What is a Tech Pack?
A tech pack, or technical package, is the blueprint of a product. It can be as simple as a hand-drawn image to as complicated as 3D digital models. The purpose of a tech pack is to show a factory how to manufacture your product. In order for the factory to understand how to make a product effectively, every tiny product detail must be highlighted in the design documents. Depending on the complexity of your product, this may require a substantial amount of information.
Some of the details contained in a tech pack are the following:
- Materials specifications
- Dimensions / measurements
- Front, side, back, top, and bottom view
- Interior views of the product (if applicable)
- “Zoomed-in” sections for tiny details
- Key features and their functionality
Why is a Professionally Designed Tech Pack Important?
Any responsible factory (international or domestic) will not accept your project if your tech pack is unclear. Some factories will guide you on how to revise your design documents for approval. However, other factories will agree to work with you despite an unclear design documents and this is where serious problems begin.
A factory that accepts an unclear or undescriptive tech pack will interpret the best way to construct your product. In all our years working closely with product companies and factories, we have never heard a story of a factory being able to successful interpret someone’s product vision from poor or unclear design documents. The result is always a series of bad samples, revisions, and months wasted.
With a professionally designed tech pack, you avoid wasting months trying to vet factories that are doomed to let you down because of your poor product design documents. Professional product designs not only shorten your sampling time, they also help factories understand your material requirements, which results in more accurate production quotes.
A professionally designed and detailed tech pack also makes a good first impression on a factory. After all, factories are looking for good clients too and the best factories will not waste their time on those who approach them unprepared.
How to Hire a Tech Pack Designer
Depending on your product, you will either need to hire a product designer or an engineer. Gig economy sites like Upwork is a great place to find designers and engineers. However, designers are not exempt from the saying “you get what you pay for”. While you will be able to find someone to design your tech pack for a measly $5 per hour, the result will likely be low quality. Experienced designers typically range from $35 to $60 per hour while quality engineers may cost more than $100 dollar per hour.
The time it takes to complete product design documents is dependent on the type of product and its complexity. To give you a frame of reference, design documents for most simple apparel products only take a couple hours for an experienced designer to complete. Regardless of cost, your tech pack investment will pay off tenfold in time saved when you begin your manufacturing process.
To learn more about how to create a tech pack and get connected with Blacksmith’s network of professional designers and engineers, sign up for the Blacksmith Academy workshop on product development.