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What is Industrial Design? And What Do Industrial Designers Do?

Industrial design is a creative and rewarding career for those who pursue it. But what is industrial design? Discover what this exciting field is all about now.
What is Industrial Design? And What Do Industrial Designers Do?

by MVS Staff

July 02, 2019

Surely you've met or heard of at least one "industrial designer." Or seen or heard of the concept of "industrial design."

Industrial design is a creative and rewarding career for those who pursue it. But what is industrial design? What exactly do industrial designers do?

Keep reading to discover what this exciting field is all about. You may be surprised how interesting, unique, and rewarding it can be!

What Is Industrial Design?

Industrial design is an important, much-needed field of expertise. It's the practice of designing products to be manufactured.

Think of any product in your home. Think of the last manufactured product that you bought. No matter how simple it may seem to you, every part of its shape, material, look, and functionality required industrial design!

What Do Industrial Designers Do?

While clothing designers work to make sketches of outfits into reality, industrial designers do the same with products. If you were an industrial designer, you'd meet with someone who had an idea for a product.

They would explain their idea, show you sketches, maybe even direct you to comparable products. Your job, then, would be to make that idea into a reality.

Most industrial designers specialize in one particular field, like household products, automobiles, electronics, or even food packaging. Think of Target's home decor, Toyota's trucks, Apple's iPhone, and the world famous Coke bottle.

Everything requires an industrial designer, so the sky is the limit when it comes to your field of expertise! As an industrial designer, you can really work with anything you like.

How Much Do Industrial Designers Make?

Your income as an industrial designer depends on a few things:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Field of expertise

First, education. A profession in industrial design requires at least a Bachelor's degree. Many industrial designers, however, also pursue a Master's degree-- although it is not required. Generally speaking, the strength of your protfolio is considered more imortant than a Master's degree unless you plan to teach design at an accredited university later in your career, in which case, a Master's will be required. 

A real, marketable career in industrial design requires a good amount of education and a very strong portfolio upon graduation. 

Second, experience. Of course, the more experience you have, the more marketable you are. As the person doing the hiring, wouldn't it be amazing to hire an industrial designer who had made successful products before?

More effective, successful, visible experience usually equals more pay because you're more valuable to a person or company. They're willing to invest more into you because you're more likely to deliver.

Last, your field of expertise. It's no secret that some fields pay more than others. Designing a Jeep might bring you more income than designing a knife block.

Of course, product size doesn't always matter when it comes to income! Check out this article about the highest paid fields in industrial design if you're interested in what pays the most.

If all of this draws your interest, read this article about becoming a successful freelance designer. Learn all you can!

Design Is Not Just For Clothes

When you think "design" or "designer," don't just think of clothes! Now you can think of industrial design. Think of all the products you use every single day!

They all required an industrial designer. That person could be you.

Check out our other blog articles about design here.

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