Writing a Design Brief

So you’ve decided you need to get something designed, but how will the designer know exactly what you mean? That’s why we have the design brief, also known as a creative brief. This is the place for you to express what you have in mind, what you like and don’t like, what your business is about and what kind of design you are imagining. This is the place for you to be as clear as possible, because remember – you are going to be working with designers who don’t know you or your business. Help them get the picture so that you get as many quality designs as possible.

The design briefs on most online design websites are very clear, with specific questions trying to get the most useful information from you. Just in case, we have put together some important issues to think of when you’re creating your brief, so just make sure these details appear in your design brief so that you get the best designs for you.

  1. Do you have an old design that you are tired of? Attach it and explain what you don’t like about it, why you want to change it, why it doesn’t match your current expectations and why it was created that way in the first place. This will help the designer avoid unnecessary sketches.

  2. If the design is for a business (for example a business logo design), write a little about the business and its goals so that the designer gets the overall picture. Don’t go into too many details, and make sure you are writing for someone who has no knowledge in your field of work. Basically, just keep it simple.

  3. Design style – some online design sites will let you choose the style in advance before starting to create the design. Think about this carefully before selecting the ones that are right for you, because all designs you receive will go in this direction.

  4. Attach relevant images – for example, if you have an image which is identified with your business, attach it so that the designers can incorporate it in the final design. If you want a picture of someone to appear in the design – this is the place to attach it.

  5. Who is the target audience? Designing for a young audience is different from an older and more solid design. If this is a business design - who is the ideal customer? Male or female? How old are they? All these details are crucial for creating a design that will work with the right audience.

  6. Do you have competitors? What differentiates your business from other businesses in the same field? Another tip for business designs is to include all the advantages you can think of that make your business stand out.

  7. Design dos and don’ts – what designs do you like? Which ones don’t you like? Provide examples and link to these designs so that the designer understands your taste.

  8. You can edit the brief during the contest – what you’ve written doesn’t have to be final. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest time and thought into creating the perfect brief to begin with, but don’t be alarmed if you remember or realize something new later on – all design briefs are editable.

And of course, you can always see what others are doing to get some ideas from them - just browse the existing projects in any of the reviewed sites.

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