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Advice Needed For Hiring Design Freelancers

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I'm an aspiring entrepreneur/mechanical engineer looking to hire an Industrial Designer to come up with a few conceptual drawings of an office-related consumer product and ultimately a 3D rendering. I'll then use that rendering as a basis to crated the detailed manufactuing drawings and have several units manufactured myself.



I need to draft up a project description and post it on a freelance website (currently thinking about Elance). Unfortunately I don't yet understand Industrial Design "speak" or have much familiarity with what is reasonable to expect. What I was thinking about doing was posting the following for deliverables:


1. Need 3 or more conceptual, multi-view sketches in some electronic format (not sure what format is best)


2. After tweaks or updates are completed to the concepts, I'll choose one of them and will need a full 3D photorealistic rendering. The output of this should also be a model that is importable into Solidworks.



Please let me know how you think I can better describe this in language familiar to a designer. Additionally, please let me know what type of $$ I should be thinking about as my budget for this. I'd like to do it as a fixed price project (rather than hourly work) at least this first time. I'm starting out somewhat on the cheap (by that I'm mean I'm an individual not an established business), but I do want some quality work (over quantity) with a budget that isn't offensive (or too limiting) and later hope to use this person to develop several other versions if this works out.



Any other advice you have is much appreciated!



Thank you,





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Hello Kelly,


2 questions:


1) Have you already defined the big idea of your product? The idea can be described by the main features/selling points, how to use the product, the basic mechanical structure (including materials to use) or framework. If yes, then it seems like that you only need the industrial designer to make your idea look attractive and appropriate to the target market/user. Then you need to share more information about your big idea and the target market/user. Of course you might want to sign an NDA with the designer if you are sharing sensitive information. The scope of this project is mainly focused on styling.


2) Do you also need the industrial designer to improve on your big idea, regarding usability, ergonomics or other aspects? The scope of this project is larger then the first one.


As for pricing, you should try to get different proposals from different designers, and evaluate their portfolio/resume to make a decision with whom you want to collaborate with.


Hope this helps,


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Waikit made a very important clarification there (thanks for that)


You will want to think about how much added value industrial design can bring to your product/brand. If design is a critical purchase factor in your target market then it may be worth to invest more in it. On the other hand, if it's only to make it look a bit better and the main competitive value of your product lies in functionality/technology/materials then it might suffice to hire a designer to make a few sketches and simply pick one, instead of going into an elaborate process. In general I do think it's a good idea to have an industrial designer involved from the beginning, and develop the 'big idea' together with the designer as sometimes they will have the crucial insight that makes the product a success in the end. The industrial designer is often a bridge between the end user and technology, between emotion and reason, you could say. It sometimes gets underestimated how difficult that role can be. People in general don't seem to be willing to pay much for design but when they understand better how significant it can be this might change.


Anyway, for this project you are looking to have a few sketches made and then one converted into a 3D conceptual rendering. I think that should be clear for any designer after reading your description. Then as Waikit mentioned you want to talk about the big idea, and include end user's requirements. As far as I see it you should be looking at around $1,000, if you hire a freelancer and not a professional firm.


Cheers and good luck.


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