You have the vision of a shiny, new logo for your business. You’re excited to have a designer create it for you, but first, you have to write an effective design brief so they can take your vision and turn it into reality. But how do you write a brief? And is it really essential to create one? This article will give you a better understanding of a design brief, why you need it, and the easiest way to create it.
Firstly, the design brief definition is - a document that includes the details, scope, timeline, and budget of a design project. The project can be as simple as creating a logo or as complex as a web design. It works as a blueprint for the client, designer, and any other stakeholders. Your design brief template is the sample brief you'll start with when writing your brief.
Let's put things into perspective with a simple analogy. Do you know that feeling when you go grocery shopping and have an organized and detailed list of which items to get? You know which ingredients you need to make your famous chicken soup. Shopping is a breeze, and there are no surprises at the checkout counter. That's how it should feel when you write an effective brief for design work. And that's why a design brief is critical in the overall design process, especially if you're working with an agency with multiple designers.
Essentially, if you want to get what you asked for, a clear and well-defined brief is crucial. Having a solid brief ensures the designer knows exactly what the project is about and the expectations around it.
In a nutshell, a design brief contains various specifications and constraints. The client needs to be clear of what they need, so they can then inform the designer of what needs to be delivered. Are you ordering a logo? If yes, what are the technical requirements (e.g., resolution, file type) in designing the logo? A well-defined design brief makes the entire process and collaboration smoother, allowing everyone to know what to expect and when.
Later, we will discuss what exactly each section includes once we get to the design brief template.
There is a reason why it’s called a design 'brief'. There is no recommended length for it, although generally it is quite short; it can be six pages long or just a one-pager. It depends on the scope of the project. The general rule is to make it as brief as possible, focusing only on the essentials and eliminating any noise.
When you're clear with the WHY, then the WHAT and the HOW become easier to define and put into words. This also answers the question: What is the primary problem in a design brief? If you're struggling to write down a brief, you may be unclear about what you need from the designer. For example, are you trying to increase your website’s sales by designing a new check-out page? If yes, then every deliverable needs to connect with this goal.
Get a flexible tool to keep everyone organized. Most people use Google Docs to structure the brief efficiently, and it's easy to provide comments. Another option is to use Complish, where you not only have the design brief template itself, which you can customize depending on your needs (ie. if you are writing a website design brief template), but you can also organize the tasks with deadlines associated with the brief and assign owners to them.
There are so many moving pieces in a design project that it could get overwhelming. Just the thought of writing the brief itself might stress you out already. That's why we've created a design template that works with pretty much any design project that your business might undertake.
It's also flexible; you can add or delete sections as it suits you. More importantly, it is a "living and breathing" document that you and the designer can update together. Once you write the brief, the designer can help you improve and finalize it, especially around the scope and the requirements.
Whether you are working off of a web design brief template, or creative brief, the process will be similar. 👇
Include the project name, client/company name, project owner, other stakeholders, and contact details.
Your specific objective of what you'd like to achieve on this project and how you'll measure the results. Note that a goal is the overall purpose of the project. Objectives, on the other hand, are specific and measurable. For example, if the goal is to raise brand awareness, how exactly will you measure this and translate it into an objective?
Explain the overview of the project and the scope of the business, so the designer has a clear direction. Let them know your design vision, too!
The designs needed (ie. logos), any materials required, etc. Attach any sample images and or copy the designer will need to complete the project.
Knowing your competition helps with clarifying your strategy. Let the designer know who your main competitors are and what sets you apart from them.
Describe who the customer or end client is and outline their demographics - age, gender, marital status, occupation, income, their interests, etc.
Start your design project right by using this template as your design brief example. Check out other templates as well. All of the templates on Complish are focused on helping free up time and energy for you, so rather than getting stuck writing briefs and agendas for your meetings, you can spend your time running your business.