By TACP Staff on July 07, 2021
Industrial Design schools teach students about the professional practice of designing products, objects, services, and devices used by people throughout the world every day. Each object or device that you interact with on a daily basis at work, home, or school is the result of design decisions made by an industrial designer who sought to improve the appearance and functionality of the object through well-executed design.
Industrial Design Degree Programs
Industrial designers create comfortable, attractive and functional products that people use everyday all around the world. They are directly involved with every step of that process, from initial idea to construction to final implementation.
Students who choose to pursue an industrial design degree can expect to take a series of design courses along with courses in history, psychology, and science. They will learn skills such as sketching, pattern making, product design, engineering CAD, and 3D modeling. Industrial design tends to be the most artistic of all engineering disciplines, while still requiring a strong technical background. New graduates who majored in this field will typically be hired into a position where they create designs for products that are manufactured and sold.
Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design
A bachelor’s degree in industrial design typically takes four years to complete and oftentimes includes courses like advanced CAD/CAM design, service-learning experiences, or internships with local companies. Students can choose from several different courses that will help prepare them for specific industries, including architecture and manufacturing. In addition, students learn about interior design as well as engineering principles.
Master’s Degree in Industrial Design
A master’s degree in industrial design is a graduate degree that typically takes about two years to complete. It’s an advanced course of study for students who want to work in industries such as consumer product design, communications, and engineering. The curriculum may focus on subjects like materials science, human factors engineering, and 3D modeling. The master’s degree program will also prepare students for professional certifications such as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) certification.
Industrial design affects virtually every manufactured object on the planet. Its applications are ubiquitous – packages, containers, textiles, home furnishings, your mobile phone, and the chair you are sitting in are examples of industrial design. Yet, if you ask most people to define industrial design, no one seems to know what it is. The definition and differentiation are frequently confused and often vary depending on the context.
Perhaps this is because Industrial Design is a trans-disciplinary (relating to more than one branch of knowledge) profession that incorporates perspectives from several related fields and seamlessly balances the creative, conceptual, and technical thinking from several disciplines.
As a student of Industrial Design, you will build a well-rounded understanding of user behavior, shape, ergonomics, materials, color, finishes, manufacturing, and function. Outside of this core, you will also learn about how the benefits of an object or device can be communicated and how it sits within a brand. Your education will build upon several closely related disciplines, including the following:
User Experience (UX) Design
User experience design is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product. In more general terms, it is about creating a great experience for people who use (consume) a company’s products or services. User experience design is used in all disciplines involving designing products or services to understand how people interact with or experience them.
User Interaction (UI) Design
User interaction design is all about interactions between the user and the system. It’s used when designing any kind of interactive product but is especially important in designing software solutions. It’s about the aesthetics of an interface — how it looks and feels. Of course, your design won’t look or feel good unless it’s easy to use.
Graphic design is the process and practice of visual communication and presentation through the use of typography, photography, color, illustration, and layout. A graphic designer may use a combination of these techniques to produce a result that communicates messages or ideas visually. A graphic designer often uses images or illustrations to represent words and objects, which helps the viewer better understand a message.
Service design is the research, creativity, and thinking involved in designing new service experiences or improving existing ones. Every service has different expectations in terms of performance, security, reliability, and much more. A service designer will need to consider these expectations when creating the best possible experience for that individual customer segment. Service designers must know their customers’ needs intimately and be able to translate them into valuable, tangible, worthwhile service experiences.
Design research is a multidisciplinary field of design that focuses on qualitative research in order to better understand people, behaviors, and contextual factors of specific situations. Design research includes exploratory conversations, rapid prototyping and testing, participant observation, contextual inquiry, usability testing, and heuristic evaluation.
Typically design research is conducted in “context” which means that the focus of the design research is on a specific place or group of people. Design researchers will be side by side with their participants through their natural process to understand how they do things for themselves rather than watching them from afar.
Design strategy is the process of planning what creative direction a product will take. It is the process of understanding which customer segment to target and how to communicate with them in their language. As a result, design strategy creates products that will be unique to the target market and most likely stand out from other brands. This strategy often starts with creating personas and then determining what their needs, wants, motivations, values are so that you can create an experience targeted toward those needs.
Branding and marketing are terms that often go hand in hand. Branding is the process of creating a visible and meaningful association between a product and its company. Marketing is the process through which consumers are informed about the products and services offered by a company, usually by using words, images, pricing, promotions, and sales tactics.
