Industrial Design Services

Each product development project is shaped around our client’s needs, below is a selection of some of the services we provide for them. 


If you haven’t worked with an industrial design agency before we can talk you through each service and suggest which ones might be best suited to your project. 

Design Ethnography

The Initial phase of a full product development process is known as design ethnography. Design ethnography revolves around gaining an understanding of the intended users of a product. This entails identifying who the intended users are and what the intended use of the product is. By understanding the user’s perspective the chance of producing a successful product increases significantly. 


Emphasising with users makes sure the product aligns with their needs, is actually what they want rather than what is assumed, is intuitive to use and accomplishes its tasks efficiently. Understanding and emphasising with the user can be achieved through various research methods and will vary depending on the product. Methods may include user observation, interviews or focus groups, journey mapping, user profiling/demographics and empathy mapping. 


The design ethnography phase often also takes into account competitors. Conducting competitor research can identify gaps in the market, areas where you or your competitors are falling behind and potential future opportunities. By combining user and competitor research it can be possible to pinpoint new features or cost saving measures that have yet to be utilised.

Ideation / Design Thinking

Once we’ve gained a thorough understanding of the user and competition we can proceed to develop solutions based on the data gained during the design ethnography phase. User-centred design and design thinking are effective processes that can be utilised with this information to generate problem solving solutions. During this process it’s crucial to take a step back and identify the root cause of the problem, rather than what may be the perceived issue. Starting with the root cause allows us to potentially find innovative or unconventional ways to solve it. 


For instance, let’s consider the example of a pen. If we were to ask someone to design a pen the most likely outcome will be a pen. However if you take a step back and contemplate its real purpose it could be something different. A pen is primarily a method of communication, if you reframe the challenge to “design a method of communication” we open up the possibility to explore alternative methods beyond a pen.

Human Factors / Ergonomics

Everyone’s different, there are a lot of people in the world and a good design should be usable by all of its intended users. This is where demographics insights from the design ethnography phase come in. If the product interacts with a specific part of the human body, such as being handheld or worn on the head then it’s essential that the ergonomics of the design need to be considered.


Human factors typically take into account percentiles, a 5th percentile being on the lower range of the spectrum and a 95th being on the higher end. Ignoring these factors during the design may result in a product that’s difficult to use by certain individuals. For example a design made for children would need to differ from a design made for adults. Furthermore, a 5th percentile child will be quite different to a 95th percentile. Additionally, children grow rapidly, and defining the age range for the product can significantly influence the design outcome.


During this phase, usability testing is crucial to validate that the design solution meets the needs of the intended users. If the product is intended for a wide demographic it’s recommended to test with a diverse range of individuals to ensure optimal results.

Interaction & Interface Design

Interaction and interface design can relate to digital or physical interfaces. Whilst ergonomics and human factors look at how well someone can physically interact with a product, interaction and interface design focuses on the intuitiveness and function of using the product. Usability testing remains one of the best ways to ensure intuitive functionality.

Trend & Aesthetic Exploration

Trend and aesthetic exploration looks at current and future trends in the market. What directions could the design go in from an aesthetic perspective, what are your company’s ambitions and how might your product fit into the market visually. When selecting aesthetic directions it’s important to consider your company’s ambitions and values. This can help align the aesthetic direction with your company’s vision.

Visual Brand Languages, Branding & Identity

Successful companies have strong recognisable and memorable brands. A strong brand helps create customer recognition and loyalty. Most medium and larger companies have brand guidelines, however these are sometimes only applied to 2D items like documents and websites. Most market leading companies also apply this to their physical products.


Physical product branding is more than just applying a logo, it’s about creating a recognisable family appearance. Form, shape language, colours and their proportions all contribute to establishing a strong brand identity. Many good examples of this are evident in the automotive industry. Take Lamborghini, for instance, their cars tend to have sharper edges and more aggressive shapes and forms. Making the brand easily identifiable without seeing the logo. On the other hand some car manufacturers create a softer, rounder look, creating a less aggressive friendlier impression. This is where a visual brand language or physical brand language guideline becomes invaluable in shaping a company’s brand. Such a guideline defines the character of a product from that brand, the forms and shapes it employs, how it’s proportioned in terms of both form and colour, and finally how logos are applied. A successful brand communication strategy strives to create a recognisable product family even in the absence of the logo. By following a guideline companies can ensure consistency across their product range and build trust and recognition among consumers.

Concept Design

The concept design phase is a major part of the product development process. All the previous research and design strategy comes together at this point. This stage can be one of the most exciting for clients, where they start to see their product coming to life.


This phase may include a mixture of industrial design sketches, 3D CAD and prototyping. During this phase, various possibilities may be explored, offering different options for product assembly, functionality, manufacturing techniques, cost considerations, and visual aesthetics. Industrial design sketches play an important role in quickly and efficiently visualising different directions in terms of both form and function. Supplementing the sketch concepts with 3D CAD provides more robust and detailed concept design solutions.


