A Good Design Brief

29Nov2017

What makes a good design brief?

Talk more, pay less!

Aesthetics are incredibly subjective – we all have our own preferences – so when is a design right? Well, preferably when it answers the brief and not when the guy who’s paying the bill runs of money.

Keep things on-track

The design brief is the process of choosing the right direction for your project. It can be as simple as ticking boxes on a brief sheet but, in my experience, nothing beats a good old fashioned conversation.

A good creative needs to understand your requirements implicitly and they will know the right questions to ask to get that information. Having some agreed correspondence can really help keep things on-track and avoid the lengthy and costly ‘trial-and-error’ route to a solution.

Be honest from the outset

“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

Be clear about what you do like and what you don’t. If you’re thinking it, say it. It might sound trivial to say you don’t like script fonts or a particular colour but if this is the case, tell your designer. If you’ve seen a design you do like – explain why. Part of the creative process is understanding what get’s your juices going and what doesn’t. It’s better to have all the ideals in place before the mouse gets clicked.

Explain your objective

Whether your brand identity and website needs a re-vamp or you’re looking to update your corporate brochure, there will be a driving force behind your new project. If your competitors have moved the game on, or you’re looking to break in to new markets, it’s critical to understand the design objective from the outset. You might enter the meeting convinced you need vehicle livery for your entire fleet of vans, but the most effective solution may be an eShot campaign – your designer can give you all the options available.

Don’t be shy about budgets

Sometimes it’s easier and quicker to reach the perfect solution when the dirty subject of ‘budgets’ is out in the open. If you have a particular budget in mind for your design project, it can be a real help to discuss this first, as it will allow your designer to hone in on what’s possible far more effectively.

The most direct route to the solution will be the most cost efficient. Putting the guess work into the hands of a good designer is not a bad decision – but it can be if you reject all of their hard work – remember; “…if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on… etc.”

Ask questions

If you’re not sure what the most suitable creative design solution is – ask. In fact, as long as you’re open to suggestions, we’ll advise you anyway!

At the end of your; meeting, phone conversation, email you’ll have a comprehensive brief that both you and your designer can refer to. The design brief isn’t set in stone either, and small deviations are quite normal. The key is to set a clear objective so once the project begins, every step taken is a step in the right direction. This should lead to a quick turnaround, a great finished project and a very happy client!