How to Create a Design Brief

How to Create a Design Brief


This week we are up cycling an old post with a little added benefit which you get to see once you’ve read on.

A design brief is the base of every design. It’s a point of reference for creating the scope of work and also for designing. It is where we pen down the expectations, outcomes and final requirements. So it’s important that this document is as detailed as possible. Better clarity of initial communication eliminates misunderstanding, delay of project and loss in hours in rework.

Every business and project is different but there are some basic questions you could ask your client when…



Who is the client and what do they do?

You want to know what market segment to research when working for a client. What is the nature of their business, how big or small the company is and what their niche is. The more you understand the business, the better you can design for them.


What does the client want you to do?

It’s good idea to include a checklist of services you provide, to clearly define the options for the clients. Allow extra space for client to explain what they like and dislike and provide you with samples or pics of other design work that they have been intrigued by. This can be in a form of pinterest boards, mood boards or jpegs. Some clients may even have a colour or font they HAVE to or want to use.


Where will this design be used?

Ask your client where and how they intend to use the design and across what media. If the design will be used for web, print, billboards or simply for social media. This effects your design process and outcomes.


What is the timeline on this project?

A clarity of how much time you have to complete a project. This helps you organise your processes. If you are providing an end to end solution, you might have teams or vendors that you have to work with to reach the deadline and time management is the key to that.

This can sometimes define the cost of the scope of work too. Some rush projects can be charged higher as you will be slowing down the other clients to prioritise the outcome for one client.


Who is their target audience?

The demographic of the target audience plays a vital role in the outcome of the design. A young hip college going kid is a rockstar, adrenaline junky who loves wild, colourful and noisy things… While a business owner likes shiny, classy, subtle and well designed things.. You see what we mean ?

What the age, location or gender of the target audience is, can help you while creating the design for the client.


Who is your competitor?

Knowing what other fish are in the sea, helps you understand what others have done and what you can do to make your client’s brand look better. This is the good time to ask to client, how they are or going to be different from their competitors. What is their Unique selling proposition (USP).


What is their budget?

You don’t want to spend hours researching and designing something that your client cannot afford so it’s always handy to take a budget from the client and see what you can provide them for their buck.



Although in most cases it’s quite standard, but it’s worth asking how the client would like their final files to be delivered to them. What kind of file formats, sizes, method of delivery eg. email, cloud storage or CDs.

Also clarify whether you will be provided with inputs such as Stock images, fonts, copywriting, hosting etc or will those be provided by you as a designer? One of the biggest clashes that we’ve seen in our time is whether the client gets the open / raw files? Consider that when quoting your client. These are expenses that should be calculated in the scope of work.


Have any collaterals been designed for this project before?

Along with having a look at their website (if they have one) you could request previously designed collaterals. This can help you determine what they like and not and what HAS worked for them or not. Alternatively, you could suggest the changes the client needs to make to achieve their goals.


Who is going to be the point of contact through the project?

This has got us in trouble in the past. There are partners, wives, brothers, best friends.. basically anyone and everyone getting involved in a project. Everyone has their own ideas and they communicate with you for changes only to create more confusion and conflict!

Its important to have ONE point of contact in a company or project, so that there’s one person to report to and take instructions from.

Making a Design Brief Form and adding it to your website or templates can save you a lot of trouble. We know because we have spent many hours building one each time we got a new query. And for that reason we thought we’ll save you the trouble by giving you FREE TEMPLATE OF A DESIGN BRIEF FORM. WHOOP WHOOP!!! This is one of the many FREEBIES we have in our growing library and we would love for you to have it!

Design Brief Free Template


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