Creating a Design Brief – It’s Not Rocket Science

7th September 2017
Posted in: Design, Marketing

One of the Directors in Journey always says, “If it doesn’t work in black and white, it’ll never work in colour”. He means that the key to any successful campaign or brand project is getting the written brief right in the first place. Taking the time to write a design brief will save you time in the long run and money. It’ll also mean that the collaboration between you and your designer should be an enjoyable experience.

With that, we want to share with you what a typical design brief comprises of. In our latest blogs, we have been talking about the importance of reviewing your brand and the steps involved in creating a brand. This blog is more targeted at those companies that have the brand in place but need some further design work carried out for a particular campaign coming up.


Why do we need a design brief?

A design brief is a great way to get your thoughts down on paper and to give the designers a ‘roadmap’ of what you want to achieve in the project. In the “project overview section”, you should provide as much detail as possible, including background information and context.


This 2 – 3 page document will outline the project objectives, key requirements and any constraints we need to know.


1. Clearly Define Your Project Goals:

You must clearly understand what the design needs to achieve and the problem it should solve. This will help you articulate the project goals to the designer so they can start planning around the visuals required. 


2. Who Is Your Target Audience:

Everything comes back to the customer. Our designers must be given a deep understanding of who you are promoting your business to, their age, where they live, and what they like and dislike. Again, if this is something you need clarification on, why not contact us about a branding workshop?

This knowledge will enable designers to prepare a creative that resonates with the intended users.


3. Share Your Brand Guidelines:

If you have brand guidelines, sending them on with your design brief is essential to ensure that the work our designers do is aligned with the overall brand identity. A brand identity should include your brand values, tone of voice, colour palette, and typography guidelines. As we always say, consistency is key for brand recognition.


4. Set Clear Deliverables and Scope:

We always like to receive a bullet-pointed list outlining the specific deliverables you need from us, e.g. flyer design, exhibition stand (2m x 2m), packaging to store candles etc. This gives us a checklist to work through and again avoids any misunderstandings down the road.


5. Share Technical Requirements:

In addition, if the project involves technical aspects, provide detailed technical requirements. For example, if we are designing an exhibition stand, we will need to know the size of the stand parameters, if any walls or carpets are being provided, etc.


6. Share Visual References:

While it’s great to get your brand guidelines, it’s also valuable for our designers to receive visual references to communicate your aesthetic preferences and design style. We typically conduct this exercise with clients we’re developing brands for from scratch. It’s great to see what they like and don’t like and be able to align our work with their vision.


7. Provide Timelines and Deadlines:

Please provide our designers with parameters around your project. Sometimes design work can go on, like anything else, if deadlines aren’t set for both our designer and you, the client.

8. Budget and Resources:

With the design, the skies the limit regarding what we can create. Still, we must understand the budget that we’re working within to ensure costs don’t run wild, so we will always encourage you to be transparent about the budget available, and then we can plan accordingly.


8 Steps Design Brief


Taking the time to develop a comprehensive design brief is imperative to achieving successful outcomes for your campaign. If you have a design project that you’re looking to get started, why not say


Evie and James

Evie 1

Evie Liddy

With 13 years experience, senior designer Evie is passionate about bringing brands to life through strategy, creativity and compelling stories. She creates brands that connect and experiences that delight.
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