When creating a design brief, imagine anything and everything you may need to complete the project. You don’t have to ask all of the questions (it may depend on the project), but sometimes more information is better than not enough. Start by doing your research before the call or meeting. Check out their website and social media profiles. Google any articles about them. Read their blog.
Some design briefs are submitted and completed by the client and then handed off to the designer. But if you are a designer working directly with the client, going through the questionnaire with them can get you more detailed responses and more clarity if you are not sure of an answer.
Here are some questions to start with that will give you the information for a better design:
01. Who are they and what do they do?
What’s the size of their company and how long have they been in business? How did they get started in this business? What is their product or service? How do their customers or clients talk about them?
Ask them to describe the company in layman’s terms if it’s something you’re not very familiar with. What do they love about their company and what are they most proud of?
02. What is the scope of the project?
What is the project? Why do they need you? What materials do they need?
Consider this checklist:
- If they need a logo, do they want a type treatment, an image or both?
- If it’s a web design project, ask if they also need a developer and if they have a WordPress theme?
- If there are print files, what sizes and formats are needed.
- If there are social media files, which platforms does the company use?
- If you’re designing letterheads, do they need editable Word templates?
03. Who’s their competition?
Why do they think a particular company or companies are their competition? What do they offer that the others don’t? What does the competition offer that they don’t? What makes them unique?
04. What tone or image do they need to portray?
Are they high-end, helpful, friendly, techie or earthy? Do they want to be bold and dominant or easily approachable?
Get more details: What colors do they like and don’t like? Maybe their competition uses blue and green, so you want to make sure they don’t look similar.
05. What’s their budget?
This is the amount they have available to pay you. It also gives you guidelines in which to design. You don’t want to design an annual report that they can’t afford to print. Nor do you want to spend 20 hours designing a piece when they’ve only budgeted enough for 10.
Whether you’re a designer working with a client, or a solo-preneur starting a new business – planning is the foundation of every creative project. If you’ve never used a creative brief before, now’s the time to do so! One of the examples of a creative brief is