Industrial Design Day 2023

Celebrated annually on March 5, and entered into the U.S. Congressional Record in 2015 by U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Industrial Design Day declares that industrial designers “improve our lives in every way and are worthy of our recognition.” This 8th annual National ID Day marks the 58th anniversary of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), which was founded on March 5, 1965.

Over the years, the Sprout industrial design team has had the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse number of clients from startups to Fortune 500 brands, on a variety of projects from high volume products that sell millions every year to small batch production beta products. No matter the project, our five-phase process remains the same. 

On the blog today we’re diving into the process our industrial design team uses to take ideas from concept to manufacture. (If you’re curious to see more of the project in these images, click here for the full case study.) 

Phase 1 — Design Development

2 to 4 months

Every project starts by understanding the problem we are trying to solve. Through in-depth research and exploration, we immerse ourselves into the specific design needs, identify the market and competition, and highlight the areas of opportunity to develop a range of concept options, from mild to wild. Collaboration between client and our design team is key to pinpointing the most impactful and user-centered solution(s) to pursue into the next phase.

Phase 2 — Proof of Concept

1 to 3 months

We rely on our rapid in-house 3D prototyping to create physical models and prototypes of the concepts preferred by the client. These artifacts are deployed to research and insights teams for consumer review, as well as production partners to explore opportunities and challenges posed by the new concept solutions.

Phase 3 — Engineering & Sourcing

6 to 9 months

Focus is now directed into fine-tuning our design for reality. By picking apart every aspect of the concept, we can concentrate on minute details that might need adjustment in order to reach completion. Engineering will further refine the client selection with strong consideration of supply chain issues and the needs of the logistics team so that we can begin the manufacturing sourcing process.

Phase 4 — Manufacturing

3 to 9 months

We work in collaboration with engineers, developers, and manufacturers in order to manage and preserve the investment in the design integrity that was made early in the development process. Our visual design team is often brought in at this stage to develop structural packaging to accommodate the selected distribution plan. 

Phase 5 — Market Launch


Our multidisciplinary in-house teams are available to develop messaging and marketing strategies, as well.  Our graphic designers are frequently engaged to develop launch campaign collateral and retail and POP displays. Marketing departments often work alongside our visualization designers to design 3D product renderings, animations, and motion graphics for omnichannel promotion objectives.


Use the hashtag #IndustrialDesignDay to share how you are celebrating National Industrial Design Day, and check out the events hosted by IDSA Chapters across the country

We invite you to connect more with our team next Wednesday, March 8 at our Women in Industrial Design book launch event. Open to all in the design community. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

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