What should be included in my design package?

The design package, also referred to as product documentation, is a collection of information designed to provide another factory or supplier of some kind, all of the information necessary to understand and produce your product to specification.  It is important the you specify, in detailed fashion, and in numerical form as much as possible, as much information about your product as you can.  This is particularly important for foreign manufacturers in countries like China.  They may speak English as a second language, but communicating in drawings, numbers, and samples will allow you to convey a lot of information around the Chinese-English language barrier.

The necessary design and documentation information useful in the manufacturer sourcing process will vary by industry and from product to product.  Below are a few examples of three industries: apparel, consumer electronics, steel and plastic products.  Also, there are some items that will be helpful for any consumer product, regardless of industry.

Sourcing Apparel Factories:

  • Bill of Materials
  • Construction specifications
  • Product Sketches with dimensions
  • Colorways or callouts

Sourcing Electronics Factories:

  • Bill of Materials (including electrical BOM)
  • Electronics schematics and Gerber Files
  • CAD drawings (iges, solidworks, pro-e, etc.)
  • Mechanical drawings
  • Product Specifications

Sourcing Steel Products and Plastics Products Factories:

  • CAD drawings (iges, solidworks, pro-e, etc.)
  • Mechanical drawings
  • Product Specifications

Sourcing of All products:

  • Packaging design files and specifications
  • Estimated production volumes
  • Quality and test specifications
  • Any logo, color, and finish information/call-outs
  • Product samples and prototypes when available


It is the fact that you follow through to make sure that everything is done properly that makes it a pleasure to work with you.

Russell Short
CEO, Cansporter Inc.