Product Design and Industrial Design: Which One Do You Need?

Encompassing a wide range of specialties, design is a word that can get often get people confused. This isn’t a big deal if you’re just looking to get informed for no reason other than your curiosity. If, on the other hand, curiosity is not the main reason why you need to understand different design types, then learning about those differences is a must. Product and industrial design, for instance, are often the two areas that you need to learn more about, get some examples of, and understand their differences, so as to figure out what you need.

Having a creative project coming up and not knowing which professional to hire, i.e. whether you need a product or an industrial designer, could easily result in you hiring the wrong person and not being happy with the outcomes of the project. Since this is not what you would like, you’ll surely do your best to understand which expert you actually need to hire. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are some crucial differences to these two processes, and understanding them is of utmost importance.

What Is Product Design?

Understanding those differences is impossible without getting both terms clearly defined. Starting with product design. You’d think that the term refers only to the step of creating a certain product, but that’s not the case. The process starts much prior to the actual creation, meaning that this type of design involves processes such as conceiving and developing the product.

Of course, it’s not just about creating something that you’ve come up with, without doing any sort of research to check if making that is a good idea. Creating products without proper research will probably lead to them failing, i.e. not being well accepted on the market. Thus, market research, aimed at identifying customers’ pain points and issues, is the first step in product design. Identifying those pain points and issues leads to conceiving and creating something that will solve people’s problems, meaning that selling will be easier.

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Industrial design is a bit different:

So, professionals working in this particular industry aim at creating a fully functional product that will perform well on the market. And, more importantly, a product that will consistently do well on the market, instead of a one-time hit. It is estimated that businesses generate around 30% more revenue when they rely on these professionals.

What Is Industrial Design?

Industrial design, on the other hand, is used in mass manufacturing. Professionals providing people with these services are often visual arts professionals and a part of larger teams. They perform different tasks, including designing and updating existing products that will appeal to customers and thus sell well. That, however, is not the main thing they have to do.

Since we’re talking of mass production, it’s clear that one of the things these pros will be responsible for is making sure that what they’re creating can be produced in larger volumes. It may seem not to be a big deal, but the process of creating such products is quite different than the process we’ve explained above when talking of product designers and their specific roles. Knowing specifically what these two processes entail will help you figure out which service you actually need.

Another thing to know here is that industrial designers also have to worry about the costs of production. In fact, their goal is to find the right production methods that will reduce the overall manufacturing costs. All in all, a professional working in this industry will take a product and make it both more functional and more appealing, all the while aiming at cutting down on the costs of manufacturing and ensuring smooth large volume production.

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Which One Do You Need?

Which one of these professionals do you need? Having product design vs industrial design differences clearly explained to you, there’s no doubt you’ll have some idea on which one of these professionals you’ll actually need to hire to meet your specific needs. It ultimately all depends on your business and on the type of work you’re doing and need to have done.

While the two terms and the processes do overlap from time to time, understanding these differences will help you figure out which service you actually need. Think about what your brand would benefit from the most. Depends on what you’re aiming at achieving on the market and with your potential customers.

Of course, it could also easily happen that you’ve realized you need a creative team made up of both of these types of professionals. This is a very common scenario. The great thing is, whatever type of a team you need, you’ll get to easily create it by contacting the perfect company. Finding that company can take time, because you’ll need to research different ones, but once you do, you’ll get to create the perfect creative team you need.

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