There are a couple of main reasons why any graphic design project needs a detailed brief — it spells out exactly what clients want to achieve, and acts as a point of reference for everyone involved.
This means less time (and money) is spent on the result. The more information clients provide from the outset, the more value for money they’ll receive from their design partners.
Potential topics for inclusion:
A summary of the business and a brief history will help.
A realistic evaluation of the company’s service/product relative to what competitors are doing.
An explanation of what’s happening to bring about the need for this project e.g., a new product launch.
Previous and present communication activity, such as research, advertising, direct mail, graphic design, public relations, etc.
Communication task — “the message”
What’s the context of the specific message in relation to the business plan? Where possible, include information to be shown in the designed item e.g. taglines, body text, imagery, etc.
Demographics — age, gender, income, employment, geography, lifestyle of those the client wants to reach.
What does the client want to achieve? Where possible, make the objectives specific and the results measurable.
Schedule and deadline
The designer should have a detailed and realistic schedule of how the client wants the project to advance, considering these pointers:
- Consultation (research, strategy)
- Creation (concept and design development)
- Production (artwork and print procurement)
- Delivery (handover)
If, as a designer, you’re dealing with a client who hasn’t produced a brief, it’s important to have your own set of questions to supply at the outset.