By the conclusion of the concept phase, a clear chosen direction for the product emerges, ready to progress into the next stage of productionisation.

‘A Surface’ Modelling

This phase focuses on creating the final external shape of the product using 3D CAD. It involves translating the concept design sketches and aesthetic direction from the previous phase into a digital 3D representation. The model referred to as the ‘A Surface’ ensures the design aligns with the intended aesthetic direction and captures the desired look and feel. Concurrently, the internal layout and components are taken into account to ensure a cohesive and functional design. Once the external shape is completed, all the individual components will then be split out from the ‘A Surface’ ready for internal engineering referred to as the ‘B Surface’. 


At the end of this phase it’s common to create aesthetic or ‘looks like’ models and prototypes. These models can be used to evaluate the physical design further, assessing the designs appearance and ergonomics allowing for further improvements if required. Aesthetic models can also be useful to show investors and gauge consumer response.

Colour, Material & Finish (CMF)

The CMF (Colour, Material, and Finish) phase is where colour schemes, materials and finishes are defined for the product. Whilst this phase is often associated with aesthetics, it can also take into account functionality and practicality. The choices made during the CMF stage are influenced by various factors including environmental conditions, the product’s use case, and consumer preferences. 

For instance, if a product is intended for outdoor use, certain colours may be better than others when it comes to dirt and weathering. Similarly if a product is used in a wet environment, matte or textured finishes may provide more grip compared to glossy finishes. 


The CMF phase also provides potential visual options for different price points or to provide more consumer choice. Lower specification versions of the product may have more cost effective finishes, whereas higher end variants may have premium materials and finishes.

Engineering, Design For Manufacture & Assembly

Successful product development entails engineering a product that excels in functionality, product lifecycle, manufacturing processes, cost, and design for assembly and disassembly. This phase is heavily influenced by the earlier concept design phase, which is why it’s important to consider manufacturing and assembly from the outset. Different budgets and production volumes ranging from high to low will dictate available manufacturing processes. Choosing the appropriate process ensures the product design remains cost effective. For instance, when producing a limited quantity of products alternative processes will be more suitable than injection moulding. Once the manufacturing process is determined, engineering details can be designed and optimised accordingly. 


Design for manufacturability is closely tied to design for assembly. Having well engineered components is insufficient if the assembly is time consuming or unnecessarily complex. Optimising the assembly design can not only streamline production but can also benefit maintenance or servicing. For products that require regular maintenance or servicing an efficient assembly design will reduce labour costs and facilitate the maintenance process.

Design For Sustainability

Sustainable design has emerged as a high priority for many companies. Creating a design with minimal environmental impact can cover various aspects that need to be considered. Key factors include ensuring the design minimises energy usage and polluting manufacturing processes, as well as minimising material consumption and using materials that can be recycled. Other important considerations include packaging design, ease of disassembly, maintenance and repair, and biodegradability. 


Whilst these factors directly address sustainability, there are other aspects to consider which may not be immediately associated with environmentally friendly design. These include robustness and engineering of the product. A well engineered and robust product will last longer and as such will have a longer lifespan, ultimately reducing waste. The same is true for the aesthetic design, designs that are influenced by short lived trends are more likely to be replaced sooner, while designs with timeless appeal will tend to have a longer life cycle. This can be more apparent in the consumer electronics industry compared to sectors such as the industrial equipment or medical device industries.

Prototyping and Testing

Prototyping plays a crucial role during the product design and development process. It allows for validation of function, assembly and overall design improvement before going into production. Although prototyping incurs costs, it generally proves cost effective in the long run. The key to prototyping lies in using the most efficient process in terms of both cost and time to achieve the desired knowledge. This may involve rapid prototyping such as 3D printing, card modelling or CNC machining. 


For instance an ergonomic test model may be made out of card, this makes it simple and inexpensive whilst providing valuable insights and allowing for quick iterations. As the product evolves during the development process, higher fidelity prototypes can be created to simulate the final design. These can incorporate all the necessary final design details for comprehensive testing before committing to production.


Another purpose of prototyping is for performance testing. If the product is used in a harsh environment or goes through frequent operations during its life cycle, prototyping is an opportunity to test this. For instance, products that come into contact with water can go through an IP test to ensure proper sealing for the intended environment.

Product Visualisation, CGI Renders & Animations

CGI renders and animations can be beneficial in showcasing the product before it is produced. Visualisations can be a great way to show the product’s design, including different finish and colour options. Additionally an animation can be utilised to communicate the functionality of specific features. 


CGI renders and animations can be used for a range of applications. They can be valuable marketing assets, enabling companies to generate content to captivate potential customers or investors before the product is launched and showcase selling points.

Product Photography

Photographs of the finished product are a great tool for showcasing its appearance and highlighting specific areas or features. Creating crisp, well lit and attractive photos can communicate the quality of the product and influence customer purchase decisions.