You are currently viewing Career Transitions: How To Move From Graphic Design To Product Design In 2024?

Career Transitions: How To Move From Graphic Design To Product Design In 2024?

  • Post published:28 May 2024

The fields of graphic design & product design share many common things. Both involve sharing information through aesthetics. It is quite common practice. Especially when people want to change their careers after a few years. it is perfectly fine! When an individual wants to pursue a distinct career choice. Anyone has the freedom to make their own decision. Are you a graphic designer? If, yes then you can look forward to other types of design opportunities. let’s say you want to make a transition from graphic design to product design. The product design graphic design are different. 

 Yet they have some things in common. Graphic design includes the display of information through visual mediums for example print/ digital.

 The product graphic design involves the designing of a three-dimensional product. Both product design and graphic design look forward to common things. As they understand to make the customers curious about the product.  Finally want to use the same. There is a concept of space in both these design aspects. The graphic designer works in a virtual space. In opposite to that, product designers imagine real physical space. And they think about designing in the digital world.

Are you a graphic design professional searching for ways to change your career path and widen your scope? If, yes just explore the world of product design. But before that, it is extremely vital to understand the differences between the two. Also, know about skill set and qualifications.  As you are required to pursue a successful career in product graphic design.

Graphic design vs product design: Similarities

The graphic design and product design revolve around crafting visual communication. This is done through design principles. As such principles act as the basic tools to craft every product. 

The graphic design introduction mainly focuses on visual communication. This is done by combining things. Both typography as well as images communicate the message. On the other hand product design is a process to manage the entire workflow. This involves creating a most practical product. Something that users want. Or require for usage. The core principles in graphic design and production are applicable equally. This includes typography, color, and composition. And also the layout. Graphic and product design both use digital tools extensively. 

Some common software that graphic designer use include Adobe Creative Suite for digital artwork. While product designers make use of CAD(computer-aided design) software. The use of this software is to model as well as to prototype the products. Both the product designers and graphic designers apply design thinking principles. This solves issues. And come up with the most innovative solutions. The core design thinking principle includes four components. These are the research process, ideation, prototyping as well as testing. This is to achieve the best design outcome.

Product design graphic design: Understanding differences 

So, do you want to know the difference between product design and graphic design?

Product Design Vs Graphic Design: What is Graphic Design?

The field of graphic design & production focuses on creating visual information. This is for different mediums. This includes content for print, digital as well as advertising. The graphic designers work on many different projects. This includes branding, web designing, and product packaging. And another type of marketing material. The professional graphic designer works on typography, text as well as colors. All this is to put a strong message through the creative work. Also, the visuals for putting information on billboards, posters, or social media graphics.

Product Design Vs Graphic Design: what is product design?

The product design focuses on the creation and combining of items. This includes consumer electronics, domestic items, medical equipment, and much more. This not only involves the looks of the product design. But also the efficiency in usage, and practical way to manufacture. And end consumer experience. So, product creation involves an integrated approach. The graphic and product design include manufacturing, efficiency, and also user research. So, the product design team not only creates attractive items. 

But also the one with functionality. So, there is understanding from the customer’s perspective. This ranges from the design, functionality, and product packaging. Also directions for usage. Both graphic design product design include the creation of visual content. But the end goal and how it is achieved is very different. As the graphic design means putting the information by using visual elements. And product design is all about solving the problems. And the creation of useful as well as desirable products.

Some basic differences between product design and graphic design include:

  • Focus & purpose

The graphic design and production focus create visual content. this is for communication. It includes logos, advertisements, brand messages, typography, etc. While product design focuses on designing physical/ digital products. The products that cater to users’ unique needs.

  • Software tools for graphic and product design

The graphic design uses software tools like Adobe Illustrator. Also, use Photoshop & Indesign software. The product design uses CAD, Computer-aided design software & also 3D modeling tools. For example SolidWorks, Sketchup, or another Fusion 360.

  • End User interaction

Graphic design means communication one way. The designer presents a unique message or innovative idea. This is for the target audience. On the other hand, product design means two-way interaction. As it occurs between the user and the finished product. The limited focus of product design is to impart an intuitive and user-friendly experience.

  • Life cycle & time frame

The graphic design process comprises brief timelines. As the focus is to create designs. The designs should be quick to produce and convenient to iterate. In contrary to that, product design involves extended timelines. The focus is on research, prototyping, testing, and ultimately design refining. This is to craft durable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing items.

  • Skills & expertise

Both product design graphic design need creative skills. However, some differences exist in the type of expertise that is needed. Graphic designers need strong strength in some areas. As it includes visual communication, color aspect, and typography. Also, tools related to digital design technology. In contrast to that product designers need broader and extensive skill sets. This includes material knowledge, manufacturing processes, and 3D modeling. Also, other areas like prototyping and centric design principles.

How does graphic design prepare professionals for product design?

The next question is do graphic designers need to start from the basics? Do, they need to redo their entire education to become product designers? Many product design teams need design professionals with graphic design experience. As graphic design has experience. This is in the field of studying, discussing, and including the emotions of the user in design. People who have engineering backgrounds design products differently. They do it formally and mathematically. But they forget to include the emotions of users in the design. As it is one of the best ways to engage users.

