How to write a good design brief!

Not getting exactly what you want from your designer? Or from the printer that promised that their “designers” could handle all your design needs?

Contrary to popular demand designers aren’t actually mind readers. You know your product/customers/clients so its obvious to you but unless you clearly and deliberately explain what you need to your designer you will never really get what you need.

There are a number of ways that you can not only make sure the designer knows what you need but also knows what your expecting!

First and foremost you need to provide the designer with a good brief! Designers are notoriously bad at remembering things (trust me) so the best thing you can do is put it all in a email and send it to them. A good designer (one with good attention to detail) will print out that email and tick everything off the list as they go making sure that everything is covered.

What is a good brief? A good brief clearly out lines exactly what you need. All your mandatory requirements and any “nice to have” requirements. Clearly state what you need and write it like your explaining it to someone for the first time. Don’t assume that they know what your talking about!

  1. What size is it? (A4, A5, A6, DL or do you have a custom size?)
  2. When is it due? (The more lead time you can give the designer the better)
  3. Where will it be used? (Is it being printed? Is it going on your website?)
  4. Do you need printing? (Do you need a print quote or will you look after your own printing?)
  5. What are your “Mandatory” Requirements? (What absolutely has to be on there? Your logo, web address, phone number?)
  6. What are you “Nice To Have” Requirements? (What would it be nice to include? But if it doesn’t fit its not the end of the world)
  7. What text you need to be included? Make sure its final text! Now this is one of the important ones! Please please I beg you. Read the text you supply your designer over and over again. There isn’t much use sending your designer a first draft. As a designer there isn’t anything more frustrating than getting all the text in (especially if its a lot of text and I have spent hours putting it all in!) and then having to do it all again.
  8. Any other requirements? Anything else you can think of?
  9. REREAD THE BRIEF! Double check everything. Check the spelling of everything!!!

If even after all of that your still not getting what you want! Its time to find a new Graphic Designer! In which case contact me!


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