companies includes our main competitors and we encourage clients to compare their estimates with our project quotes. Clients usually find that our community of 20,000 engineers and CAD services pros has equivalent industry expertise at a fraction of the total cost.
Here’s the top 30 international design firms from around the world (in no particular order).
Founded in 1930, Pininfarina is one of the world’s leading design firms for the automotive industry. Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Pininfarina specializes in luxury and grand luxury vehicles, with a focus on modernization and aerodynamics. The company has been in a partnership with Alfa Romeo for nearly 70 years.
SHH is an architecture and interior design firm, based out of London. The multi-award-winning company was founded in 1991. With projects in both the hospitality and residential sectors, SHH works on the premise that spaces should be elegant, comfortable, functional, and fun. While design is the focus of their work, completing projects on time and within budget are the foundations the company stands on.
IDEO is a California-based design firm. It has been ranked as one of the “most innovative companies” in the world by global business leaders. IDEO is a versatile design firm, with a hand in aspects all over the tech industry. IDEO’s process has been featured on primetime television and is still used in schools to educate students on design-centered thinking.
4. Cad Crowd
Cad Crowd is a marketplace for CAD drafting services, 3D modeling, contract manufacturing, and everything 3D rendering. We help clients connect with freelance product development and design services. We allow you to leverage freelance talent on a part-time or full-time basis.
5. Anonymous Content
Another California-based firm, Anonymous Content specializes in broadcast design in the entertainment industry. Specializing in production and management, the work of Anonymous Content has been seen in feature films, television, commercials, music videos, and brand integrated content since its beginning in 1999. The firm works closely with directors, writers, actors, and comedians.
RKS focuses on designing innovative solutions for client problems. The focus of its design solutions is on relevance to the market, building client brands, and creating emotional connection with customers. Resident to California, it works with companies of all sizes, from small startups to the largest multinationals. Some examples of their design partnerships include tablets, pocket game consoles, and dental whitening systems. RKSdesign.com
7. Karten Design
Karten design refers to itself as a full-service product design firm. It offers consulting on innovation, strategy, and implementation, backed by a team of designers, researchers, strategists, and engineers. The end of goal of any product is consumer satisfaction and this team guarantees an extraordinary experience between product and user. The award-winning firm prides itself on personable service, always. Its headquarters is found in California. KartenDesign.com
8. Herman Miller
After nearly 110 years in business, Herman Miller is one of the design firms with the greatest longevity out there. Originally founded by Miller’s son-in-law, the company remains based out of its original Michigan home. With a focus on furniture design, the firm has become a staple in the interior furnishing world. It has been associated with “modern” pieces for over a century and continues to shape the face of contemporary interior design. HermanMiller.com
Another California native, Designworks is a BMW Group Company that has offices all over the world. In its creative consulting Designworks keeps things future-focused, creating solutions for today’s problems with the innovation of 10 to 15 years down the road. This firm works across industries, with customers like Coca Cola, John Deere, HP, Microsoft, Siemens, and Singapore Airlines.
According to this company’s website, Pentagram is the largest independently owned design firm in the world. Despite this, clients interact directly with Pentagram’s owners, who run lead on creating the perfect design solutions for them. It works with graphics, identity, architecture, interiors, products, packaging, exhibitions, installations, websites, digital experiences, advertising, and communications. Pentagram.com
11. Ammunition Group
One of the youngest firms on this list, Ammunition has grown exponentially since opening in 2007. It offers product design, brand strategy and identity, interaction design, graphic design, and packaging design from the firm’s California headquarters. Ammunition has taken part in some of the most innovative design projects this decade, from Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, to temperature control mugs, and a smart oven. AmmunitionGroup.com
What began in 1921 as a workshop for the manufacturing of brass and nickel silver sheet metal has grown into one of Italy’s leading factories for design. Alessi’s newest focus is on mass production, while maintaining cultural, aesthetic, and functional design quality It is so well known for.
13. Frog Design
“Form follows emotion” has been frog’s motto since it began offering its design and strategy services in 1969. The company’s founder, Hartmut Esslinger, saw the need for an emotional response to the function-focused products that were being created at the time. The company continues to fill this need today, in both its design and brand strategy sectors.
The founding of Seymourpowell was a true meeting of the minds, when Richard Seymour and Dick Powell joined forces in 1984. Since then the firm has taken part in some of the biggest technological innovations of the modern age. Seymourpowell has had a hand in design creations including the first pocketable mobile phone, the cordless kettle, and the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell motorcycle. Seymourpowell.com
15. Planet Propaganda
Located in Wisconsin, United States, Planet Propaganda is a design, advertising, and brand strategy firm. With a team made of designers, writers, planners, marketers, and creators, the company works on a “simplify, then amplify” model of passion-based brand building. With clients ranging from Duluth Trading Co. to Pancheros Mexican Grill, Planet Propaganda works across industries and media.
