How To Write An Awesome Design Brief To Get A Perfect Result

Get a grip on that upcoming design project, and learn how to write a design brief that will streamline your processes and keep everyone on track.

design brief

Photo by Felipe Furtado on Unsplash

Design briefs can sound alien to some business owners, but they are essential for undertaking any kind of design project. However, some business owners may not know how to write such briefs, so here is everything you need to know about how to write an awesome design brief to get a perfect result.

#1 Consider Your Objectives

So, you want to write a design brief. But what do you actually need it for? Here are some things that a design brief can be useful for:

  • You want to introduce a new brand to the market. You need designs for the brand.
  • You want to rebrand your current business. You need new designs for the new brand.
  • You want to launch a new website for your brand. You need a new website design.
  • You want to improve your content marketing efforts. You need new designs for your new content marketing campaigns.
  • You want to run an advertising campaign. You need ad designs for the campaign.

These are just some situation you could be in but having a design brief can actually aid you in sorting out many other processes where design is needed. Depending on your objectives, your design brief will have a particular focus, so it’s important to keep in mind these goals from the very beginning.

#2 Understand What A Design Brief Is

Before you do start using design briefs, you should first understand what they are, who makes them, and why they are important. To put it simply, a design brief is a written document created by a business that wants to hire a design agency to create a certain design or set of designs for them. Design briefs can be used for anything from branding/rebranding to web design to e-commerce to architecture and more.

Most of the time, the brief is created by the company director or marketing director/manager/executive. If you are a small business owner, you might not have the right person for this in your company, so you will have to create the design brief yourself. Luckily, it’s not the most difficult thing in the world to make.

After the design brief is created, you will have to send it out to different design agencies or independent designers to find someone to work with you and create these designs for you. The design brief you craft will help you find the best fit for the project, so don’t despair if you get rejected at first.

#3 Outline Your Design Brief

Every design brief usually follows a more-or-less similar structure that includes the key elements of the project at hand. By understanding this structure, you will be able to create the perfect design brief, so here are the things to include:

  • Business Overview: Background information about your business.
  • Design Project Objectives: Goals of the design project.
  • Target Audience and Market: Your company’s target audience and market.
  • The Problem: The problem your company is facing (and why you need the designs).
  • Project-Specific Information: Information about the project itself.
  • More Business Information: Additional information about your company.
  • Competitor Information: Background information about your competitors.
  • Project Timescales: Project deadlines and timeframes.
  • Project Budget: The budget of your project.
  • Contact Information: Company information for contacting you.
  • Project Compensation: How the project will be awarded i.e. payment for services.
  • Required Response: What should be included in the response to the design brief.

#4 Start with The Basics

Now that you have an outline of your design brief, you can start with the basic and create your brief step by step. First, you will need to write the Business Overview, Design Project Objectives, and Target Audience and Market.

To write a good Business Overview, ask yourself such questions:

  • What does my business do and how does it make money?
  • How do customers buy from my business?
  • What makes your business unique?

Try to be as specific as possible and avoid using abstract terms. The next section to focus on is your Design Project Objectives. Why did you decide to rebrand? Or why did you decide to launch a new website? After you figure this out for yourself, include this into the brief to inform your designer about this.

Then, you can talk about your Target Audience and Market. While you already know these aspects of your business, your designer won’t immediately know them for your design project. That’s why you need to include them on the brief, and if you want to focus on a specific segment of your audience, include that on the brief too.

#5 Get into The Project Itself

The next step for you while writing the design brief is to get into the project itself, as some experts from the custom writing reviews sites would word it. Now, you will have to talk about The Problem and the Project-Specific Information.

While the goals you have listed earlier are about where you want to be, The Problem includes the issues you are facing at the moment. Something could be wrong with your website and you may want to change its design to try to generate more leads. Or your business could be in decline and you may want to rebrand to give it a fresh start. Whatever it is, clearly state this in the design brief.

Then, you need to talk about the Project-Specific Information to explain how you want to solve this problem. This can include anything from the hosting platform of your website (e.g. WordPress) to the brand guidelines on content quality. Make a list of all of this information beforehand and then include all of it in this section.


#6 Get Back to Business

The next section requires you to get back to business and include More Business Information and Competitor Information. Depending on the design project, you will want to share information about your business such as your brand strategy or values to help designers better understand what you want from them. Then, you need to talk about your competitors to give them an even clearer picture of what your business is like and who it is up against.


#7 Additional Project Details

Additional project details such as Project Timescales, Project Budget, Contact Information, and Project Compensation all have to be included in the closing section of your design brief. Include any project deadlines you have planned, the budget you already have, the contact information for the designer to reach out to you, and the payment they will get for their work.


#8 The Designer’s Response

The last section you should include is the Required Response which explains what you expect your designer to include in their response to your brief. You may want to request their portfolio or testimonials from past customers, but whatever it is, put it in this section.

#9 Proofread and Edit

Last but not least, once your design brief is ready, you still need to read it again a few times to see if there are any errors. Proofread the design brief and edit any parts that need changing. There could be some linguistic errors or factual inaccuracies, but no matter how big or small they are, you should still make sure to correct them.


Final Thoughts

All in all, you can definitely create an outstanding design brief even if you don’t have the right person for writing them. Use the tips from this article to guide you while you create your own design brief.