How to Use a Design Brief

Each successful creative endeavour begins with an excellent design brief. Design briefs are a critical component of the design process and a useful tool for ensuring that all of your design requirements are met. They enable you to communicate your vision for the project and set clear expectations for the designer, while also providing ample opportunity for discovery and collaboration.

Design briefs help you minimize the risk of hiring someone who does not understand your business or your objectives. This blog post will walk you through the process of creating a design brief, the items that should be included, and why they are critical.

What is a design brief?

A design brief is a document created with the express purpose of communicating design requirements to a designer, whether an individual or a team. The brief contains all of the information necessary to create a design that meets your requirements and expectations. These include everything from goals and objectives to target audience and branding guidelines such as colours, style guide, and fonts—anything goes in your final design!

How do you write a design brief?

A good place to start would be with the project specifications: What are your objectives for this endeavour? Who are the intended recipients? At the end of the day, what will success look like? If you’re looking for inspiration, you might consider starting with a design brief template.

You can download and edit a copy of our free design brief template: it is available in Microsoft Word and PDF formats.

What information should be included in a design brief

The details vary significantly according to the project’s specifications, target market, and success criteria. However, the following is the most frequently included information in a design brief:

A summary of your business

Whether you hire a designer or a design team, you must provide them with sufficient information about your business. The greater their comprehension, the more likely they are to meet your expectations. This information may include your team, current products and services, accreditations and certifications, and the clients you serve. If you have sensitive information, it may be prudent to obtain a non-disclosure agreement before sharing it.

Background information on the project

This can be a brief section summarizing the project’s objectives. You can attempt to answer the straightforward question, “why are you interested in this project?” and attempt to be succinct and clear early on in order to establish the direction for the overall design brief.

The design project’s goals and objectives

This section of the design brief details the outcome you hope to achieve at the conclusion of the design process. This can be a lengthy list of items, so it’s a good idea to break it down into manageable chunks where possible. Nothing beats establishing clear goals and objectives early on to aid in maintaining focus and minimizing miscommunication among project stakeholders.

Audience segmentation

As with project objectives and deliverables, every design project has a defined target customer audience. It’s critical to understand who you’re designing for in order to ensure that your design meets their needs.

For instance, a designer creating a logo should have a firm grasp on the demographics, cultural background, and literacy levels of the intended audience. Thus, the design can be tailored to their specific requirements while maximizing engagement from the company’s customer base.

Budget and schedule for the project, as well as deliverables

A budget has the power to make or break a project. When it comes to accepting new client work, the majority of professional designers have their own scales. If the budget is excessively constrained, it may send the wrong message to prospective designers. As a result, a good rule of thumb is to have a reasonable budget in place when creating a design brief in order for it to be appealing enough to designers to participate in the project.

Additionally, a design brief should include all project milestones, a timeline for the project, a deadline, and deliverables. This will assist the project team and all stakeholders in remaining on the same page regarding what to expect when.

Specifics regarding the resource

You can include in this section of the brief what resources you intend to make available to ensure the project’s success in addition to the funds. These can include access to tools, libraries, memberships, and team resources.

Specifications for the procedure and closure

Here, you can include any additional selection criteria that you wish to consider during the designer’s selection process. These can include information about the applicant’s level of experience, references, and information about the applicant’s financial stability, among other things. Additionally, you can be transparent about the selection process, the timeline for a decision, and who to contact for additional information—all of which will boost design professionals’ confidence and trust.

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