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OUR INSIGHTS:

How to write a great design brief

26 Mar 2024 |
Words by Emma Warfield

A design brief is an essential means of communication between an agency and a client. Whether we’re rebranding your entire business or just designing a flyer for an event, we use a brief to help gain a clear understanding of your requirements, to ensure we meet your expectations.

What is a design brief?

A design brief is a document that outlines the objectives, scope, and requirements of a design project. It serves as a roadmap for the agency, providing them with essential information to understand the project’s goals, target audience, brand identity, and any other relevant details.

A well-written design brief helps ensure we have a clear understanding of what you expect and enables us to meet your needs and expectations.

A design brief also serves as a reference point throughout the project, helping us to stay focused and aligned with your objectives.

Writing a great design brief is crucial for ensuring that we understand your vision and deliver what you want. Here’s a structured approach to writing one:

Introduction

  • Briefly introduce your company, organisation or brand
  • Explain the purpose of the project and its importance

Project Overview

  • Provide a brief summary of the project
  • Clarify the goals and objectives you want to achieve
  • Scope of Work
  • Clearly define what needs to be created
  • Mention any specific deliverables required (eg logos, website, brochure)

Target Audience

  • Describe your target audience demographics (eg patient, HCP, age, location etc.)
  • Explain their needs, preferences, and behaviour. Are they digitally-savvy?

Brand Guidelines (if applicable)

  • Provide existing brand materials (logo, colour palette, typography, etc.)
  • Specify any brand guidelines or restrictions to follow

Project Timeline

Are you hoping to create something for a particular event or launch? Or do you have a soft deadline, wanting to allow enough time to produce something amazing? We will work with you to set realistic deadlines for different stages of the project (eg initial concepts, revisions, final delivery).

Budget

  • What is the budget allocated for the project? Is it a range? What does it include/exclude?
  • Is there a phase 2 plan/budget?

Creative Direction

  • Describe the desired look and feel of the design (eg modern, playful, professional, approachable)
  • Share examples of designs you like or dislike, explaining why. Everyone has their own aesthetic which is highly personal – understanding what you like and why really helps us shape our approach

Key Messages

  • Identify the main messages or points that the design should communicate
  • Highlight any specific content that must be included
  • Remember we have experienced marketing and content teams who can help shape that for you

Functionality Requirements (for digital projects)

  • Specify any interactive features, navigation elements, or functionalities required

Technical Specifications

  • Provide technical requirements, such as file formats, resolution, or printing specifications

Communication and Feedback

  • Explain the preferred method of communication – email, regular meetings, project management tools
  • Establish a process for providing feedback and revisions – who signs off the project? Who is our main point of contact? Who will collate changes and amends from your teams?

Compliance

  • Explain the level of compliance required on this
  • Are you working within ABPI, EFPIA or other parameters

Additional Information

  • Include any other relevant details that can help the designer better understand the project. It could be something as simple as “we really don’t like the colour orange” – anything that can help us achieve your vision

Contact Information

  • Provide contact details for the person responsible for the project
  • Mention who to reach out to for clarification or questions

You may not have answers to every question, but this is where we can step in to fill the gaps. We’ll work with you to get a full picture, ask a lot of questions and add value.

We believe communication and collaboration are essential to any successful project, so we’ll keep in touch at every stage of the design process.

Do you have a project in mind or need help shaping a brief? Get in touch, we’d love to chat.

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