Cost of Designing a Product

Mitigating Risk and minimizing the cost of designing a product
steps of design thinking
how to start inventing
patent drawing
innovation method
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Mitigating Risk and minimizing the cost of designing a product


We understand that the value and the cost of designing a product is an investment in a process. Our proven design process can scale to adapt to large and small projects. We collaborate with clients to define the scope of our contracts with purpose. Design outcomes are more often successful when investing early in the process. We strive to mitigate risk and increase value by first seeking to understand. This may include getting to know a customer’s existing products, platforms, manufacturing & marketing strategies, IP strategy, brand language, adjacent products, product pipeline, VOC, engineering capabilities, competition, and so forth. Valuable data is acquired for creative inspiration, and organizational alignment, while action is taken for value added discovery and targeted execution.


Our rates are based on our customer’s Risk:Return:Value ratio. Design is hard work, whether a large project, small project, or hourly retainers. When done well it contributes to growth through higher volumes, bigger margins, limited monopolies (patents), brand loyalty, competitive advantage, and platform longevity.

Adequate investment of time and capital is critical to the success or failure of new product development. The cost of designing a product should be relative to the overall scope and investment in launching that product.

Principal Design works on a project estimate basis. Our typical pricing structure is split into three payments which correspond to our five steps design process.


Whether seeking new to the world innovations, or incremental improvements, we will work with your team to define a mutually beneficial agreement to implement each of our five-phases with a collaborative ‘stage/gate’ approach.


Tight timelines or minimal project scope? Are you trying to better understand the cost of designing a product? Just getting to know each other can often support valuable discovery and allow for incremental innovation. We can work with you on an ongoing basis set limits and work schedules to maintain a target cost of product design efforts ongoing, and be available as your most reliable creative resource.

RATES / Cost of Designing a Product

Principal Design works on a project estimate basis, and we ask for an up front retainer of %30. We create quotes based on the needs of the customer. Although our contract terms are defined by the total cost of activity, we bill at competitive industry rates ranging from $90 to $120/hr, dividing work statements into idealized timelines for transparency, project management, and resource commitment. We manage the cost of designing a product in order to provide the best service at competitive rates.


Many of our repeat customers come with specific design needs like illustrations for marketing presentations, simple CAD modelling & renderings, creative inspiration boards, or pitch-decks for raising capital. We love to work with creative entrepreneurs, product owners, creative studios, and project managers of all kinds.

Principal Design


Principal Design
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6070 Godwin Blvd. Suffolk, VA 23432

What is the cost of designing a product? • What are considered competitive rates for product development?