Tips for Writing the Best Design Briefs

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designer analyzing a customer design brief

When you have good communication with a designer, all the projects you work on together are a breeze. That’s why it’s important to establish a positive exchange early on. The easiest way to achieve this is with a detailed design brief.

Whether the project is for infographic design, web design, or anything else, you need to put together a clear design brief. As a client, it’s your responsibility to provide all the information a designer needs to achieve what you need from the project.  A well-written design brief is also your best ally to a successful client-designer relationship.

Let’s take a look at some tips for writing the best design briefs.

But first, what exactly is a design brief?

What Is a Design Brief, and Why Is it Important?

A design brief is the number one tool for clients to explain what they need and expect from a designer. It explains the exact purpose of the project, who the target audience is, information about the company, and the design requirements.

It’s common for a client to not know how to explain exactly what they want, which is why a design brief is so important. Even though it’s the client’s task to provide a design brief, the designer should review it and request more information if it isn’t robust enough.

If you’re hiring freelance designers on a regular basis, you should consider having a basic template of a design brief on hand. In the following sections, we will go through what should be included in a design brief and which ones can be used as a basis for any future project. If you want to make it look nice you can search for a design online and use it as a template.

Pro Tips:
  • Create a basic template of a design brief which you can fill in according to each project.
  • Be detailed and descriptive to give the freelancer a true insight into your vision.

What Needs to be Addressed in a Design Brief?

The best descriptions get the best results. A design brief needs to be direct and detail-oriented. Using simple language, without industry jargon is crucial. Not all designers are familiar with complex marketing and business vocabulary.

The main purpose of a design brief, apart from establishing seamless communication, is to transmit to the designer exactly what the desired outcome is. After sending your designer the brief, offer to answer any further questions they might have.

Let’s look at the main points to address in a design brief.

Getting to Know the Company

The first section of a design brief is about presenting the company to the designer. This should not be a simple elevator pitch but more of a personalised introduction. Don’t assume the designer knows what your company is about or what your goals and values are. This section of the design brief can be the same for every project and every hired designer.

  • What does your company do?
  • What is the story behind your company?
  • How is your company different from the competition?
  • What is your mission?
Pro Tip:

When describing your company, try to stay away from short answers. You want to create a relationship with the designer, so be honest and relatable.

Defining the project

The second section is all about the design project. Is it an infographic detailing product specifications to use on an Amazon sales page? Is it a website design for a new product or service?

These are the point to be addressed:

  • What is the desired design project?
  • Who is the target audience? Describe them with as much detail as possible.
  • What is the exact purpose of the design project?
  • What is your company trying to communicate?
  • Do you wish to be direct or conceptual?
  • Where will the design be showcased–is it a digital ad or a printed brochure?
  • Will the design be used in-house or as marketing material?
  • Are you looking for a whole new look or do you have a branding guide the designer should follow?

Setting the Goals

This section is where you give the designer an idea of what you expect the design project to achieve. For an infographic design project, the goal might be more shares on social media. For a web design project, to get more viewers or sell more products.

These are the points to remember:

  • What is the desired goal and outcome of this project?
  • What do you wish to achieve with this project?
Pro Tip:

Be precise when explaining your goals for the project. If it’s about increasing sales, specify the desired growth. If it’s for a logo, specify what you’d like to transmit with the design.

Detailing the Design Requirements

The last section covers the design requirements. For example, if the client is hiring the designer for web design services, details need to be defined. Like the style of the theme, the number of pages and the types of graphics.

The specifications for this section will differ for every project. An infographic will need different requirements than a logo and branding scheme. It’s necessary to give exact measurements and expected file types.

This is the section where the client includes the brand style guide with the logo and color schemes.

Below are some ideas, depending on the type of project.

  • For an infographic, give the exact size. Specify if it will be printed or if it should be interactive.
  • For motion graphics, tell the freelance designer what type of video files you need.
  • For a logo, let the designer know how many variations you need and in what file types.

Conclusion

When writing a design brief, remember to give the designer as much information as possible. Make sure to include the important details we suggest above. Use the design brief to have a conversation with your designer. If the designer asks more questions, answer them in depth. A good design brief is the best way to get just what you want from a freelance designer. It will establish a common language which can be used across multiple design projects.

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Nicolo Grossi
SEO & content marketing expert with 7+ years experience, working at Fiverr since 2016 Nicolo is responsible to follow and implement SEO’s best practices and inbound marketing strategies in order to increase reach and exposure.
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Paola
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Paola

Thank you so much for all those tips