Last updated on April 21st, 2020
Business owners need a wide range of visuals such as logos, business cards, websites, brochures, etc. These are crucial identities for building a trustworthy brand in the long run. But an intended brand image is possible to project only when logos etc materials stand out. To ensure unique visuals, the clients should provide a precise design brief to designers.
When writing a design brief most clients just scramble some lines and leave the rest to the designer’s imagination. But a creative designer simply hates it when a client fails to give precise information. This is because a rightly worded brief saves a designer from going directionless when creating something meaningful. It can be said that a design with a purpose is surely the result of a carefully written brief.
In fact, you should be prepared to write the briefs regularly as you will need a wide range of visual as an identity of your business. So, when you design a logo, you should provide accurate details to the professional to get what you want from the design.
Before you write something as guidance for your designer, study some design brief examples. Many such examples are available on the web. Note their key common points and try to include them into your own brief.
What Is The Design Brief?
A design brief is a piece of information related to creating a design such as a logo and a brochure. To make sure that such visuals are up to the expectations of a client, the brief contains some vital details.
The information that a client provides to the designers is usually wide-ranging. It may include a company’s history, brand message, mission statement, choice of colors, typefaces, images, any inspirational material, and others.
With the details in place, the designer can then work to create something that comes true on the expectations. Overall, a client or business owner uses the brief to guide designers to get a desirable visual material.
How To Write A Design Brief To Get The Right Results
Sound knowledge of how a design brief works to get creative designs helps. There are many aspects of a brief you need to consider. Here are some key points.
Who Should Write Your Design Brief?
The job of writing the brief should be given to someone who understands your company and business very well. In the larger company, this responsibility is generally with the marketing manager. Then, a marketing executive takes the brief to the potential partner which is a design agency.
In smaller companies, however, the business owner or operator usually writes the brief. That is the reason that such briefs are poorly written and less comprehensive. So, It is better to take the help of a design agency in writing a precise design brief. The agency does it by asking you all the relevant questions to have an overview of your business and expectations.
At the same time, not all the design agencies are trustworthy and many of them are simply unreliable due to unscrupulous people working for them.
Therefore, make sure that some responsible and experienced person writes your design brief. You can also write a brief if you consider some key things. In that case, use a design brief template that you can pick free from the web.
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Keep Your Business In Mind
Do not assume that the designer will research your business and company to know more about what you do. The details matter a lot, but you need to provide the information in a clear and concise manner.
Give accurate information about what does your company or organization does. What is its history? What motivated you to start the business and how it is useful to the customers? Make sure that the designer finds dealing with design brief easy and not a difficult task.
Provide The Goals Of Your Business
The designer would like to know the objectives of the business. These goals may include your future plans, consumer satisfaction, creating something innovative and useful, empowering your customers with new products, etc.
Such objectives help a professional graphic designer in picking the right elements that can express your mission. In addition, the brief should clearly tell about the goals you want to achieve from your logo or any other designs,
Tell about your target market and audience
To know more about a client’s target market is essential for a designer. This is due to the fact that a logo etc visual represents a company in a competitive market. Any market is home to hundreds of marketing visuals. These should be unique and memorable to make the desired impact.
So, tell which segment of a market is your target. Usually, clever businesses look for a niche, which is a smaller part of the product or service market. This market should be discussed with some details in your brief. You should have a look at some creative brief example in this regard.
Besides the market, be precise in pointing out the audience the design must target. Remember that the target audience is the one that is most likely to buy that particular company’s products or services. So, the company must clearly mention the audience’s social, economic, educational and other backgrounds for the designer.
Give Any Text And Pictures
A designer would also like to know about your preferences. You may want to add some pictures, a slogan or a mission statement. These are crucial to creating a design as per your requirements of a brand.
If a brand’s visuals lack in those essential texts or images, those will not send the desired brand message to the audience. Therefore, tell about any copy or pictures that you want to include in a design.
It would be even better to give links to your promotional material in the design brief. Such materials include your logos, brochures, ads, flyers, etc. These and add-ons will give a hint about the choice of colors etc elements to be used in a design.
Note also that your references for text and pictures sometimes become an inspiration for graphic design ideas. So, you help the designer to come out with some unique ideas for your project.
Mention The Specifications
Do you have any specifications in your mind for the design? If so, then spell it out in your design brief. For examples, tell about the size of the design you want. You should specifically point out the place where it will be used or printed. It may be your business card, car, stationery or website.
If you have given some specific design requirements, the designer can meet your expectations. This also helps in having a logo, business cards, brochures, etc that you need not redesign very often.
