The present paper proposes a multi‐objective design approach for the c chart, considering in the optimization process of the chart parameters both the statistical and the economic objectives. In particular, the minimization of the hourly total quality related costs is the considered objective to carry out the economic goal, whereas the statistical objective is reached by the minimization the out‐of‐control average run length of the chart. A mixed integer non‐linear constrained mathematical model is formulated to solve the treated multi‐objective optimization problem, whereas the Pareto optimal frontier is described by the ε‐constraint method. In order to show the employment of the proposed approach, an illustrative example is developed and the related considerations are given. Finally, some sensitivity analysis is also performed to investigate the effects of operative and costs parameters on the chart performance. Copyright © ۲۰۱۳ John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.