How to get a better design result

Communicating effectively with the designer is the most critical element in ensuring the final product meets your vision and specifications. Without a clear brief the designer is left to interpret your instructions according to their own experience and preferences. Occasionally this works perfectly. More often, it can result in frustration and a design that does not convey your messages or brand in the most appropriate way.

The task of collecting a good brief is part of a designer’s job. A good designer understands that collecting information is key to a successful project, so they are likely to ask a lot of questions to get the information they need.

Before contacting a designer, be prepared with some of the information you know they’ll be looking for.

Here are the 10 key pieces of information every design brief should contain:

1. About your company
This does not have to be lengthy but it should include information about your organisation and its products, brand ethos, marketplace, key messages and competitors.
Understanding who your competitors are, and seeing how they present their brand, can help your designer develop a unique and compelling way to present your brand – so that it stands out.

2. Your objective
Whether you are engaging a designer for a one-off direct marketing piece or to design an entire corporate look-and-feel, it is important to let them know what your objective is. Consider what action you want your target audience to take and how you want them to think about your brand.

3. Your target audience
The target audience plays a big role in determining what your design should look like. It is essential that your design resonates with your target audience.
This may mean that the ideal design is one you don’t personally like very much. However, the more information the designer has about the target audience, the more likely they are to be able to develop something compelling and relevant.

4. Specifications
There are different design considerations depending on the medium. For example, designing a form for a mobile web page is very different from designing a four-page print brochure. Outline the specifications for the design so that the designer can create something that works for the medium.

5. Your budget
It is essential to let the designer know your budget up front so that they can use the available funds in the most effective way. The budget needs to cover the purchase of images and fonts as well as the designer’s time.

6. Your timeline
Make sure the designer knows your deadline so that they can schedule the project accordingly.

7. Previous examples of designs that worked
Collect examples of designs that you like, or thought worked well, and give them to your designer. This gives them clues as to how the design should look.
You could also include examples of designs that do not work.

8. Existing brand guidelines
If your organisation has brand guidelines, make sure you include them with the brief. If there are any specific portions of those guidelines that apply, or don’t apply, in this case, then draw the designer’s attention to them. This will save time and resources.

9. Available materials
Include a list and/or examples of available materials for the design. For example, if you have existing fonts or images that can be used then make sure the designer knows these are available. Similarly, if the copy is already written then that should be provided to the designer so that they know what they are working with.

10. Things to avoid
If there are any things that you definitely do not want included in the design then make sure you let the designer know. For example, if there are certain colours that are off-limits, or styles that you don’t want to use.

Remember, the more specific and detailed your brief is, the more likely it is that the designer will be able to create a successful design.
Including information about the 10 elements above will set the designer on the right track from the beginning and potentially save time and money throughout the process.

Our experienced design team can help you make your next design piece stand out, contact our team on 02 9252 2266.

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