What is a Design Brief?

It’s a term we throw around the studio all the time and something we won’t start a project without! But for many clients, they want to know: What is a design brief?

Briefs come in all shapes and sizes and as a designer, it is best practice to for us to understand the project at hand before we get to work on the design concept.

So, what is a design brief? A design brief articulates the desired results and the businesses, persons or organisations need for the design. Rather than focusing on aesthetics, a design brief is what outlines your project goals and objectives. As a client, it is essential to the success of your project that the brief clarifies that we have understood you and your project requirements correctly. Below are a few points we like to give our clients to follow in order to build your design brief:

1. Know who you are as a business.

  • New or established business
  • Product/service offering
  • Point of difference
  • Key brand themes and objectives
  • Business scope

2. Clearly define your project objective.

  • What is the purpose of the project?
  • Is it to educate your audience on a new product/service?
  • Is it to develop a new business brand?
  • Is it to create a website that is easy to navigate for clients and clearly defines your service offerings?

3. What are the design considerations?

  • Market influences, such as customers & competitors
  • Other design materials
  • Is it a new or existing business?
  • What is the context of the design?
  • How will the design be delivered? ie; print or digital
  • Inspiring brands, websites and campaigns
  • Most important message to be communicated to your market

4. Know your target market.

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they located?
  • What is their buying motivations?

5. What is your project timeframe?

  • Project schedule & stages

6. How will the success of the project be measured?

  • Sales growth
  • New clients
  • Repeat clients
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Internal management structures

7. Project specifications and scope

  • Print requirements
  • Digital requirements
  • Copywriting requirements
  • Photography requirements

When we develop design briefs for projects, we pull information collected from conversations and discussions that we’ve had with our clients about the project using the points above. With each of our briefs we encourage clients to correct us if we have mis-heard or mis-understood anything so that we have a clear understanding of the project before we get started on the creative and design component of the project.

When developing a design brief, we will supply this to the client with a mood board (read more about what is a mood board here. A mood board is visual reference of found images for the client to review in conjunction with the design brief.

We will continually refer back to your mood board and design brief as we work on your project to ensure the project doesn’t run off course.

If you have any questions regarding your design brief, please don’t hesitate to contact us.