April 30, 2019 | By: Tony Mastri

How to Write a Design Brief for Graphic Designers [w/ Template!]

A good design brief template is like a map. Without it, you’re going to get lost. Writing a design brief for graphic designers requires attention to detail as you attempt to communicate the scope and goals of your project.

Before jumping in with both feet, you need to have a firm understanding of what’s required on your end to craft a highly effective graphic design brief.

At the end of the article, we will provide a template you can use for your own projects in the future.

What Is a Design Brief in Graphic Design?

A design brief is an outline that focuses primarily on the business objectives, outcomes, and results of project design, rather than the actual design itself.

You, as the client, are not responsible for creating the design (leave that part to the professionals at MARION). It’s your job to focus on your objectives and to provide guidance for the graphic designer.

What Information Is Included in a Design Brief?

what information is included in a design brief?

Design briefs are straightforward. The information you need to provide will give your graphic designer an intimate look into your business. As a general rule of thumb, the more information you provide the better.

What does a design brief include?

  • Who your audience is
  • The scope of the project
  • The tone of the project
  • Due dates
  • How you intend on measuring the success of the project
  • The problem you’re solving
  • Your competition
  • Aesthetic design ideas
  • Any other relevant information about your business

Your graphic design brief should give your graphic designer everything they need to hit the ground running.

Want to work with the professionals? Take your project to the next level by working with MARION for graphic design in Houston.

5 Tips for Writing a Design Brief for Graphic Designers

Now that you have a firm understanding of what a graphic design brief entails, let’s look at 5 tips for successfully writing a design brief for graphic designers.

Keep in mind that you may need to specify the channel you intend to communicate with the design. For example, our Houston web design process may end up looking very different from a design intended for print collateral.

1. Highlight your specifications

What are the specifications of your project? Do you have a brand style guide that must be followed? What size do you need the design to be? Will you require business cards? Flyers? Posters? Web banners? Car decals? Do you have any existing .PSD files from previous designs?

Do you need help creating a brand style guide? Download this free brand style guide today, and take a step toward building a more professional brand!

Provide as many specifications as you can. The more details, the better. Chances are, if you leave some important details out for the sake of being concise, you’ll end up with more time-consuming back-and-forth later.

2. Identify your target audience

creative brief examples graphic design

Give an in-depth breakdown of your target audience. What is their income bracket? Do they own businesses? Where do they shop? How often do they purchase from your business? What’s their age range?

Try to paint a customer profile so vivid that your graphic designer can practically see the faces of your clientele.

3. Set a budget

One of your top goals should be to maximize the amount of money you intend on pouring into your project. Setting a budget lets your graphic designer know what they can and can’t do.

Having a budget in place also lets your graphic designer know if you can afford their time and creativity – top freelancers and agencies won’t consider your design brief if you don’t have an adequate budget.

Your project deserves a top tier graphic design team. Why don’t you try working with Houston marketing agencies like MARION! Our design team has been serving Texas-based businesses for nearly 40 years. We have provided countless Houston and Austin custom website designs, collateral creation, branding services, and more!

4. Create a corporate profile

Identify as many details about your business as possible. How long have you been in operation? What’s the size of your business? What’s your reputation? The best design briefs get into the nitty-gritty when it comes to in-depth details about your business.

Make sure you leave the sales pitch at the door. You’re not trying to sell your business in your design brief; you’re making sure your graphic designer understands every aspect of your business so they can sell it visually.

5. Set a deadline

As with any project, you should set a realistic deadline for work completion. Consider every step along the way and give your graphic designer plenty of leeway to finish the project without feeling rushed (that way they’ll deliver a higher quality end product).

You should avoid rush jobs if possible. However, if you need a project done ASAP, be upfront with your expectations. That way your graphic designer will know what they’re signing up for.

Creative Brief Examples for Graphic Design Projects

It’s one thing to explain the details of a creative brief. It’s quite another when you can see examples for yourself. If there was any singular theme in this article, it’s that the more details you add to your brief the better. Here are a few examples we’ve found that will give you a good idea of what an excellent creative brief entails.

Design Brief Case Study #1:

graphic design brief template
Reebok Shoes

This example does a lot of things right. It gives an adequate company background, notes the objective, highlights the execution requirements and more. What this creative brief accomplishes exceptionally well is the description of the target audience. In essence, this brief is “customer-centric.”

Design Brief Case Study #2:

writing a design brief for graphic designers

This particular example hits all of its pain points pretty well, but where it stands out is its unique design. This creative brief makes it clear that it doesn’t matter how the content is presented. What matters is that the information is communicated effectively.

Get Expert Graphic Design Help Today!

Knowing how to write a brief for a graphic designer requires attention to detail to ensure your project is completed to your specifications.

If you’re in need of graphic design in Austin or Houston that will breathe life into your projects reach out to MARION today to see what we can do for you.

building a better brand

About Tony Mastri

Tony Mastri, Digital Marketing Manager at MARION, is an experienced agency and in-house digital marketer. With a proven background in content strategy, relationship-based link building, and technical SEO, he makes data-informed decisions that drive client growth.

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