How to Write a Brief for your Designer

Writing a brief is a practice used across all advertising and marketing agencies around the world to understand a business’ challenges, values and objectives before making posters, TV adverts or major campaigns to help the brand meet its objectives.

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Having a brief can be supremely useful for startups

Briefs aren’t just for established brands, they are invaluable in the early stages of small businesses and startups to ensure everyone on the team (and collaborators) are clear about the direction the business is going in.

As a team, we cut our teeth working in big advertising agencies, and we learned a lot there. One of the things we most valued from the process was writing a brief, which is why we write one for every single project we work on, no matter how small.

 

WHAT IS A BRIEF?

A brief is a document that summarises what your business stands for, and a particular aim – for example, you may write a brief for a new website, a poster to create awareness of a new product, or for your logo.

 

WHICH BRIEF SHOULD I USE?

There are lots of different types of briefs, and plenty of templates available online, but our preferred are:

 

1. Logo brief – this is the heart of your brand, a document that explains what your business is, who your audience are, what your USP is, how you stand against your competition and the core ‘ethos’ of your brand, as well as any core brand colours and straplines.

 

2. Website brief – a thorough document of requirements for a website developer to use to give you a cost estimate or proposal from. Mostly people don’t consider what they want on their website in enough detail, and then later wish they’d asked for different things. his document is a way to avoid this, and misunderstandings with the developer.

 

3. Creative brief – If you are looking to communicate something new or important about your brand, you will need to use a creative brief to get clear about the objective you want achieved. For example, instead of approaching a graphic designer saying ‘We want 1,000 leaflets to let people know we open late’ why not say ‘We need an effective way to let local people know we open late, and our budget is x’?

 

4. Task brief – On the other hand, sometimes you need to update someone’s details on an information pack, in 4 languages, and no real ‘creative thinking’ is needed, just a designer’s time to update the files. This is where a task brief will help a designer quickly gauge how much of their time is needed and efficiently carry out your request.

 

HOW DO I WRITE A BRIEF?

The clue really is in the name, a brief is a place to use words with consideration, so that you end up with a concise document that gives any graphic designer or new team member an ‘at a glance’ understanding of your business or requirement, rather than a weighty tome with lots of internal thoughts and different ways of saying similar things.

Tip: Be assertive and be sparing

For example, instead of saying ‘We want to make sure that our brand is perceived as approachable, not intimidating but still special, like a friend’; say ‘Our brand is friendly and approachable’.

 

HOW IS IT USEFUL?

A logo brief is a document that can be updated as your business grows, but will fundamentally record the values and missions that make up the foundation of your brand.

A logo brief is a document that records the values and missions that make up the foundation of your brand. A website brief provides a comprehensive list of requirements that can be used to create a robust website plan, and help keep expectations clear on your side and the developer’s when you commission a new website. A creative brief may just prompt your designer to think of something clever and eye catching that helps your business attract customers; and a task brief sees that you and your designer don’t spend too much time on small tasks, saving you money.

So all in all, well worth the hour it may take you to sit down and write.


For more information or help in writing your brand brief, you can book in a session with Cara, or speak to any of our team.