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How to write an effective graphic design brief

Creative Brief

How many times have you received a graphic proof that looks totally different than what you were expecting? A well-written graphic design brief simplifies the process and helps you get the results you want.

 


 

Design Brief Components

Project Goals

This is the starting point of every design project. Be as specific as possible in what you are trying to achieve and narrow your list of goals to the most important ones.

Company Overview

Explain what your company is all about, including the history, values, products and services. This will help your designer understand your business philosophy and create concepts that reflect it.

Target Audience

It is important that you provide your designer with a clear definition of your target audience: who they are, where they work, where they live, age group, likes and dislikes, etc. If you target multiple segments make sure to include them all in the order of importance, or select the groups that are relevant to the project.

Brand Positioning

Here you will be answering a simple question: how are you different from your competitors? The uniqueness of your brand image is directly influenced by how good you are at identifying the differentiation elements and explaining how they make your brand unique.

Brand Identity Guidelines

Consistency is key to building a distinctive brand identity. Make sure your designer is aware of your Corporate Guidelines.

Project Exclusions

An effective design brief clearly defines responsibilities and identifies exclusions. A detailed outline of the development work to be performed, including who is responsible for providing the copy, images and product information, helps your designer put together an accurate estimate and eliminates unrealistic expectations.

Competitor Information

Your materials should have a unique look that reflects your distinctive brand positioning. Provide your designer with your competitors’ catalogs, brochures and websites. Stay up-to-date on your competitors’ moves and work on creating your own distinctive identity.

Work Examples

We all have our favorite brands that inspire us. Keep a list of favourite websites and other marketing materials that reflect the design principles you value eg. simplicity, smart creativity, clean look, and use of white space.

Deadline

Provide a realistic completion date for your project. Start by asking your designer for a realistic time estimate for completing the project and work around that date. A very tight deadline might limit creativity.