One of the most common questions we get is “How is engineering design different from other types of design?” Asking this question makes sense, since both “design” and “engineering” are wide concepts with many different applications, so it’s essential to understand the difference between some disciplines that are related but are by no means the same.
What Is Engineering Design?
Let’s begin by defining engineering design itself. This term refers to the organized development and testing (through the use of creativity as well as mathematical and scientific knowledge) of products and processes that perform a desired function within specified limits.
This definition is basic but provides enough material to make a comparison with other types of design. If you are interested in reading an expanded definition, read our previous post “What is engineering design?”
Difference Between Engineering Design and Industrial Design
According to the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), industrial design is “the professional practice of designing products, devices, objects, and services used by millions of people around the world every day.”
Furthermore, “industrial designers typically focus on the physical appearance, functionality, and manufacturability of a product, though they are often involved in far more during a development cycle.”
In other words, engineering designers focus on product functionality, while industrial designers take care of the formal, or aesthetic aspects of a product.
Difference Between Engineering Design and Graphic Design
In the case of engineering design and graphic design, the differences are even more evident.
Graphic design, or more simply “design” in the definition of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), is the discipline whose goal is to “improve the visual appearance and function of messages and information”.
So, while graphic design deals with information that is mostly bi-dimensional such as texts, images, or advertisements, engineering design focuses on the function of physical products that are tridimensional for the most part.
Learn More About Engineering Design
Engineering design is an exciting field with myriad real-life applications. For example, these are some previous posts you can read to learn more about this fascinating topic.
- What is engineering design?
- A basic glossary of engineering design: part 1and part 2
- Engineering design for children: 5 useful benefits
- What is the engineering design process?
- The amazing history behind Roman bridges
- What is Portland Cement?
- What is a Gantt chart?
Darnell Technical Services is an engineering design firm with extensive experience in a vast array of projects.
Our headquarters are located in Santa Ana, California, and we have an office in Las Vegas, Nevada. Contact us today by telephone (714-285-0082 (CA), 702-945-2899 (NV)) or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about all the technical instruments and materials we put at your disposal.