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How To Write An Effective Design Brief and Get The Design You Want!

How do you acquire the desired design? What is the ideal design you have in mind? The answer is in the design brief.

Whether you are a designer or a client, a great design brief is the single most important aspect in assuring the success of a project.

This article will show you how to create a successful design brief that benefits both the customer and the designer.

This post will be written from the client’s point of view.


What Is A Design Brief?

First and foremost, you should understand what a design brief is. A design brief is essential for every design job because it provides the designer(s) with all of the information they need to surpass your expectations.

A design brief should largely focus on the design’s goals and outcomes, as well as the design project’s commercial objectives. It should not seek to deal with design aesthetics… That is the designer’s obligation.

Before any work on the project begins, the design brief allows you (the customer) to focus on exactly what you want to achieve.

If you choose the correct designer, a proper design brief will ensure that you obtain a high-quality design that matches your goals.

How To Write An Effective Design Brief

If you answer the questions below in an orderly and precise manner, your design brief will be 90% complete. The remaining 10% will come from further inquiries from the designer once you submit your brief.

Have fun answering the questions, and try to be as specific as possible! This does not imply one-line responses.

What does your business do?

Never presume that the designer will be familiar with your firm. When responding, be plain and simple, and avoid jargon.

  • What services or products does your company/organization provide?
  • What is the history of your company?

What are the goals?  Why?

  • What is the overall goal of the new design project?
  • What are you trying to communicate and why?
  • Are you trying to sell more products or get awareness of your product/service?
  • How do you differ from your competitors?
  • Do you want to completely reinvent yourself or are you simply updating your promotional material?

Tip:  You should also provide old promotional material to assist the designer.

Who is the target market?

  • What are the demographics and psychographics of your target market? ie. the age, gender, income, tastes, perspectives, attitudes, employment, region, the lifestyle of persons you wish to target.

Tip: If you have multiple audiences, rank them in terms of importance.

What copy (text) and pictures are needed?

Tip: The copy and images used in a design are just as important as the design itself, and you should explicitly mention who will provide the copy and images if needed. You might want to consider hiring a professional copywriter or photographer – ask your designer for advice.

  • What copy needs to be included in the design? Who is providing the copy?
  • What pictures/photographs/diagrams etc need to be used? Who is providing these? 

What are the requirements?

  • What size will the design be?
  • Where will it be printed/used? The internet, business cards, stationery, and even your car?
  • What additional standards information should the designer be aware of?


Have you got a benchmark in mind?

·   You should show the designer some samples of what you believe to be effective or relevant design, even if they are from your primary rivals. This will serve as a model for your designer.

·   Give the designer a list of things not to do and styles you don’t want to see in your design. This will offer the designer an idea of what to avoid and will save you from disappointment.

What Is Your Budget?

  • Providing a budget avoids designers from squandering critical time and resources in an attempt to maximize their budget.
  • Providing the budget upfront also assists designers to determine if the project will be worthwhile to execute. Make certain that you are worth their attention.

What is the time scale/deadline?

  • Provide the designer with a precise project timeline and a realistic deadline for the completion of the task. You must consider the many stages of the design process, including consultation, idea development, manufacturing, and delivery.

Tip: Rushing design assignments benefit no one, and mistakes can occur if a difficult job is rushed through without adequate time for review. However, there are instances when a rush job is required, and in these circumstances, you should be honest and transparent about it.


Tips For The Designer

As a designer, it is essential to have a template like this one to hand out to customers because they will not always come to you with a design brief – feel free to use this one as you see fit. Having a template ready demonstrates your professionalism and saves them (and you) a lot of time and money.


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