At its basic level, engineering is the application of science to the challenges of product design and manufacturing. Product engineering is at the intersection of these two areas, where a company or institution develops a product that meets its specifications and needs. Industrial design is critical to bringing the engineering side to life. Industrial design translates the plans, drawings, and specifications created by an engineer into a tangible, physical product that can be manufactured.
The Best Industrial Design Schools in the U.S. for 2021
A degree in Industrial Design can change the trajectory of your career. And, while selecting a school can start to feel like an overwhelming process, it is important to keep in mind that your education should not only prepare you for your professional education, but also for your life beyond school. Industrial Design schools can differ greatly in terms of size, location, and focus, but what they should share is a dedication to providing students with a comprehensive education. This list ranks the best industrial design schools in the United States according to five criteria: degree program strength, faculty members and their commitment to student success, percentage of students enrolled in graduate programs, admission requirements, and cost of attendance.
|1||Rhode Island School of Design||Providence, RI|
|2||Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA|
|3||ArtCenter College of Design||Pasadena, CA|
|4||California College of the Arts||San Francisco, CA|
|5||Pratt Institute||New York, NY|
|6||Savannah College of Art & Design||Savannah, GA|
|7||Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester, NY|
|8||University of Washington||Seattle, WA|
|9||Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA|
|10||Ohio State University||Columbus, OH|
|11||Brigham Young University||Provo, UT|
|12||College for Creative Studies||Detroit, MI|
|13||School of the Art Institute of Chicago||Chicago, IL|
|14||University of Illinois||Champaign, IL|
|15||Iowa State University||Ames, IA|
|16||Auburn University||Auburn, AL|
|17||Cranbrook Academy of Art||Bloomfield Hills, MI|
|18||Georgia Tech||Atlanta, GA|
|19||Arizona State University||Tempe, AZ|
|20||San Francisco State University||San Francisco, CA|
Helpful Organizations & Resources
- Industrial DesignersSociety of America
- World Design Organization
- American Institute of Graphic Arts
- International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
- Service Design Network
- Interaction Design Association
- Product Development and Management Association
- Society for Environmental Graphic Design
Most programs don't expect first year students to have crazy drawing skills. CAD is just as important in Industrial Design. Make sure you include your best work regardless of how it was made. Sketching is a very important skill but if you're applying to the university, that is a skill they are going to teach you.Do graphic designers need to know how do you draw? ›
Graphic design may not require professional drawing skills or a fine art background, but UX designer Isaac Hammelburger says simple sketching can get the job done.Does industrial design involve math? ›
Industrial Design focuses on developing the concepts for manufactured products such as cars, home appliances and toys. For this major you'll take lots of industrial design classes. But you'll also need to take classes in the arts, science, math, and social sciences to earn your bachelor's degree.How many years does it take to become an industrial designer? ›
How Long Does It Take to Become an Industrial Designer? It takes at least two years to earn an associate degree to become an industrial designer. You need four years for a bachelor's degree program, and earning this degree will only increase your chances of being hired as an industrial designer.What should I study to become a industrial designer? ›
- industrial materials and processes.
- design visualisation.
- environmental design.
- modern manufacturing methods.
- computer-aided design and drafting (CADD)
- human design interaction.
- engineering fundamentals.
Actually, yes. There are many illustrators who create wonderful work that does not involve drawing. Fred Otnes and Melissa Grimes are just two of many illustrators who are best know for combining found imagery to create original works. That isn't to say that they can't draw.Can I be an artist if I can't draw? ›
Being able to draw is not essential for becoming an artist. In the art world, drawing does not always have to be realistic; many revered artists created masterpieces with somewhat questionable drawing skills. Additionally, art forms such as painting, sculpture, and photography do not require drawing skills at all.Can you be a graphic designer if you are not creative? ›
Of course you can be a graphic designer without being creative or artistic, but just because you're not creative or artistic doesn't mean you can be a graphic designer.Is industrial design an art course? ›
Industrial design is an aesthetic art based degree program that is a combination of both applied sciences and applied arts.Is it worth studying industrial design? ›
Industrial Design is responsible for creating products that can be both useful and beautiful, teaching students how to combine the theoretical concepts of materials and processes with the practicality of design and patterns. And that's why, in short, a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Design is an awesome degree.
