What Are the Main Differences Between Engineering Design and Industrial Design?

Engineering design and industrial design are two distinct disciplines, each with its own unique purpose and set of tools. Engineering design is an analytical, problem-solving approach to creating solutions that can be implemented in a technical fashion.

Industrial design, on the other hand, is an artistic, user-focused approach to product design that emphasizes form and function. Both disciplines often work together in product development efforts.

Engineering Design is a field of engineering concerned with the development of complex technical products, systems and structures. It is the application of science and mathematics to the creation of products or systems which meet specified requirements and are cost-effective. Engineering Design draws from mathematics, physics, chemistry, materials sciences and other scientific disciplines to come up with innovative solutions for products or systems.

Industrial Design is focused on the aesthetic form of a product or system as well as its function. It involves creativity and innovation in order to come up with aesthetically pleasing designs that meet user needs. Industrial designers work closely with engineers in order to create products that not only look good but also perform well.

Main Differences Between Engineering Design And Industrial Design:

  • Engineering Design focuses on problem solving while Industrial Design focuses on aesthetics.
  • Engineering Design relies heavily on mathematics and science while Industrial Design relies heavily on creativity.
  • Engineering Design deals mainly with technical aspects while Industrial Design deals mainly with user experience.
  • Engineering Design creates solutions that are cost effective while Industrial Desing creates solutions that look good.


The main differences between Engineering Design and Industrial Design are their focus on problem solving versus aesthetics, mathematics/science versus creativity, technical aspects versus user experience, and cost effectiveness versus looking good. The two disciplines often work together in product development efforts as engineering provides the necessary functionality while industrial design creates a visually appealing package for the user.