A design brief is an important document describing your design project so that both the client and the designer know exactly what to expect in terms of project deliverables and workflow. Design briefs also allow you (the client) to focus on what you want to achieve before any project work begins. Design briefs are documents that help designers and clients meet project expectations; this greatly simplifies project management while working on it.
A clear, detailed brief helps designers focus on the purpose of the project. A good design brief will make sure both parties are aligned/on the same page. They set expectations and ensure that everyone understands the goals and objectives of the design project in question. More importantly, a well thought out brief should help ensure that all stakeholders have agreement. They agree on the project deliverables, budget and planning. The key thing here to agree before the project commences.
What is in a design brief?
The brief explains important information such as the scope. What is what exactly is happening as part of the project. The design brief sets the right expectations for what the project intends to accomplish, how it will work, etc. The design brief describes the final deliverables and scope of the design project, including any product or work (both functional and aesthetic), schedule and budget. The amount of reviews or revisions will also be included. As well as who is expected to do what within a certain time frame. The design brief should include an overview of your business so that the graphic designer and their team are familiar with you, your brand, and any internal factors that may affect the direction or success of the project.
Now that you have an idea of what the design brief should include, it’s time to collect this information, likely through a formal questionnaire filled in by you, or a quick chat where the designer will fill in the details. This will make sure the designer gets all the details that they need to know before they start the project.
Formal or informal
Design briefs can be very formal and detailed or informal, describing the main components of the project and the work required on one page. There is no real ideal brief, and they can range from a very formal, long and detailed document or a simple and short one-pager. Every design project is unique, so there is no set formula for the perfect brief. The more detailed and complete the initial design brief is, the more opportunities the designer has to find creative solutions to the design problems needed for the project. Afterall, graphic design is creative problem solving.
A detailed design brief will steer an incoming project towards the right goals and will be an excellent back-up document in case the project becomes disproportionate.
Requirements of a design brief
Don’t forget to include specific design requirements in the design brief. You and the design agency can use these requirements to analyse progress and results. Not only is it important to have an overview of the project, but it is also important to help the design agency develop a detailed understanding of your needs.
After writing a brand review, it’s time to provide a detailed description of an ongoing design project. Reviews of projects or brands often include details such as the size of the companies involved, contact information, past projects or their current design needs. A typical brief should include all the information related to the project and brand, the designer needs to understand the background, requirements and needs of the project. This is the story, the why, the colour. Designers love these details.
While all aspects of the project brief are important, including a list of deliverables is an absolute must. You want final size and which formats. If it is printed, make sure that the designer has the specifications from, or is in contact with the printer. Or if the files will only be digital, check what the maximum file size allowed, and if the designer is adding in hyperlinks or fillable form fields. These are not always included without specifying them up front.
Get a brief before you begin.
It is one of the “first lessons” you learn as a graphic designer. And it is important.
Both designers and the customer must ensure that the information is complete. Check it has all the necessary details, and that nothing is forgotten. Designers usually have a template for the client to complete. This ensures they have all the information they need to get started. The client must begin the process, even if it includes inviting the designer to meet and discuss the project so they can get ideas. The client and designer should arrange a meeting to discuss all aspects of the project.
Before you start the design process, you as a client should write down the requirements you have for the project. If you set project goals and objectives ahead of time, you’ll have something to fall back on when making design decisions. Project work has a purpose but the brief itself has a very specific one that is often forgotten.
A brief is a document that contains a list of issues related to the implementation of a specific task.
Why you need a design brief
A complete and detailed profile becomes a guiding document for the entire design process. It explains exactly what work the designer is doing and any limitations. From a designer’s perspective, a comprehensive design brief shows that the client has a clear idea of what they want and are interested in the project. From a client’s perspective it is a way to make sure that their requirements will be addressed. The job is completed by referring to the design brief and checking that all your needs are met. Going back to this document is a way to ensuring that both parties stay on track. It also helps to ensure the project doesn’t run into scope creep.