Industrial Design Vs Product Design: What’s The Difference?

The terms ‘industrial design’ and ‘product design’ are often taken to mean the same thing. However, these terms have some key differences that, when learnt about, can eliminate any confusion.

But differentiating these two terms is not so simple, as even those who work in the industry are not entirely sure of the definition. The first thing you should note with regards to this discussion is that there is some overlap. An industrial designer can very well also be a product designer. But someone who is just a product designer does not have the same knowledge and resources as an industrial designer.

So while there are similarities and overlaps, there are still differences when it comes to industrial concept design and product concept design processes. Let’s have a look at both!

Product Design

Product design is a relatively broad term that includes everything from basic product drawings all the way through to intricate production processes for products. It depends on the product designer’s role and the company they work for.

It is safe to say that product design focuses more on branding, target audiences, and why this product is being made and for whom. Product design is the first phase of the life cycle of the product.

Conversely, industrial design looks a little deeper as to how the product will be made, how it will function, etc.

Industrial Design

Industrial design goes a lot further than that first phase. Of course, industrial concept design takes place, but even these initial designs would be more in-depth than product design, as the manufacturing of the product would always be in the back of the designer’s mind.

Once an industrial design is complete, it will be completely ready to head to manufacturing, with all factors taken into account.


Product design presents you with a concept and design, but industrial design ensures that the concept is ready to go to the manufacturers and be brought to end-users. Often an industrial designer can handle both of these tasks, or an industrial designer and a product designer may work together to create a product.

Are you interested in working alongside experienced industrial concept designers that have all the tools to strategize and create 3D prototypes of your design? Get in touch with the expert team at Bicego Design.