How does a Graphic Designer get into Industrial Design?

Hey man,

I recently graduate in product design here in Brazil, if you really want to do industrial design the first step in mine opinion is to know what it is, read and study about it. Go to the ICSID (International Counsil of Societies of Industrial Design) website as follow What Does Doing Business As Mean –, there you´ll find a very nice definition and a quikly story abou design history. After that read about design methods, you can go to the famous design firms and learn how they work, for example IDEO (also read their book The Art of Innovation) or get all the books you can find about methods, here in Brazil we consider Mike Baxter´s book “Product Design: Practical Methods for Systematic Development of New Products” a true bible (here the link but maybe you find some others that you´d like more. Anothe thing, as industrial design you must be familiar to all materials, their characterists, their limits and their manufacture process here´s another nice book Materials and Design - The Art and Science of Material Slection in Product Design.
Besides reading all those books you must to the mot i,portant thing, observe people, know their needs, after all, you´ll be designing for them…
Design is a strategic tool to get inovation and add values to products for a target consumers , is an intelectual and methodical process.
I hope i´ve helped you some how, at least that´s some few things i know about design, so keep moving to your dream and draw a lot of sketchs and conceps.

PS: I´m sorry to all about my english, i supose that there are a lot of gramar mistakes, it´s been a long time that i don´t write anything in english :slight_smile:

Just throwing my 2 cents in,

I originally went to college for Art and then was going to major in graphic design until I finally switched to ID. I made the transition through steering my academic projects towards ID and working on a lot of independent projects. When assignments were more open ended I would make a physical object or game rather than something on paper. I worked really hard to get summer internships in interaction design, which proved to be a very happy medium between the 2D and 3D worlds. It’s just a lot of self-initiated work to get yourself into the field.

Either way, graphic design and industrial design are more-or-less the same thing. As my professor likes to say “it’s just a matter of whether you want to design posters or toasters”. There are a set of standards expected in the ID world, but you’ve already got the communication, story-telling, and design skills, which are the most important parts. So essentially, you’re already there.

Hopefully that wasn’t too preachy.

Agreed, but it is only a “part” of ID. Does there have to be a specific problem solved in order to design something? Nope. I often design furniture. The chair has been around since the dawn of man. Its been designed and re-designed a million times, yet I can still design my own version and be happy with it. It solves nothing. I still get paid. Product design isn’t all problem solving all the time. Sometimes you just need an exciting combination of form, feel, color and function.

My advice is just start doing it. I was an Art Director for several years before switching to ID. I kept my eyes and my head open to all things ID related and learned all my lessons by experience and research. I would also recommend learning either Solidworks or Pro/Engineer. Sure, products were designed before the invention of CAD, but CAD is here to stay. When you go looking for an ID job in the future, do you really want to be the applicant that doesn’t know any CAD? Competition can be fierce in this field, so the more design weapons you can wield the better.

Here’s a place to start:

Some very good advice there. And, even if you are in an ID program, it is still going to take a lot of self initiated work to break in, just the way it is.