For the permanent magnet design, different methods are available. FEM and other numerical simulation methods have become of high importance during the last two decades, both for magnet manufacturers as well as their customers. Those techniques have replaced analytical approaches like magnetic circuit design methods due to their higher reliability. For bare magnets or magnets close to geometrically simple soft magnetic materials, analytical methods by solution of partial differential equations like Poisson’s equation can be an alternative to numerical techniques. Those lead to very fast, and handy solutions of related problems with an extreme reduction of efforts and costs, especially for three dimensional problems. This is valid not only for simple but also for complicated magnetic patterns, as can be found e.g. in bonded permanent magnets. The presentation will provide a basic understanding of the principles of the major numerical and analytical approaches. The talk will further show which methods should be preferred for different applications and materials, and will discuss advantages, disadvantages and limitations. The presentation is intended to alleviate decisions about future strategies for the design of permanent magnets and to provide insights into some newer approaches for permanent magnetic design. It should be valuable for magnet producers, distributors as well as for users of permanent magnets.