Menu Search
Salary Range
€k - €k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Craft designers create designs for a wide range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. They may work for large-scale manufacturers or be self-employed.


  • Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

In Summary - Craft Designer

Career Sectors

Craft Designers typically work in the following Career Sectors:

The Crafts Industry
Art, Craft & Design

Videos on the Web

The Work - Craft Designer

Craft designers design a broad range of two- and three-dimensional products. Most specialise in a particular area, such as:

  • textiles
  • ceramics
  • wood including furniture
  • metalwork/jewellery
  • glass
  • graphic crafts such as calligraphy and printmaking
  • toys
  • musical instruments
  • embroidery
  • leatherwork

Within each of these areas, some designers produce designs for large-scale production by manufacturers, while others work as designer-craft workers producing designs on a small scale.  
In large scale production, craft designers are often based in a drawing office. They work to a brief that outlines the type of product required and how much money is available for production. It also outlines what the product is to be used for and who is likely to use it. Designers then research all aspects of the product. They look at existing or similar products, what types of materials they could use and other technical considerations such as whether the material chosen is suited to the purpose of the product. For example, is it strong enough?  
Designers then produce sketches and drawings to show different designs, aspects of the products, artistic impressions and technical details. Once designs are accepted, development can involve producing samples or working models and testing a limited run on the production line. Knowledge of the relevant manufacturing process is essential.  
Most craft designer follow a similar design process. They work to a brief and undertake research for commissioned work from clients. Some make studio pieces, which they sell through galleries, craft fairs or their own studios.  
Designers usually work from studios or workshops and are responsible for the whole design process from creating original designs to making and usually selling the craft products. They may make small batches of a range of items or one-off items. Some of these individual pieces are artistic creations that could be considered more as fine art than commercial craft design. 

They produce their finished pieces individually rather than on a production line. They may use traditional skills and techniques, such as handloom weaving, throwing pots, hand-building ceramics, and wood carving. Craft designers often sell their own work

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Create functional or decorative objects by hand, using a variety of methods and materials.
  • Cut, shape, fit, join, mold, or otherwise process materials, using hand tools, power tools, and/or machinery.
  • Attend craft shows to market products.
  • Select materials for use based on strength, color, texture, balance, weight, size, malleability and other characteristics.
  • Apply finishes to objects being crafted.
  • Develop concepts or creative ideas for craft objects.
  • Set specifications for materials, dimensions, and finishes.
  • Confer with customers to assess customer needs or obtain feedback.
  • Fabricate patterns or templates to guide craft production.
  • Create prototypes or models of objects to be crafted.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Interests - Craft Designer

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.


Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.


To succeed in a career in craft design you need the following skills and qualities:

  • Creativity and artistic skills
  • An appreciation of colour, shape and form.
  • The imagination and ability to create attractive, saleable pieces of work.
  • An individual approach to solving design problems.
  • Drawing ability.
  • The practical skills needed to use tools and equipment.
  • A steady hand and the patience to do fine, detailed work is required for some crafts, such as freehand painting (ceramics) or making delicate jewellery
  • Presentation and communication skills.

In industry, craft designers need a high level of technical understanding, of production capabilities, properties of materials and decorative techniques, for example. It is essential that you keep up-to-date with changes in manufacturing methods and materials, as well as fashion trends and styles.  
As a craft designer you will need good business skills to undertake costing and pricing, sales and marketing, and book-keeping.

Entry Requirements - Craft Designer

Pay & Salary - Craft Designer

Labour Market Updates - Craft Designer

Useful Contacts - Craft Designer

Career News

Could a creative career be for you?
Could a creative career be for you?
Posted by CareersPortal
Applied Arts Ireland & Northern Ireland: Master Classes and Artist Talks
Applied Arts Ireland & Northern Ireland: Master Classes and Artist Talks
Posted by Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
NEW Courses at The School of Jewellery Ireland
NEW Courses at The School of Jewellery Ireland
Posted by The School of Jewellery Ireland
Full Time Certificate Jewellery Courses  Career Change!
Full Time Certificate Jewellery Courses Career Change!
Posted by The School of Jewellery Ireland
Summer Jewellery Courses
Summer Jewellery Courses
Posted by The School of Jewellery Ireland
DesignSKILLS Programme
DesignSKILLS Programme
Posted by Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

Career Articles

Life as a Jewellery Designer
Life as a Jewellery Designer
Posted by CareersPortal