16. Lord Aeck Sargent
Boasting over 3,000 completed projects, Lord Aeck Sargent is an award-winning architecture and design firm, headquartered out of Atlanta, Georgia. The company has a wide range of experience, having worked on museums, arts centers, multifamily housing, mixed-use projects, government buildings, laboratories, corporate headquarters, education and conference facilities, and downtown and neighborhood plans. LordAeckSargent.com
17. Troika Design Group
Hollywood is its home and Hollywood is its business. Troika, now known as Troika/Mission Group after a recent merge with Mission Media, is a design firm that focuses on network branding, promotional and advertising campaigns, and show packaging. Its business strategy is was it calls “fan-centric,” helping company’s turn audiences into loyal fans.
18. Zaha Hadid Architects
An architectural design firm founded by Zaha Hadid herself, Zaha Hadid Architects is based out of London. The firm takes on projects of any scale and will work in the cultural, corporate, residential, and “other” spheres, tackling virtually any project it sees as a worthwhile venture.
19. Studio O+A
This design firm took advantage of the dot-com boom in the 90s, with the mission to bring sophisticated interior design to the influx of start-ups in Silicon Valley. Since then Studio O+A has expanded its business to serve major corporations including eBay, Levi Strauss, and Williams Sonoma. It aims to help companies tell their stories through the design of their work space.
20. Leo A Daly
For more than 100 years, Leo A Daly has built its reputation as an internationally recognized architecture, planning, engineering, interior design, and program management firm. It has completed projects in 91 countries around the world and all 50 states in the U.S. With over 1,000 employees and more than 30 offices worldwide, Leo A Daly is one of the largest design firms on our list.
21. Smart Design
A New York-based design firm, Smart Design helps companies craft human-focused products and services with the intent of helping people live better and work smarter. Since launching in 1980, the company has expanded to an office in London to help better serve its international clientele, including Ford, Gatorade, HP, HSBC Private Bank, New York Taxi & Limousine Commission, and PepsiCo.
22. PDD | Product Design
Also born out of the 80s, PDD helps its clients design products and services with innovation. First established in London, the company also has headquarters in Hong Kong and Shanghai and serves customers on 6 continents in the medical, healthcare, consumer, industrial, and commercial sectors. It ensures client solutions are feasible, appealing to customers, and viable for the client.
23. Sagmeister & Walsh
Based out of New York City, Sagmeister & Walsh specializes in creating brand identities, campaigns, social strategy, content creation, commercials, websites, apps, books, and environments. Check them out. SagmeisterWalsh.com
24. Hornet Inc.
Founded in the new millennium, Hornet is a production studio with a focus on storytelling through filmmaking. It works with companies such as McDonalds, the New York Times, Lush Cosmetics, Amazon, and Lyft, and have worked on campaigns including Got Milk? and The Great British Bake Off. Backed by a team of directors, producers, and artists Hornet works with 2D and 3D animation, live action, and stop-motion filmmaking. HornetInc.com
25. HLW International
This New York architecture and design firm wants to build the future and has been doing so for the last 100 years. HLW treats each project with a new approach, believing that no two spaces are the same nor should they be designed with the same philosophy.
26. QNY Creative
QNY Creative makes its clients’ brands stand out on the shelves. Marketed as a creative agency, this multi-award-winning design firm works on brand and packaging development for luxury, retail, and lifestyle brands. Clients include National Geographic, BeautyBio, Ferrari, Alouette, City Kitchen, and Refinery Hotel Branding.
27. Ted Leonhardt
Ted Leonhardt is both a branding agency and individual design consultant. While he continues to work one-on-one with companies and individuals, his team is also there to back him in completing larger projects. Some of his largest clients include Nissan, Coke, and Microsoft. He works to help creative individuals and companies achieve their own vision of success.
28. Dentsu Inc.
Ruling from Japan for well over 100 years, Dentsu is the largest media agency in the world and has received the most awards for their work than any other. It creates both digital and offline solutions, under the philosophy that innovation is made of entrepreneurship, ideas, and technology.
29. Woods Bagot
Woods Bagot provides international and local architecture solutions, from its home in Australia. It’s responsible for designing spaces in the commercial workplace, hospitality, mixed-use, education and science sectors. The company’s people-centered philosophy drives its work, aiming to create spaces based on the way people actually use them.
With offices in New York and Los Angeles, 1stAveMachine spans the entertainment industry like it spans the U.S. One of the newest companies on this list, 1stAveMachine has already made a name for itself by working with some of the biggest companies in broadcast, music video, feature film, and advertising.
When Jakob Trollbäck founded Trollbäck+Company in 1999, he was already known for his design chops. The branding and design studio helps its clients create strategy, design, content, and experiences that are here for the long haul, not just for right now. Its end-results are simple, sustainable, and functional.
Like many of these famous design companies, Cad Crowd offers a variety of services to our customers. Our database of freelance designers is so extensive, we can offer nearly any design service you can think of at the click of your mouse. To learn more about how we can help you, take a quick look around our website.
We can offer the same skills and versatility as the top design firms in the world, at a fraction of the price. Get a free quote today!