Design Brief

How To Write An Effective Design Brief

A design brief is a written explanation - given to a designer - outlining the aims,

objectives and milestones of a design project.

A thorough and articulate design brief is a critical part of the design process. It helps

develop trust and understanding between the client and designer - and serves as an

essential point of reference for both parties.

Above all, the design brief ensures that important design issues are considered and

questioned before the designer starts work.

This document outlines some of the most important factors to consider when writing

your design brief.


Company Profile

Start your design brief with a short, honest synopsis of your organization or company. Don't take this information for granted, and don't assume that the designer will necessarily know anything about your industry sector.

Tell your designer:
• What does your organization do?

• How long you have been established and how many staff you employ?

• What is your market niche?

• How you fit in to your industry sector?



Your Aims

Good design can have a huge influence on the success of a company's marketing strategy - but in order for success to be ensured, clear goals must be set.

For example, What do you want to?
• Generate sales?
• Encourage enquiries?
• Gain newsletter subscribers?
• Obtain information from your audience?
• Encourage them to tell a friend?

If your aims and objectives are clear, then your design brief has already achieved much of the project's scope. One of most rewarding parts of actually sitting down and writing a design brief is that it helps to clarify your thoughts and can indirectly help to find flaws in what you initially thought was a solid idea.


Your Target Audience

Detail your primary, secondary and tertiary audiences. Explain if you are looking to consolidate your existing client-base or appeal to new markets.

Detail any demographic figures about your audience that may be useful to the designer. These may include:
• Age
• Sex
• Income
• Occupation
• Location


Your Budget And Time-Scale

Even if you can only provide a ball-park figure, a budget expectation will give the designer a good idea of the type of solution they will realistically be able to provide.

Time scale is also an important consideration - so let your designer know if there is a specific deadline that has to be met.

Design Examples

Providing examples of what you consider to be effective or relevant design can be a great help in writing a design brief.

Make sure to include samples of your company's current marketing materials - even if their only purpose is to explain what you don't want from your new marketing materials!

If there is a design style that you particularly like or dislike - then explain why in the brief. If you're not entirely sure why you like a certain design style, then good starting points include:

• Color
• Imagery
• Quantity and quality of text
• Typography
• The atmosphere that particular designs create

Don't feel that you have stick to the medium that you are designing for when giving a list of inspiration and influences. If a television advert or music video creates the atmosphere that you want your flyer to create, then that is a perfectly reasonable statement to make in a design brief.

The more clues you give about your design tastes, the more likely the designer will be able to produce something close to your aims. Expecting your designer to second-guess what you require rarely produces the best results.

Remember that professional designers will not copy the ideas you send them... but will use them as the start of the design process.

Who Will Write The Material Content

Writing the content (verbiage) on your materials requires careful consideration. It can either "make" or "break" the deal.

If you already have the content written, let us know. That can be a big time saver on the project.

If you would like us to write the content, this will extent the amount of time and price on your project. We will need reference material of existing material to formulate excellent verbiage. We will also need a contact person who will be able to answer any content questions on a moments notice.

Special Note: While your materials should be written in clear, concise way - there is no reason why you cannot use emotive language to emphasize exactly what you are trying to achieve.

Who Will Supply The Photography

Photographs allure people. They tell a story all alone.

If you already have the photography that you would like to use, let us know. That can be a great time saver on the project. It is always desired to have large size photos for the best quality and appearance, when working in photo sizing.

If you would like us to create custom photos and/or use stock photos, this will extent the amount of time and price on the project.

We will need to schedule photos sessions, on-location, if needed.

Whether we use your photos or ours, photos can be "spruced up" with special effects to create extremely alluring images. This can make all the difference in the world as far as attraction. This can make a tremendous difference in your professional look and presentation. This additional service extends the amount of time and price on your project in addition to creating the photos.

We will also need a contact person who will be able to answer any photography questions on a moments notice and schedule photography sessions.

Consult with Colleagues

It is recommended that you consult with as many people within your organization as possible before sending the design brief back to us. Showing the design brief to different people may reveal remarkable differences in the way people see your organization’s aims and objectives.

Resolving any differences in your colleagues opinions will save considerable time and expense further down the line.