How to write a 5 star design brief to get the design you want

What Is A Design Brief?

You’re a smart cookie, so if you’re thinking that a design brief is probably exactly what it sounds like, you’re right! It’s a document outlining vital details that will help an artist create the perfect logo, illustration, brochure, or other items.

The type of information included in the brief can really run the gamut. It could include some background information like a company’s history or mission statement. That stuff is the heart and soul (or bread and butter, if you’re feeling a little hungry) of a company, after all! Including those ideals will help an artist really capture the essence of a business.

You can also throw in some information about your artsy-fartsy preferences, like color scheme, font, or specific images. While you’ll leave the actual designing up to the artist, those little details provide a perfect framework for them to get down to business.

Now, the designer can produce a product that conforms to (and hopefully exceeds!) your expectations.

Alright, folks. Now that you know what type of information to include, it’s time to crack your knuckles, hunker down over the keyboard, and write the darn thing.

Who Should Write The Brief?

That brings us to question numero uno: who should write it? This job should be given to someone that knows your company inside out AND can string together a series of coherent sentences. You might be rolling your eyes, but both qualifications are equally important.

Specify Your Budget

I know you’re dreaming about the perfect color scheme and popping personal touches, but don’t forget to talk about dollars and cents when writing your brief.

Laying out your budget (and how flexible you’re willing to be) will help designers confidently choose to take on your project. This will prevent hassle and confusion down the road by ensuring you snag a designer that is interested in the project and satisfied with the compensation.

Depending on how your designer works and the working contract you have together you may receive a quote, or the work may be done at an hourly rate.

Provide Specs and Content

Tell your designer things like;

  • Any deadlines
  • The size of the document
  • Do you need it for print or web
  • The do’s and don’ts of the design
  • Show them your competitors so the design can stand out from the crowd
  • Who is the contact person for the project

Provide your designer with things like;

  • Some examples and inspiration of what you want the design to look like. 
  • Branding assets like logo files or guidelines
  • Imagery
  • Copy or words to go on the design

Remember that you know everything about your project and what you want, but it’s about translating into a way that someone can pick up the brief and instantly know what to do and all the details.

What format to send a brief in?

You can use Google docs, Word or even a PowerPoint presentation to put all the information down for your designer.

Put A Date On It

As the saying goes, you can’t rush perfection! (If you have a lady friend, she likely reminds you of this fact on a regular basis.) In all seriousness, quality designs take time, so try to submit your brief way in advance of when you actually need the designs.

If you do need something whipped up pronto, including the date will ensure that only designers who can meet the tight deadline decide to take on your project. Again, just like in the moolah department, indicate how flexible you’re willing to be with the schedule.

Wrap It Up With A Bow

Finally, make the brief look a little more presentable than those last-minute essays from your college days. Make sure the final product is free of clutter and easy to read. Don’t forget to clearly include the contact information of whoever is spearheading your company’s efforts. And voila – you’re ready to sign, seal, and deliver, baby!

How do we change the game?

Simply Whyte Design makes it easier than ever to provide all your details.

For large projects like logo design or web design, we capture your information with online briefs that prompt you and help you give us all the pertinent information for your design projects. High Five!

For ongoing work, we use Asana to manage the process and you can either put your brief directly into our workflow in Asana or email it through and we will get right on it.

By: Jo. From “Simply whyte design”

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