We constantly see people asking what the difference between product and industrial design is. These terms are frequently used interchangeably; although they’re very similar, they have their differences. So, in today’s blog, We’re going to break down what both are, the similarities and the differences, So let us get into it.
What is Product Design?
It is the practice of designing new and innovative concepts. Product design leans more to the act of creating new designs/concepts. It does not require that the product be feasible for manufacturing. It is only about creating concepts. A product designer is also not required to have engineering knowledge.
What is Industrial Design?
Industrial Design is the practice of designing products that will be mass manufactured. An industrial designer usually has more experience than a product designer, and this is because when you’re designing a product for manufacturing, you need a lot more knowledge and experience relating to engineering, manufacturing methods, and logistics.
So What's the Difference?
At the end of the day, they are essentially the same thing, just minor differences in levels of manufacturing and engineering knowledge. Some people would argue that there is no difference at all and that it is purely just a job title.
Put simply; an industrial designer has more engineering and manufacturing knowledge than a product designer. This is because they have to design for manufacturing, meaning they have to be more familiar with manufacturing methods.
Are They Different Degrees?
No, the name of the degree and program differs depending on the school and its programs. As stated at the start of the article, product design and industrial design are often used interchangeably but mean something slightly different. Still, regardless of the name, the course content is essentially the same. They will both follow the practice of designing consumer-friendly products.
Recommendations for an aspiring product or industrial designer
- Become extremely proficient with any software you use. Ex. CAD, adobes suite. Mastering these tools will make you efficient and valuable while working in the real world. “A master craftsman masters his tools first.”
- Extend yourself further than just design. Learn a little about everything—for example, engineering, manufacturing methods, business, human psychology. Essentially, study everything that ties into the world of developing products and systems. The more you know, the more of an asset you will become.
Is there a demand for product designers and industrial designers?
Yes, according to a report by grand view research, the demand for product designers has been steadily increasing for the past decade. It is expected to continue rising by an average of 5% yearly. More people = More Products Needed = More Product Designers Needed
How much do product and industrial designers make in the USA?
According to statistics by glassdoor, payscale, and builtin. The average salary of a product/industrial designer in the USA is $54,000 – $180,000 per year, with the median salary being around $80,000 per year.
These terms are constantly used interchangeably. Although similar, they are slightly different. To put it short, a product designer creates new unique product concepts, and an industrial designer designs products specifically for mass manufacturing. We like to think of industrial designers as having more experience due to their knowledge of manufacturing processes and engineering methods.
Special thanks to design rush
It is important to get a competitive edge over your competition and be among the best in the business. We are proud to say that Design Rush has listed us as one of the top Florida product design companies. You can use their site to find rankings on many other companies and industries.