Industrial Design Services Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Industrial Design Services Industry Profile

Companies in this industry create and develop designs for manufactured products. Major companies include Ammunition, Designworks (owned by BMW), Frog Design, IDEO, RKS, and Smart Design (all based in the US), as well as Alessi (Italy), BUSSE Design (Germany), PDD and Seymourpowell (both based in the UK).

Globally, applicants from China, South Korea, the US, Japan, and the EU had the most registered industrial designs in 2017, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Offices located in Asia accounted for two-thirds of industrial design applications in 2017.

The US industrial design services industry includes about 1,550 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with annual revenue of about $2 billion.


Demand for industrial design is driven by consumer spending and advances in technology. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and effective marketing. Large companies have advantages in taking on multiple projects and serving major customers. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing. The industry in the US is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 55% of industry revenue.

Customers and prospects become competitors when they bring design services in-house rather than hire industrial design firms. Freelance designers may be competitors or contract labor.


Major services include product and packaging design, along with model design and fabrication. Companies that make consumer products engage industrial designers to develop, design, and oversee projects for new and ...

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