You’re thinking of hiring or commissioning a graphic designer. You have a vision and need someone with the skills to bring it together. You could be looking to refresh the visuals on your website, to promote an event on social media, or maybe to produce some physical marketing materials for a new brand initiative. Whether it’s for digital or print, a strong design brief will help your designer fulfil your requirements to the letter. 

But what makes a good design brief? We’ll cover the dos and don’ts to help you correctly brief your graphic designer. This will create a smooth pipeline, saving you both time and ensuring you get the best results. 

So, what goes into a Design Brief? 

Working with a designer can involve a lot of back and forth. It’s best to provide as much information as possible and all the materials they’ll need right from the beginning. To get you started, we’ve put together a checklist of everything your graphic designer will expect you to provide. 

Project Outline: 

  • A few sentences or a paragraph describing the work needed. 
  • An outline of the project’s purpose, objectives, and key messaging. 
  • Direction on the overall style and tone of the project. 

Scope: 

  • A comprehensive list of all required activities, deliverables, and timelines. 

Target Market: 

  • Who is your intended audience? 
  • Outline any relevant demographic and psychographic information.  

Brand Guidelines: 

  • Colours. 
  • Fonts and font sizes. 
  • Company specific assets and logos. 

Project Specific Details: 

  • Important dates or milestones. 
  • Titles, slogans, or CTA links.
  • Sizes and resolutions for images. 

Any Additional Assets: 

  • Third party logos, including partners, sponsors, and affiliated organisations. 
  • Standardised logos, like recycling logos, or ISO numbers. 

The brief provides the foundation for your project. But no matter how comprehensive it may be, you’ll still need to maintain clear and regular contact with your designer throughout the process 

Share Your Ideas 

Most designers are more than happy to hear your thoughts or ideas. By being present and accessible, you can help to shape the project. It’s great to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other and can even help your project progress more organically. However, if you find yourself really struggling for ideas, be prepared to factor this into your timescales and costs. You don’t want ideas generation taking up the bulk of your design budget. 

Keep Your Designer in the Loop 

If anything in the project changes, let your designer know straight away. If they are working on assets that will need major changes, any delay will waste your time as well as theirs. Be sure to create a succinct list of what needs altering, rather than pointing out changes one at a time. It’s much easier for a designer to work on a project when they can see the whole picture. Finally, make sure you check in with your designer at regular intervals. Depending on the timeframe of the project, this could be every few days to every week.  

Be Constructive and Specific with Feedback 

When your brief is vague or too broad, you’ll need to provide constructive feedback to narrow things down. If you receive work that doesn’t align with your vision, try not to dismiss the designer’s interpretation out of hand. You need to explain why it’s not working so that you can both move forward constructively.  

Final Thoughts 

Working with a graphic designer will elevate your visual branding and help you engage your audience. Just remember, clear and open communication is essential to your design project’s success. Offer up as much information as you can in a detailed brief and empower them to fill in the blanks when you are unsure. Be responsive with feedback, but also receptive to your designer’s ideas and expertise. Maintaining a direct line of communication throughout the project will keep everyone on the same page and will get you the results you desire. 

Have a Project in Mind? 

We help brands to visualise their strategy and deliver campaigns that capture their identity and ambition. Check out our range of design services and contact a member of our team to get started.