 Another aspect in graphic designers are familiar with visual principles. The graphic design and production teams work with layouts and other visual tools. Graphic designers have different types of experience. As they work through many different layouts. This is for a specific design. So, they are more likely to notice the design is not visually working.

What things to know to become a product designer?

Product design and graphic design are different in many ways. The field of product design is not specific. The job is different in many ways. It rely on organizational size. Also, on the budget and many other factors. 

Some things are common to do this job. Do you want to move from graphic design to product design? Some common things product design aspirants should know:

  • Sketching & drawing in product design

The graphic design is limited to drawing. Also involves manipulation of both lines and shapes. However, product design comprises tons of sketching. Also, include many other types of drawing possibilities. The individual learns through practice. The product design involves many key tasks. This includes a good hand at drawing and sketching. Also depends upon the industry you work in. You may also have to work on vellum. This includes sketching by hand and coloring.

  • Physical models in product design

The prototype is part of the product design. But what is done to study the product structure? And how does construction play out? You develop the prototype by hand. Then understand material work? There are modern handmade 3D models. As it includes CNC-constructed models from digital files. The product designer can also learn new programs for example Solid Works.

  • UX design 

The UX design experience saves lots of time. This is when you start to learn about wireframes. Also about other aspects. Everything that UX designers use in the design process. The product design is the precursor to UX/UI design. The designer should think about the user. What the user wants out of the product. What possibilities to improve things exists? There is no need to possess a wealth of UX design experience. However, a portfolio of case studies helps design a product. 

  • Tips & tricks for aspiring product designers

Do you want to transition from graphic design to product design? Do you want to enter into the product design field? Now from 2020, product design is different! As it is not due to the technology change. But also changes in design thinking!

  • Knowledge about design thinking

The design thinking books come every year. so make sure to stay updated on the latest trends and strategies. This is when you want to make the most effective products. You can read many books on Design Thinking Process steps or simply creativity in general. Also, get a sense of what people think about in industry.

  • Graphic design expertise in product design

Brainstorm ideas to apply to product design. This makes a huge impact on the quality of ideas. Also, it is so much helpful. You can put ideas in front of managers and other stakeholders. Anyone with creative roles in the organization. Simply pick out what works best in every product design.

  • Function over aesthetics in product design

The clever design makes a product useful. And not simply make things look good. As this, you do as a graphic designer. Simply focuses on making every part of the design link directly to product utility.

  • Determine pain points

The UX designer creates personas. So, as a product designer make sure to design for people. Someone who uses the product. So, try to address the problems that users face. This is challenging these days. With the focus on innovation, companies are fixing things that are not broken. However, make the design effective. The product should address issues users face.


Now you carefully examine the role of graphic designer and product designer. Both product design graphic design  play a crucial role in the world of innovation and technology. The graphic designer focuses on different aspects. This includes visual communication, branding as well as product aesthetics. On the other hand, product designers work to create functional designs. Also, user-centric items that add value to their lives.

 Are you a visionary and problem-solving professional? Do you want to contribute to meaningful innovations? if yes then, you should try out the product design career. Move to this journey of product designer from a graphic designer. Embark on this journey with the help of a reputable institution. Join the academy that fosters both your creativity. Also, hone your other skills.

Hire graphic designer and product designer from App Tag Solutions! Contact today

 The move from graphic design to product design demands careful consideration. Also strategic planning. But you take help from current design trends. Also, understand the creative procedure. make sure to see career guidance. And gain industry insights. All this helps you to navigate the shift successfully.Hire graphic designer and product designer from App Tag Solutions & accomplish your project with ease!

Hope the information in this blog post is helpful. It is an extraordinary experience. And become an exceptional innovator in the transition from graphic design to product design. Someone who makes an extraordinary impact on the world. You are going to enjoy every step of your way.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

  • Product design & graphic design: What are the similarities?

The product design  graphic design comprise many similar things. Both need a keen eye for detail. Also, both fields need an immense passion for art. As product design graphic design requires to create beautiful work. The two revolve around visual communication. This is through a combination of two things.  The typography & images convey a message.

  • What is the difference between graphic and product design?

The graphic design displays information through a visual medium. This includes print or digital. However, product design focuses on product design.  And also promotes its use.

  • What skills do product designers need?

For successful product design, some skills and qualifications are essential. examples of such skills include:

         3D modeling

This is essential to create a digital product prototype. Also, visualize the design from each angle.


The product designer makes physical models. This includes prototyping techniques. Examples are 3D printing, CNC machining, etc

        Engineering skills

The product designer also needs engineering principal knowledge. This includes material, procedure, and design principles.

  • Design software proficiency

The product designer’s proficiency in AutoCad, Figma, and software

  • Is the transition from graphic design to product design worthy?

The change of career from graphic designer to product design looks challenging. However, it deliver rewards especially during long run. The professional needs the right skill set, approach, and qualification. And this is of course attainable. make sure to understand the difference between graphic design and production. Also, acquire the necessary experience & build skills. And move on to a successful career in product design.

  • How to become a product designer from a graphic designer?

The decision to change careers is not easy. A graphic design background is helpful to become a product designer. Graphic design provides useful skills. So, make sure to focus on four areas to become a product designer:

            1.  Practice your skills and creativity

            2.  Built your portfolio to apply for product designer role

            3.  Find the right mentor

            4.  Gain confidence and expertise to become successful anywhere