Full-Service Industrial Design Experts

Our Industrial Designers are experts at navigating the product solution from the concept to manufacturing.  Real-world product user interfaces are more complex to design than graphical user interfaces, requiring balanced decisions on keys, controls, displays and indicators that meet user needs, trading off size of product, function priority and product cost.

Trusted to Design, Develop, and Engineer Manufacture-Ready Products for Startups and the World’s Most Innovative Brands

What You’ll Get With Our Industrial Design Services

Industrial design support follows a rigorous 3-step process giving you a highly-functional design you’ll love

concept design sketches for tech device

Design Concepts

Starting with your product vision, we work with you to identify the target user and explore visual concepts of potential solutions through sketching.

Once a direction is chosen, the team creates appealing product models and integrates these concept ideas with practical and feasible engineering architectures.

You’ll receive final design concepts captured in 3D CAD models to allow feedback from clients, users, and other stakeholders.

Design Models

As you move from product concept options to a chosen design, our team builds physical prototypes that replicate the product experience to test and ensure a rewarding user experience.

We bring select product concepts to life using various in-house prototype methods, including 3D printing or rapid CNC machining.

You’ll receive high-quality prototypes that meet your specific design requirements. Form, color, material selection, and finish are all part of the specifications we provide, as the product development proceeds.

quirk logic product showcasing design and buttons

Refine Chosen Design

Using the latest tools for creativity and virtual collaboration, we’ll work with your team until you’re happy with the design concepts.

We’ll host a series of in-person or virtual meetings through our state-of-the-art interactive whiteboard, allowing immersive sketching, brainstorming, and collaboration around your product idea.

You’ll get a final design that is ready to move to the next stage in product development.

Industrial Design Expertise

Concept Creation

Meeting all your Industrial Design needs, we can:

  • Evaluate competitive products and useful functions
  • Sketch potential product features, options and benefits
  • Visualize options with 3 dimensional Computer geometry
  • Build and test out unique high value design elements

Human Factors Design

Providing you with insight into user preference, we can:

  • Research context related user information to aid decisions
  • Apply behavioral and ergonomic expertise to your design
  • Evaluate user interface options using interactive simulation
  • Conduct fast and low cost evaluation testing of hypotheses

Brand Design

To meet all your brand design needs, we can:
  • Design brand elements, including: logos, labels, and other aesthetic elements
  • Find ways to differentiate the new high value elements of a design that are critical to convey so your product stands out.

Packaging Design

Offering you a range of product design services, we can:

  • Create unique, professional product packaging and graphics documentation
  • Create mock-ups of packaging options and the graphics to visualize, test and optimize the customer experience

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What Clients Say About Working With Design 1st

George Tsintzouras

Director of Product, Christie Digital

Immediately understood what was needed

When we wanted to transition our older generation projector models to a more modern look and feel, Design 1st was a valuable asset. Given the depth of their design and engineering experience, Design 1st immediately understood what was needed. They worked with our internal engineering team through the process to provide us with compatible solutions to meet our needs.

Stephen Rayment

VP Engineering, Ericsson

Our trusted engineering partner for six years

Design 1st has been our trusted industrial design and mechanical engineering partner for over six years and they have proven themselves to be valuable, competent and committed to our success. They add value because they understand the tradeoffs between user value and cost, the need to balance both the business and product objectives, along with excellent knowledge of materials and manufacturing / tooling options.

Mike Tettenborn

VP Engineering, Caframo

Right balance of art and engineering

We selected Design 1st because their designers and engineers demonstrated the right creativity and technical understanding. With their CAD and modelling tools they were able to address the numerous design challenges encountered with this type of product. The end result was an easy-to-install, powerful marine hatch fan – unlike any on the market.

Kurt Francis

Co-Founder, CTO, Molecule

Deepest bench of technical talent

I did a lot of due diligence on product development companies and Design 1st had the deepest bench for technical capability. They worked on such a broad range of products with successful commercialization. Design 1st’s early efforts in prototype development helped us move from a powder substrate into a commercially product for testing.

