Writing a Design Brief

Category : Branding, Starting a Business · No Comments · by October 17, 2014


Design briefs may seem intimidating at first.

That’s why you’ll be provided with a logo questionnaire to help you put your brief together. Here are a few things to bear in mind whilst writing your brief:

  1. Describe the problem rather than the solution. A good designer focuses on providing an elegant solution that solves a problem.
  2. Focus on explaining your goals and vision, rather than thinking about what the final outcome will physically look like.
  3. If you have examples of what you’re attracted to and what you dislike – a picture paints a thousand words.
  4. Define your target market. The more researched and defined your target market, the better the designer will understand who they’re designing for.

A typical brief will cover:

  • A summary of your business. Including a brief history gives your designer a better understanding of who you are and where you started.
  • An evaluation of your market position – what services or products you offer and how that compares to your competitors
  • If you’re rebranding, it will include a synopsis of your current situation and why the need for the rebrand
  • If your business is already in operation, your designer will need to know what you’ve previously and are currently using in your communication.
  • In what context will your new material be used? Will you be using a tagline and imagery. And what type of marketing material do you envision using.
  • Define your target market as much as possible. A classic exercise is to develop a character for your preferred target market Eg. Steve is a 30+ accountant living in Johannesburg. His job is demanding, so he follows a strict schedule during the week. He starts his morning with a coffee, hits the gym, and then arrives at work where he devours a healthy breakfast he prepared the night before. His day is peppered with meetings, but in between he stays informed by checking in on his various social media addictions. He doesn’t have much time for mall shopping, so prefers to do his shopping online. After work, he heads out for a drink with friends, before settling in to a night of web browsing in front of the tv. Before getting ready for bed, he preps his breakfast and sorts his gym bag for the morning. Over weekends, he enjoys mountain biking, followed by a braai with friends.
  • What are your objective? Be as specific as possible about what your objectives are and ensure that you are able to measure your results.
  • Last but not least, provide your designer with a detailed and realistic schedule of how you want the project to advance. Consider the time required for consultation, research and study, as well as the concept and design development.

Communication is key, as always.

The better the brief – the better the understanding – the better the logo.


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