Employment of industrial designers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2021 to 2031, slower than the average for all occupations. Despite limited employment growth, about 2,700 openings for industrial designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.Does product design require coding? ›
Not necessarily, but it helps. It's up to the designer whether they want to learn to code or not. It's important to note that most companies do not require UX designers to implement any code. UX designers and coders have different skill sets and are usually hired accordingly.Is maths needed for product design? ›
good knowledge of maths upto 12th standard is an added advantage, because product design is closely coupled with engineering /manufacturing it will help in final prototyping of your designs. even when you do 3d modeling in some parametric software, math helps.Does product design require physics? ›
This might differ from country to country, or even school to school, but in general you don't need knowledge in physics that goes beyond what you would learn in standard high school education. Ergonomics, construction and material science were part of the industrial design curriculum at the design school I attended.Do industrial designers make good money? ›
Industrial designers make $63,384 per year on average, or $30.47 per hour, in the United States. Industrial designers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $43,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $92,000.Can I be an industrial designer without a degree? ›
Nobody will dispute the fact that a degree will make things easier for you, provide you relevant skills and theories, as well as give you a certificate to use in getting yourself a job as a product designer. But the truth is, having a university degree is not a must in the design world even though it helps.How many hours do industrial designers work? ›
Most work full time, 40 hours per week. Many work overtime to meet deadlines and production demands.
- Earn a bachelor's degree. Enroll in a bachelor's degree program at an accredited college or university. ...
- Consider a master's degree. ...
- Prepare your resume and portfolio. ...
- Gain professional experience. ...
- Build a network of industry professionals.
Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day.Can you make a living as an illustrator? ›
Across the United States and the globe, illustrators earn a great living. Whether freelancer or in-house, with the right skills and experience, you can carve out your own piece of this lucrative field.
It doesn't matter if you're 30, 40, or 60. Regardless of your age, it is never too late to become an illustrator. Anyone can learn to draw and build up a portfolio of work. You'll be surprised at how good you can become if you put in the time and effort.Do illustrators get paid well? ›
How much does an Illustrator make? As of Sep 21, 2022, the average hourly pay for an Illustrator in the United States is $30.44 an hour.How many hours a day should you practice drawing? ›
Slowly Increase Drawing Time
It's possible to see improvements by drawing only 1-2 hours per day. But if you want to see significant improvements you should be aiming for 5-6 hours per day, or more if possible.
One practical reason children are taught to draw before they paint is that drawing requires fewer materials, and when drawing with a pencil, it is easier to erase mistakes as you learn. This learning process implies that drawing is the easier medium that you learn before progressing to painting.Is drawing a talent or skill? ›
Drawing is a skill, but talent still plays a role in how quickly or how good you can get at it at any given time. If drawing were solely a skill, artists wouldn't get better and better over time.Can an art student study Industrial Design? ›
Direct Entry Requirement for Industrial Design: (i) A Level passes in Two (2) of Fine Arts, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. (ii) ND in Industrial Design or Glass Technology or Fine Art at credit level.What is Industrial Design in art? ›
The term industrial design refers to design of mass-produced, machine-made goods. László Moholy-Nagy. K VII (1922) Tate. The word was first used in America in the 1920s to describe the work of specialist designers who worked on product design.Is Industrial Design an engineering degree? ›
Industrial design and industrial engineering are similar fields in which professionals work to bring new products to market. Although they're related, there are many important differences between the two careers.Is industrial design a stem? ›
The Master of Industrial Design program has the approved CIP code 15.1502: Engineering Design, which makes the program a recognized STEM degree program.Is industrial design a popular major? ›
Industrial Design was the 290th most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 1,879 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 1.5% increase in product design degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 1,850.
Employment of industrial designers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for industrial designers is expected to continue as many products, such as smartphones, increasingly require more intuitive design and sophisticated technology.Is there a future for industrial design? ›
The future industrial designer will be fluent in traversing from physical to digital and back. They will be exceptionally creative with deep craftsmanship, but they will also be able to speak the language of MBAs and the C-suite.Do industrial designers have a future? ›
As part of our efforts to Redefine Design, and leading up to World Industrial Design Day on 29 June, Icsid continues to seek the thoughts and opinions of members of the design community on what it means to be an industrial designer.What percent of industrial designers are female? ›
There are over 18,417 industrial designers currently employed in the United States. 18.6% of all industrial designers are women, while 81.4% are men. The average age of an employed industrial designer is 39 years old.
It will most likely take around four years to learn the skills you need to become a professional. If you truly immerse yourself in a design program at a college or university, you can gain a leg up on your competition (and the competition is stiff in the product design industry).Where is the best place to study product design? ›
- Arizona State University. Auburn University. Carnegie Mellon University. Clemson University. ...