John Lupton

Director of Engineering, GeoSight

Got up and running fast

The whole design was my idea and I had patents on them. The team’s main work was to solve the functionality issue of a piece of my design. On top of that, they helped identify one of our manufacturers.

Didi Horn

CTO, SkyX

Exceeded Our Expectations

The Design 1st team exceeded our expectations and helped us deliver an exceptional product to the market. As a startup, we were working within a budget but expected the highest quality product. Design 1st identified the risks up front, had the vast network of partners to find the right components, and customized it to meet our unique needs.

Fully Certified and Award-Winning

Our company and staff are certified with the Professional Engineers of Ontario and with ACIDO certified Industrial Designers of Ontario. We are also affiliated with Carleton University.

A Tailored Team of Experts

When you work with Design 1st, you’re accessing a tailored, cross-functional team of specialists customized for your specific project. As your project evolves, so too does the team working on it, so you get only the most expert people providing input every step of the way.

Embedded Systems

Seamless integration of electronics into physical devices.

Embedded Design Team

Mechanical Engineering

Find creative mechanical solutions to technical challenges.

Mechanical Design Team

Industrial Design

Transform your product concept into a refined manufacture-ready design.

Industrial Design Team

Electronics Engineering

Add power, secure connectivity, and interaction control to your products.

Electronic Design Team

Transfer to Manufacturing

Move your product into volume manufacturing.

Manufacture Transfer Team

Design Strategy

Set your new product up for success with a well-laid plan.

Design Strategy Team

Frequently Asked Questions

When you admire a beautifully crafted gadget or tool, what you’re appreciating is the culmination of multiple disciplines working together. At the heart of this is Product Design—a holistic approach where engineering and industrial design converge to create outstanding products.

Product Design: This is the grand umbrella under which many aspects come together to make a product both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It encompasses everything from the initial concept to the final product you hold in your hand. Engineers ensure the product performs its function reliably and safely. At the same time, industrial designers craft its appearance and user experience. Product Design is the meeting ground where technical feasibility aligns with user desires, bringing a vision to life in the most effective and appealing way.

Industrial Design: A subset of Product Design, Industrial Design is all about the tangible aspects of the product. It delves into the nitty-gritty of how a product looks, feels, and interacts with its users. This involves choosing the right materials, ensuring ergonomic comfort, and designing a product’s form that not only looks good but also can be feasibly manufactured. Industrial designers ensure that the product’s aesthetics align seamlessly with its function, making it both delightful and practical.

In summary, while Industrial Design focuses on the tangible attributes and aesthetics of a product, Product Design is the broader field where this focus meshes with engineering to produce items that not only look good but work brilliantly too. 🌟🔍

Our manufacturing setup experts will help you identify and secure trusted part suppliers and a contract manufacturer (CM) onshore, or offshore, depending your product objectives and needs.

We can facilitate the prototyping and product builds, from helping coordinate the CM and parts supplier relationships, to overseeing product batch builds, injection tooling approvals, release controlled documentation, quality plans, regulatory testing, Bill of Materials managements, and parts supply coordination.

The Design 1st team works with strategic business teams looking to reduce risk and cost and maximize product value.

We are an excellent fit for business teams new to hardware product development who want an expert team to plug in and move their concept design to volume production. We are experts at network products, wireless app and cloud integrations

Our diverse team of planners, designers, engineers, electronics and supply strategy experts makes the transition from product concept to manufacturing a much more predictable process.

NDA’s ensure confidentiality for both parties during conversations. We provide a mutual NDA where the terms apply to both parties. If your organization has an NDA that requires our signature, we handle this through email.

The Measures Taken To Ensure Your Industrial Design Success

Design 1st undertakes a rigorous design review process to bring your product ideas to life.