Any graphic design project needs a detailed design brief. There are two main reasons:
- It ensures the client knows exactly what s/he wants to achieve from the project.
- It acts as a point of reference for designers, forming the focus of their work.
This means less time (and money) is spent on the result. It comes down to this: The more information a client provides from the outset, the more value for money s/he will receive from the graphic designer.
Topics for inclusion in a design brief:
Clients shouldn’t assume that people know their business well. Incorrect assumptions can render the entire opening discussion meaningless. A summary of the business and a brief history will help.
A realistic evaluation of the company’s service/product relative to what the competition is doing.
An explanation of what’s happening to bring about the need for this project e.g., a new product launch.
This includes both 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 — the age, gender, income, employment, geography, lifestyle of those the client wants to reach.
What does the client want to achieve? 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 (file handover)
If, as a designer, you’re dealing with a client who hasn’t produced a design brief, it’s vitally important to have your own questionnaire that you can supply at the beginning.