5 simple steps to a good brief

Many times we receive calls from clients in need of a variety of services ranging from logo design to web app development. One thing I have observed that is consistent in 90% of such clients is that they most often have not thought through their expectations of the project.

Just like a suit or a tie, any functional design project makes a statement about your Company or project, it therefore needs to fit right, look right and feel right. Here are 5 simple steps that will help you achieve that:

1. Describe the project – Describe the why of your design requirement in simple layman’s terms to enable anyone who reads it to understand exactly what it is you want. Avoid using marketing language that is often used wrong such as ‘branding for my company’ simple language like ‘ our logo needs a fresh new look because our company was set up 20 years ago and our logo feels dated’ works better because it is specific and clear. Here you can provide list of colors you want used and reasons why or list of colors you don’t want used with reasons why, you can indicate specific fonts to be used or not used with reasons why.

2. Describe the company’s key business – This will assist mainly with associations and brand placement. To ensure that the end product matches up to industry standards or is even better. Here you can provide the company tagline/slogan or request that one be worked on by the copywriters.

3. List your immediate competition – This helps with product and brand differentiation. Ensuring you are able to give the difference between your product or brand and that of your competition and get it reflected in the design/ copy or both.

4. Describe your target market clearly – This will enable the design company to conceptualize a design that fits in with your target market i.e. young working mothers, busy executives, housewives, affluent greys, students, health conscious demographic etc All these varying demographics will help provide the much needed specificity to your design project to enable it to speak the right language to its intended target.

5. Provide a deadline if there is one – This will enable your designers to prioritize their projects and provide you with timelines that are realistic and deliverable.