Explaining what you need to a designer is not always as easy as it seems. If you have a vision in your head, or a specific marketing goal, how do you go about communicating this?

Graphic design is creative problem solving, the more information you can share with your designer the better equipped they’ll be to complete the project.

What Is a Design Brief?

A design brief is a guiding document that spells out exactly what you want to achieve. There is certain information a designer will need in order to produce artwork for you. By outlining your expectations from the start you will be making things easier for the designer (saving time and expense), plus, a thorough brief will avoid any misunderstandings.

The design brief should focus on the outcome of the design and the business objectives of the design project. It’s your job to outline the objective and the designer’s job to worry about aesthetics.

What to include in the design brief…

Introduce your business. A summary of your business and a brief history will give the designer a good starting point.

What do you need? Do you need a web page design, a logo design, marketing material for print, a PowerPoint presentation etc

What do you hope to achieve? What is the goal of the design project?  Are you looking to increase sales, improve brand awareness or advertise a new service? Be clear on what it is that you are trying to accomplish through the design project.

Current Situation. What has prompted this need for design? Are you looking to keep up with or out do competitors? Are you looking to reinvent yourself? Or, are you just looking for some material to help increase sales or educate your customers on a new product.

Your Audience. Who are you trying to reach? What are your target market’s demographics? Age, gender, income, employment, geography and lifestyle.

Copy and images. Will you be supplying the text and images? Do you plan to use stock images? Let the designer know if you require icons and illustration as part of the project. The design brief is the place to outline what you require and what you already have.

It helps to provide the designer with your existing logo and tag line, plus any previous design work you’d like the designer to reference.

Specifications. Let the designer know how you expect the final artwork. The size, whether it’s for print or the web. Specify the file types you need such as PDF, JPG or the original design files. If the design work is going to be professionally printed then you will need to supply the designer with the printer’s requirements. If you’re unsure of what to ask for then give the designer the contact details of the printer so they can find out what the printer will need.

Inspiration. Do you have any examples of successful or relevant designs that you want your designer to consider? Any examples of work that you either like or dislike will help the designer gain a clearer idea of what you hope to achieve.

Budget. Let the designer know your budget before you begin working together. This way a time frame can be put in place and the designer can allocate a certain amount of hours to each stage of the project.

Schedule and timeline. Give the designer a realistic deadline. Consider that each part of the process will need to be given a certain amount of time. Design projects require research, initial concept designs, development of the designs, and feedback from you. Finally, time to produce and deliver the final files.

Free Design Brief Template:
Download as PDF  |  Download as Word Document