Guide to Creating a Great Design Brief + Download Free Template

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A great design brief is a roadmap that guides creatives in the right direction and ensures that deliverables are in sync with the project expectations. Having your goals and expectations clearly defined on a sheet will help you not only be on the same page as your client but will also let you form a structure for the project. A good design brief will contain everything you need to complete the project on time. So start your research before you hop on that call with your client. Read up about their business, websites, blogs and try to understand what they offering is all about. When a client approaches you with a project, they are usually looking to solve a problem. As a designer, your task is to understand this problem and understanding a brand will enable you to respond to their needs in a systematic and methodical way.

We have gathered a list of 10 questions to ask yourself and the client when taking on a new project. This should help you gain a better understanding of your client and their business.

1. Client Information

Asking the right questions about the company and the client will help you gain a deeper perspective about them and their work. Here are some common and relevant questions to ask when starting a new project.
– What is the size of your company?
-What is their product or service?
-What is the story behind their business?
-Who are they targeting their business towards?

In addition, to this, finding out more about their personality and values will also help gain an intimate understanding of them and use this to set the overall tone of the project.

2. Project Description

It is important to set your project goals early on in the project. Your brief should ideally begin with this section — Include a paragraph about the entire scope of the project that you and your client can envision as a team. Here is a list of important points to consider:
-The objective behind the project
-What you want to accomplish
-Problems that brand is facing and how you would like to address them
-Metrics you will use to measure success or failure.

Knowing the deliverables and how your design files will be used will help you make better design choices.

3.Target Audience

Find out more about who your audiences are. You are ultimately trying to serve them by completing this project. In order to be able to reach the audience with your campaign, you have to know them. To properly identify them, ask the following questions:
-Demographic details – Age range, gender, race
-Behavioral patterns – How often do they use your service, try to put a face on your customer.

Using a portrait of your Target customer, you will be able to gauge how they think, feel and behave. This, in turn, will help you make better design choices.

4. Competition

Knowing your client’s competition is crucial to your project’s success. Who is your direct competition? How are they positioning themselves in the market? What can you do to steal market share? When you delve deeper into their weaknesses, you learn how to cope with the market share threats that will help you better position yourself in the market.

-Identify their strengths
-Identify their weaknesses
-Identify opportunities
-Identify threats

5. Deliverables

Every project is different and will have different needs and requirements. Listing them in order of preference and execution will help bring clarity to the entire project. It is also important to include the specifics about the final file formats that they require to finish the project.

6.Tone, Imagery, and Messaging

To be able to communicate your message across, you have to set the right tone. They should be in alignment with the overall mood of your project and the brand is perceived in the marketplace. The audience will pick up on the traits of the brand by sensing the tone from your designs. So ask the right questions about colors, imagery and how they would like the company to be represented.

7. Timeline and Budget

Set down firm expectations on when you expect a deliverable to be completed. It helps you stay on track to complete your campaign. You also have to figure out how much your client is willing to spend before you start the project. This protects you and the client and helps maintain the integrity of the designer-client relationship.

8. Ultimate goals and Metrics

Asking how they will measure the success of your project will help you make better design choices. This will help you design projects and experiences that can better serve the client and increase chances if having satisfied clients.

Writing a design brief can be time-consuming. But it is much better to ask the right questions at the right time so that you know where you both stand as a team. To increase the chances of having happy clients that will help you and your business thrive will ultimately guarantee a project’s success.
Creative briefs don’t have to be beautiful but it has to contain enough information about the project. Let’s take a look at some examples and templates that can serve as an inspiration for your next creative project.

The difference between a good design brief and a great one is the latter contains all the necessary information required for successful completion of a project. This brief contains useful information but lacks the information about the target audience, their strengths, budget, and other deadlines.

Whereas the brief below has all the information that a designer would need to start the project. The designer is aware of the project deadline, tone, brand guidelines, and the theme.

Free Design Brief Template

Inspired? Download this free creative brief template to get a head start on your next creative project!

Iggy is a designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques, collating creative website designs, and writing about the latest design trends, inspiration, design freebies, and more. You can follow him on Twitter

1 thought on “Guide to Creating a Great Design Brief + Download Free Template”

  1. Hi Esha,

    How can one download this design brief please? Clicking on the image takes you to a page where you can download free resources, but the Design brief isn’t one of them??

    Thank you


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