4 places to find an industrial product designer & what to look for before hiring.
Industrial designers play an important role in designing products that appeal to your customers. Some of them also have the basic engineering knowledge and capability to use 3D CAD software like Solidworks or Autodesk Inventor to turn ideas into prototypes. While some industrial designers are generalists and work on a variety of products, others specialize in certain product categories like footwear, furniture, consumer electronics and more.
At Outdesign Co, we specialize in the design of consumer products, like pet products, consumer electronics, home & kitchen products, health & fitness and many more, especially plastic products.
If you are looking to hire an industrial designer to design new products for your company, it may be a challenging task to find the right designer. We have listed below 4 places you can find an industrial designer that suits your needs and some key considerations before hiring an industrial designer.
1) Online Portfolios and Freelance Platforms
Designers often upload their portfolios on freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and on portfolio sites like Behance and Coroflot. There are hundreds of profiles to look at from all around the world, but not all of them work as freelance designers or are active on the platforms. The main challenge with online portfolios is of investing the time to find someone that suits your requirements, has the right experience and is available for your project.
2) Design Directories
There are online design directories like DesignRush, Dexigner and Core77 Design directory which have a list of product design companies & studios from around the world, many of which can provide you with end to end product design services – from idea to manufacturing. There are also design studios that specialize in other fields of design like graphics design, digital design, advertising and more.
At Outdesign Co., we have product design, engineering & prototyping capabilities along with a network of manufacturers and partners. Together we help you go from an idea to prototype and mass production.
Check out some of our work here in our portfolio
3) Your Network / LinkedIn
Leveraging your existing network could be a good way to find the right fit for your project. Check with your friends, family or professional network if they know someone who could help you. You can also search on Linkedin for product designers in your area if you prefer someone locally. Though, make sure that they work on short term contracts only, otherwise juggling a full time job and a project on the side doesn’t lead to the best results usually.
4) Your local university (only if on a very tight budget)
You can find design students at your local universities who would be eager to work on your project and gain experience for their resume. But this should only be an option if you are on a very tight budget and its not a serious project that would require professional expertise. According to a study at Rolls-Royce, as much as 80% of the manufacturing costs depend on product design, therefore hiring an inexperienced designer can cost you a lot more in the long run.
What to look for when hiring an industrial design partner?
There are thousands of industrial designers around the world, designing a range of products, experiences and services. Each one has their strengths and weaknesses that make them suited for certain types of projects.
How do you identify the industrial design partner that is best suited for your specific needs? It is easy to get fooled by shiny renders and sketches. Therefore, in this free downloadable pdf, we have listed some important things to look for before hiring an industrial design partner which can help you make the right decision and save you a lot of trouble.