The specifications or requirements vary for each project. But include the following details.
1. File formats
2. Copy documents
3. A color palette of your choice
4. Image assets
5. Asset dimensions and resolutions
You should also give any reference that you think will help designers. This includes your brand guidelines, mood boards, mockups, and other such things. Overall, the more specifications you provide, the hire are the chances of getting a suitable visual that helps you develop your brand image.
Give Your Style Preferences
If you have some style in mind and do not tell it in the brief, the designer may come out with something else. That may irritate you and the designer will be recreating the piece all of again. A brief giving style choices is a nice creative brief example for a designer. Tell the designer if you have any logo design inspiration in mind and give the site or example in the brief.
So, give a sense of what you want from the design. For example, tell clearly if you want something modern and clean. Or, tell if you want it in vintage style. If you are not sure about it, then get suggestions from the designer.
To give a hint of what style you are thinking of, you can give some examples that you see on the web. This will help designers in knowing your style preferences. So, provide the samples styles as guidance for your designer. If you use a design brief template, it allows you to choose from common style preferences.
Tell How You Stand Out From Competitors
The designer should also know how and where your company and business stand out in the market. There are already many competitors who target the same audience. So, tell how you stand out. This is known as brand positioning. Give some clue about it in your design brief. You must know how you stand out from competitors before hiring graphic design services of the professionals.
Give Brand Identity Guidelines
When you ask a designer to give you a unique brand logo design then do not forget to tell that it should be consistent with your brand image. Your brand has a distinctive identity. This is because of specific colors, typefaces, etc elements you use in all of your marketing materials.
Therefore, provide your brand manual, which is a reference guide marketing agencies and the designer as well. The manual serves as a single source of information about your brand.
Specify Your Budget
Sometimes, a designer wants to know if your budget for the work is small or you can spend much more. This information helps designers in saving their valuable time. They would like to keep the design cost within your limited financial means for the job.
When you provide the budget upfront, you will have the designer who is interested in the project. As a client, you should make sure that your design work is worth their time.
Give The Schedule
When writing your design brief, another crucial thing to mention is the schedule. It is true that many clients do not have an idea of how many days the project may take to complete. But they must know that a great quality design takes its own time.
At the same time, some clients want a design project completed urgently due to an upcoming event such as a trade show. In that case, the brief should clearly tell about the urgency and the reason for it.
By being honest with your budget and schedule, you will have only the interested designers working for you. But do not be too tight here. Give alternative solutions to them if it is possible.
Consider Different Timescales
When you are not sure about what time duration to set for a design project in the brief, then consider the type of the project. For example, if you are creating a branding project, the designer may take a longer time of between 4 to 12 weeks, depending on its complexity.
A brand identity project that involves only limited visual assets will take about 4 weeks to complete. But if the intention is to completely recreate your brand strategy with new visuals, then you need to give the designer many months.
Similarly, for your website projects, the designer will take a minimum of 6 weeks and it may take up to 16 weeks to complete, especially if it is an ecommerce project. So, you should talk to your design agency before setting a timescale for the project.
Define Your Dont’s
One of the ways to get the graphic design you wish to have is to clearly define what you do not want in the design. If there are some features or elements that you simply do not wish to see, then list them in your design brief.
You may not like to have a design with a three-column layout. Or, you may not like a slideshow or a site that looks like an e-commerce website.
Mention The Lead Contact
Do not forget to clearly mention the name and contact details of a lead person whom your designer can talk to whenever in trouble. There should be one final voice that can settle an issue between the company and the design agency.
How Should It Look Like?
Now that you know what should go into your design brief, pay attention to how it should look like. Some designers have their own design brief templates that they provide to clients. Such designers have a web-based form that lets clients give initial information about the project.
Whether you create the brief on your own or give the information on the template, make sure that it is easy to read. The content should be neatly subdivided into sections with headings and subheadings. Instead of giving a narrative text, prefer telling it all in bullet points. Make it a well-organized and simple brief.
It would be good if you have access to some ideal design brief examples from the web. Note down their fine points. You can also have a look at different brief templates and use one of them.
These key points will help you create a design brief that helps the designer in creating something unique and memorable.
Keep these points in mind when outsourcing your design work to marketplaces such as Designhill. At this leading marketplace, you can get your design work done in a short period. The site has its own design form that you need to fill with the required details when launching your contest to get a winning design.
To Sum Up…
Your design brief should be precise but with essential details of your business and company. Give information about what your company does, who are its customers, and how it positions itself as a brand. Mention your business goals, design specification and style preferences, etc.