Nobody want slack briefs
Being able to communicate clearly what you want from your designer is a must. They will create what they see as the ideal solution to the brief you supply them. How much they have to ‘read between the lines’ because of insufficient details will determine not only how near they are to your target but also how long the creative process takes.
When we say ‘details’ we’re not suggesting that you provide an exact colour or precise layout strategy… after all you’re paying your designer to do the design work. But the more detailed the description of your vision the better. If you feel the need to get the pens out and sketch your idea, then go for it.
The answers to the below questions will help you create an effective design brief.
What does your business do, or plan to do?
It’s probably best to assume that your designer doesn’t know all about your company. They will appreciate details about your history. Where have you come from? What was the journey from then until now? Where are you heading?
What do you want to achieve?
- What is the goal of your new design project?
- What are you trying to communicate and why?
- Is it a new product or an existing product for which you want to increase sales or promote a service?
- What makes you stand out from your competitors?
- Are you looking for a new look or a new start?
Note: Providing old promotional material will help.
Who are you targeting? I.e. their age, gender, income, attitudes, employment, etc. Note: Rank multiple audiences.
Pictures and copy
A design project needs well thought out copy and dynamic images. A design piece that contains poor grammer, ill chosen phrasing and uninspiring pictures can lose your audience. Employing a professional copywriter or photographer is often money very well spent.
What copy must appear in the design? Who is providing the copy? Don’t worry the designer will let you know if the copy needs cutting down. What pictures/diagrams need to be used? Who is supplying them?
How is it being produced?
Size? How will it be used? Web, publication, stationery, signage? What other specific information does the designer need?
What do you like that already exists?
Note: Provide examples of what your competitors produce or what you consider good/eye catching design. Try to pinpoint why you like it and what you don’t like in the examples you provide.
Note: Be realistic. Certain things may not be possible if you have a restricted budget however often a compromise can be met. Providing an honest budget allows the designer to prioritise on design time and resources.
Note: Be realistic. More mistakes will be made if a job is rushed however sometimes last minute jobs are unavoidable. Provide a detailed schedule of when you would like certain stages completed by. This will often change when discussed with the designer if you’ve underestimated how long things take to design or implement.
With some forethought and preparation you won’t be caught with ’your pants down’ and your designer will have a far better idea of what you actually want.