Product design and graphic design processes have different overall objectives. However, both product designers and graphic designers share a need to understand customer and organizational objectives and to find a way for their designs to create an intersection of customer and organizational requirements. Fundamentally, product design focuses on production or manufacturing and graphic design focuses on marketing.
Customer-Facing Product Design
The focal aspect of product design involves a customer-facing perspective on the design process. The product designer’s overall objective deals with providing a means of profitability for the employing organization by designing marketable products. An effective product design process begins with identification of what the customer needs or wants in a product. The product designer, or product design team, starts with evaluation of likely customer requirements in a new product.
Product Design: Utility
An important product design objective involves the product’s utility. Product designers must consider how the product will function for the customer. They need to project in what better ways a particular product will serve the customer’s needs than a similar product. Product designers also consider whether competitive pricing will make certain features more attractive. Product design objectives include taking all these factors into account to design a product with sufficient appeal that will propel buying decisions.
Product Design: Budgeting
Another product design objective is cost consciousness. Apart from the customer’s budgeting constraints, product designers need to take into account internal budgeting within their organization. Internal budgeting involves considerations both of time and money. Minimizing the costs of the design process and product production form an important objective within product design efforts. At the same time, product design has the objective of conforming to the design project schedule and completing each design effort within a reasonable time frame.
Graphic Design: Branding
Graphic design can involve a variety of different objectives depending on the specific design project. However, the foundation of most if not all graphic design projects involves a key concept: branding. Branding plays a pivotal role in customer recognition for an organization and its products or services. The graphic designer's objective is designing a variety of different visuals that reflect the company image. Such branding has the aim either of creating or reinforcing a distinctive company image. Graphic designers do this through designing such visual representations as company logos, brand logos, brochures, book covers and illustrations and graphics for video games and other filmed productions.