How to Brief a Graphic Designer to Get What You Want

Whether you’re working with a graphic designer on your new website, designing a catalogue or logo for your start-up, or creating promotional flyers for your business, it’s crucial to give your graphic designer a clear and detailed brief. Essentially, your brief needs to translate what you want.

So what do you want? And how do you get this across to your graphic designer? What if you don’t know exactly what you want? It happens. That’s why we’re here. We’ll help you to develop your idea into a solid brief.

Here are 10 points that your graphic design brief needs to address:


1. Corporate profile

Who are you and what do you do? Jot out a summary of your business that includes details on the products or services you provide. Don’t forget to mention your business history. If you’re a family-owned company that’s into its fourth generation of owners, this is important information.


2. Target audience

Who do you want to reach, and what do you know about your audience? How old are they, how much do they earn, where do they live, and what does their lifestyle look like? Are they soccer moms who drink skinny cappuccinos after their Tuesday morning yoga workout? You get the drift.


3. Market position

Talk about your competition and describe where your product or service stands in comparison. Be sure to detail exactly what it is about your business that makes it different from the rest.


4. Objectives

What job do you want your graphic designer to do for you? Be precise. Is it a poster, promotional flyer, or website? Get specific about print sizes and where it will be used.


5. Overview

Why do you need this graphic design work now? Have you relaunched? Are you about to introduce a new product? Are you advertising a specific promotion?


6. Copy and pictures

The crux. What copy and pictures will you need to go with the design and who will be providing these?


7. Background

Play open cards. Discuss any relevant past and present communication you’ve had with other designers, and summarise what worked for you or didn’t match your needs.


8. Reference examples

Often, there’s a gap in vocabulary between you and a graphic designer. If you’ve seen an example of work you like, your designer will be able to help you identify those design elements that speak to you. It’ll also give them some insight into your tastes. A win.


9. Deadline

Bearing in mind that tight deadlines can often restrict creativity, ask your designer to propose a realistic working timeline that includes space for discussions before final sign-off.


10. Budget

The bottom line. Spell out what you’re planning to spend on this project. If you’re not sure, ask around to find out what’s considered a reasonable budget for a similar project to yours.