What Does an Industrial Designer Do?

industrial design proto

Industrial designers are involved in plenty of industries. They play a part in creating innovative manufactured products, but the majority of them don’t work directly for manufacturers. At Cad Crowd, we have a plethora of top quality industrial designers to help you along with the design process. Our experts are always ready to work with you to conceptualize a new design, and afterward, we can help you turn it into a finished product with our manufacturing services.

If you have an idea in mind for a design you’d like to create but can’t narrow down the concept completely, an industrial designer is who you want at your side. Industrial design companies work on concepts and models for products ranging from cars and toys to furniture and appliances. They are highly educated workers who combine business with engineering and art to create the perfect model for you.

I’m going to go over exactly what an industrial designer does and what differentiates them from other designers, so you know who you need to hire for your job.

What is an industrial designer?

Like I mentioned, an industrial designer is the one who comes up with an idea for a new project, conceptualizes it from parts to appearance, does rudimentary cost analyses, and ensures it’ll be profitable. They balance function with appearance so that your new concept not only works, but looks good.

They are also able to help you, the client, turn your idea or concept into a complete, market-ready design, usually through CAD. A lot of industrial designers will even create prototypes to test the design. They often work directly with manufacturers, though they do work with businesses to improve their product ideas and brand as a whole. They examine markets to determine who might use a particular product and work on the user experience to make sure it’s intuitive and customer friendly.

What are an industrial designer’s job duties?industrial design prototype

When beginning a new project, an industrial designer may meet with the client to talk about products that already exist, how they can be improved on, possible future iterations, and any new ideas they have for the client.

They are directly responsible for the appearance of the product you’re creating. In fact, industrial designers are the ones who create some of the most recognizable products in the world—think iPods, smart watches, and BMWs.

Aside from the appearance, an industrial designer also ensures a product is safe to use and does what it’s intended to do. If you were to hire one, they’d make sure your product is usable and aesthetically pleasing. They evaluate the practicality of a design in all aspects including safety, function, and cost. They directly affect other departments including marketing and engineering, and are the ones who dictate what the engineer is to make. They’re also involved in the business side of things. Industrial designers must keep in mind production and materials costs to ensure the design is feasible to make.

They collaborate with all the other departments. Marketing relies on the industrial designer to make the product aesthetically pleasing and give them something to push into the marketplace that’ll stand out. A good designer can make marketing campaigns easier.

If you were to hire an industrial design company, they could sketch design ideas for you until you decide on one that you like. They would then take the sketch and create it in a CAD program, while also designing artwork in programs like Photoshop. Along with creating digital models, they also work on prototypes so that the final product is conceivable to the client. Afterwards, the industrial designer has done the majority of their job and the product goes to the design engineer to be optimized and manufactured.

Do I need an industrial designer or a design engineer?

It can be tricky to figure out who to hire if you’re a new product design entrepreneur. Industrial designers and design engineers are not interchangeable, though they are sometimes thought to be. Instead, they build off of each other to create the best product.

An industrial designer takes your concept or idea, drafts sketches and models, and designs the overall aesthetic and function of the design. They are responsible for making sure the product looks as good as it could while balancing function and decide on details such as color, sound, ergonomics, and placement of details. They’ll work with other departments to ensure the product is marketable and cost-efficient.

A design engineer is who you want to hire afterward to figure out how the industrial designer’s creation will actually function. They evaluate the design and figure out how it’ll actually work in real life. They aren’t concerned with the design and may sacrifice aesthetics and marketability for usability.

It’s important to have both sets of eyes on the product, as they work off of each other to create the perfect balance between function and aesthetics.

How do I find a qualified industrial designer?

At the very least, an industrial designer needs to have a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, architecture, or some other type of design. They should have a detailed electronic portfolio of designs they’ve worked on, either from jobs or from school and internships. Without a portfolio, you’d be putting your faith in someone blindly. You should ensure they are skilled drawers and know how to use computer programs to create their designs, like CAD and Photoshop.

At Cad Crowd, we have a roster of qualified and talented industrial designers at your disposal. We have done the vetting for you. We know how important it is for you to hire candidates that can do your job effectively, so you aren’t wasting your money and don’t need to pay someone to clean up their mistakes.

Whether you’re a large firm or an independent entrepreneur or inventor and need assistance, we can help you with every step of the design process. Our industrial design services are impeccable—you won’t find more qualified designers anywhere else. Contact us today for a quote!


About the Author

Jordan is in charge of Marketing Strategy for Cad Crowd.