- Ohio State University. Purdue University. Rhode Island School of Design. Rochester Institute of Technology. ...
- University of Michigan. University of Minnesota. University of Oregon.
Is the Google UX Design Certificate Worth it? The Google UX Design Certificate is definitely worth it. For starters, it's a low-cost certification that you can get for less than $200. It's an accredited program that you can do online from home that will prepare you for getting an entry-level job in UX design.Do industrial designers use math? ›
A lot if you are engineer of design, the basics on trigonometry, and geometry if you are and industrial design, a lot of complex stuff if you are into designing intricate mechanisms, calculating material contractions, or specialized into materials.Is maths required for industrial design? ›
Education & Training for an Industrial Designer
Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics and physics are normally required. Applicants may also be required to submit a portfolio of work, sit a test and/or attend an interview.
if you want to become a fashion designer in future then after 10th you can go with any stream (science ,commerce, arts) which you want to study or you have interest because the eligibility of NIFT exam is Students should have passed 10+2 exam from any recognized Central/ State Board of Secondary Examination.
Subjects include design, drawing, theory, business, history, technology and professional practice. Is there a type of personality best suited to this work? You need to have a passion for design, making things and solving problems. Patience and persistence is also key.What are the prerequisites for industrial design? ›
- A Diploma of Secondary Studies (DES) or academic background judged equivalent to the DES.
- Sec IV Mathematics – Cultural, Social & Technical option 563-414.
- Sec IV Science 555-444 OR 557-416.
Most product designers have a degree, foundation degree or HND in a related subject such as product design. Any courses that offer a design element as part of general design or technology studies, would also be relevant.Is there drawing in industrial engineering? ›
Mechanical Drawings are critical aspect for all mechanics and engineers. With the help of mechanical drawing, the minute details of the machinery should be shown graphically.Do Industrial Designers use Solidworks? ›
SOLIDWORKS Industrial Design provides a more flexible industrial design process, allowing you to innovate more freely. Powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, it works alone or combined with SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design to provide the best conceptual design tool set to complement SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD Software.What elements of art do Package designers use to make every package unique and appealing? ›
What elements of art do package designers use to make every package unique and appealing? They use shape, color, and graphics to make packages.What is in industrial engineering? ›
Industrial engineering includes tasks like production planning and control; quality control; inventory, equipment, warehouse, and materials management; plant layout; and job and work station design.Is engineering drawing hard? ›
It is a kind of technical drawing with complete specifications for engineered items. Engineering drawing may be about technical drawings but it is one of the toughest subjects, ask any engineering student and you will know. A sound knowledge of drawing is vital otherwise its a tough road ahead with the subject.What are the four types of technical drawing? ›
There are many types of technical drawings, including: 3D drawings (isometric, perspective) • Exploded-view 3D drawings • Complete working drawings • Detail drawings (2D orthogonal projections) •Diagrams are another form of technical drawing with looser, less universal standards.What are manufacturing drawings called? ›
Production drawings (sometimes called working drawings) are complete sets of drawings that detail the manufacturing and assembly of products (as distinct from engineering drawings prepared by and/or for product engineers whose task is to decide how best to manufacture the products).
Industrial designers make sure each product has the same look and feel of other products in the line. Industrial designers create sketches. They do this by hand or on a computer. Designers often use computer-aided design (CAD) tools to create products.Which CAD software is used the most in industry? ›
AutoCAD. One of the oldest and most used CAD software for 2D / 3D drafting & design. It has the ability to create blueprints, equipment layouts, section planes, model documentation, and more. Learning AutoCAD and additional 3D CAD software is a recipe for success.What are the 7 principles of art? ›
PRINCIPLES OF ART: Balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, rhythm, unity, and variety; the means an artist uses to organize elements within a work of art.What three requirements must Industrial designers plan for? ›
- must do the job it was designed for.
- look like it can do the job.
- must be visually pleasing.
Industrial engineering is hard. Industrial engineering is a difficult major because it requires you to take advanced math classes, multiple lab courses, and several challenging technical lessons. However, industrial engineering is easier than other branches of engineering such as mechanical and electrical.What do industrial designers do? ›
Industrial designers work primarily in offices, but they may travel to the places where the products are manufactured. Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day.What is the easiest engineering degree? ›
- Structural Engineering.
- Applied Engineering.
- Chemical engineering.
- Mechanical Engineering.
- Software Engineering.
- Civil Engineering.
- Computer Engineering.
- Biomedical Engineering.