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C C S T O O L B O X R E S O U R C E S

Need a Design Brief?
A design brief, sometimes referred to as a "creative brief," is simply a document that lets you communicate exactly what you want to achieve before any work begins on the project. It's a great way to kick-off a design project by putting you and the designer on the same page... literally! It spells out objectives, expectations, preferences and budget so you and your designer can make the creative process a pleasure, and not a pain.

How To Write An Effective Design Brief
An effective design brief should focus on the business objectives and outcomes of the design project. It defines the project, gives the designer direction and provides your team with benchmarks against which to evaluate design process. It shouldn’t attempt to address the aesthetics of design… that's the responsibility of the designer. A well prepared design brief can shorten a project's development time and help you stay on budget easier. Yes, it's a bit of work up front, but your mother will love you for it.

Good Things to Include in your Design Brief
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PROJECT DETAILS
• Title of project
• Contact, ownership, & approval info:
Project name, project owner, team contact(s), required approver(s)
• Brief background or overview of the project or campaign:
Relevant context and/or historical info that explain what is driving this project

MARKETING INFO
• What are the goals of this project or campaign?
(key marketing objectives)
—Provide a clear statement of objectives
(with priorities)
—Relate the objectives to overall brand positioning
—Indicate if and how you'd like to measure achievement of your goals
• Define target audience, both primary and secondary:
Characterize and prioritize your audience (occupation, gender ratio, average age, nationality/location, psychological demographic, lifestyle preferences, etc.)
• Audience Challenge:
A key business challenge, problem or issue facing your primary audience
• Describe a Unique Selling Proposition (USP):
A single sentence about what makes the brand unique.
• What are the key features, benefits and copy points:
List top features, benefits and/or facts about the brand and its value to target audiences.
• Offer or call to action:
What is the desired response from your audience? What form or component will the response take?

DESIGN SPECS
• Design specification:
— What needs to be delivered
(deliverables ex: logo, brochure, web site landing page, etc.)
— What assets are you providing the designer with?
(ex: product photography, copy, diagrams, mail list, etc.)
—Describe any mandatory design requirements
(ex: must conform to style guide, must include new product logo, must be no larger than 8.5" x 11", etc.)
• Budget and timeline:
Specify budget and time frame for project completion
• Extra credit homework:
Give examples of related designs that you do not like or styles to avoid. Explain the "why" for each example. Avoid giving examples of a style or look you want the design to achieve, as this could limit your designer's creativity.
Create your own brief, or download our template and customize. There's no set formula, so make it work for you. The information you provide could be invaluable to your project’s success!

download design brief template

 

   
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