How can you get the perfect design? 

What is the most essential phase of the design process?

How will you get exactly what you want from a graphic designer?

The Answer? A detailed design brief. Creative briefs prevent designers from spending wasted time going in the wrong direction. In an effort to get a project moving forward, the creative brief is skipped in many instances. This however can cause a project to become further delayed, due to misunderstandings

So what should you include in a design brief?

A creative brief also known as a project outline is created through communication between you and your graphic designer. A thorough outline will allow the designer to focus on exactly what you want to achieve before any design work starts on the project.

A good creative brief will answer these questions:

• What is the project?
• Who is it for?
• Why are we doing it?
• What needs to be done? By whom? By when?
• Where and how will it be used?

Different types of projects will contain less emphasis on certain information. For instance a branding and logo project will need to contain as much information as you can possibly provide. If the project is a magazine advertisement, billboard or email campaign with a pre-existing logo. Then the creative brief may tend to have a little less content. If the project is a website design the content of the creative brief will need to be heavily detailed.


The most important things to include in your design brief:


Background Summary

• What does your company do?

• What are its strengths and weaknesses?


• What is the project?

• What are the specifications for the project?

If the ad is for a publication spot, a billboard or a newsprint advertisement be sure to provide a list of specifications such as dimensions, color? black & white?, etc.


• What is the overall goal for the project? What is the purpose?


• Who is the target audience?

• What is the audience you would like to target.

• Are there any perceptions that you look forward to changing about your company?

Personal Preferences

• Provide samples of design that you favor

• Let the designer know things that you are certain you do not want to see in the design such as colors certain competitors use, etc.

• Keep in mind you do not want to overly narrate the aesthetics of the design. To do so may restrain the designer from delivering a unique and creative piece.


• Who is the competition? It helps to provide a list of competitors websites and if you have collected their collateral it is great to provide those too.

• What differentiates you from your competitors?

Copy and Photography

• Will you be providing the copy (text content) and/or any photography?


• If you have hired a professional designer or an ad agency in the past. Are you now wanting to reinvent your brand now? If not what elements are you wanting to carry over?

• If a new brand and logo will be created please request a creative survey to begin. A brief 13 question survey to begin a new branding and logo project.


Let the designer know what your budget is. If you do not have any idea what your budget should be, first give all of the details within this outline to your designer. Then request a proposal. Sometimes there are portions of the design process that can be cutout of a proposal such as brainstorming, research, conceptualization, etc. However you will usually always get what you pay for with a trusty designer.



List of deliverables?

Format parameters?

Limitations and restrictions?

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