Not all industrial design firms are created equal. There are firms that provide a broad range of services, such as ideation, 3D modelling, product design, prototyping, and branding, etc. On the other hand, there are also industrial design agencies that concentrate on specific services and design approaches; hence they cater to laser-targeted markets.

At the same time, industrial design agencies vary in cost and charges. It is not cheap to have a consumer product designed and turned into a manufacturable item. Also, the costs of product design vary on a number of factors, depending on the project and uniqueness of specialization requirements.

Among the most common services you can find in an industrial design agency are the following:

  • Concept design – Perhaps the most creative stage in product development, concept design serves as the drawing board of the project. It aims to show not only the vision of the product, but also identify issues the product will solve, how it will solve them, and how it feels like while solving them. Concept design may range between $50-$105 per hour, or at least $100 or more per project.
  • Product design – Product design is often interchanged with concept design, but it concentrates more on the building the product based on a given concept. Product design not only incorporates the ideas listed in a concept design, but also takes into account the end-user customer, for whom the product is being created. Product design may likewise range between $50-$105 per hour, or at least $100 or more per project.
  • Mechanical design – Mechanical design meanwhile focuses on parts and components of mechanical nature, such as bearings, shafts, gears, and fasteners that build the product. Mechanical design also studies how the product will function and what components are needed to make it perform as conceptualized. This service may range between $45 and $125 per hour or $5,000-$10,000 per project.
  • Industrial design – This service meanwhile concentrates on developing aspects of a product that create connections with the user. They integrate aspects of form, function, fit, and aesthetics to bring out the best possible user experience on the product. Industrial design may range between $45 to $150 per hour or $5,000-$10,000 per project.
  • Prototyping – Some industrial design firms offer prototyping while others do not. Prototyping is where an early sample of a product is built to test the concept or process. It is used to evaluate the design and enhance precision by users and system analysts. Prototyping may range between $50-$120 per hour, or $2,000 and up per project.
  • Branding – Branding design is about creating an identity for the product that is reflective of its core market values. Some industrial design companies offer branding design in their packages, while others offer it as a standalone service.

How industrial design agencies charge

Industrial design firms may charge a flat fee, fee for service, or reduced fee plus equity in their client projects. This depends on the client requirements and type of service acquired from the design firm.

  • Flat fee- Also known as fixed price, this payment model is usually based on a contract agreed upon by both client and agency, with clear inputs, specifications, requirements, outputs and expectations are specified.
  • Fee for service – This payment model meanwhile can be used for specific standalone services (such as ideation only, or if you only need 3D modelling). This can be either paid per hour or per project.
  • Reduced fee plus equity – This payment model is preferred when you aim to find a partner who is willing to commit to your product idea. The firm may reduce their rates and invest in your project and defer the development cost until revenues are generated from the product sales.