The importance of the design brief

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Graphic design costs money. More accurately, our time costs you money, so the less time we  spend interviewing you on your needs, the less you have to pay! The best way of optimising the initial time we spend communicating is to prepare a brief for your project. This not only helps us, but it can also help crystallise things in your own mind. Please take a little time to run through this article and make some notes.

1.) Your corporate profile

It is likely that we may not know your company well, or at all, so outline what your company does – not war and peace, one or two short paragraphs should suffice, including a history of your company’s growth.

2.) Market standing

Create an honest appraisal of your company, it’s products or services, compared to the most prominent competition. This should be brutally honest – what you say here stays between us!

3.) The need

What bought about the decision to engage a graphic designer? Is the company launching a new website, new product, or attending an exhibition for example?

4.) Previous communications

Can you provide examples of present and previous advertising and marketing materials, including any press releases, PR or other instances where your company has interacted with the big wide world.

5.) The task at hand

What are we trying to say through this project, and how does it relate to your business plan? Provide notes on essential phrases or straplines, and include any images/photos and logos that would need to form part of the project.

6.) Who is it aimed at

The targeted demographic of the project – age, gender, lifestyle/social class, income, geography. Anything you can tell us about the people you want to reach is valuable.

7.) Objectives

What do you expect to achieve – do you want people to take an interest in your company in general, or do you want to focus on a particular product or service?

8.) Timelines and deadlines

Be realistic about the amount of time you can allow for the project. For example, a 12 page brochure might take a few days to produce. In this perfect world, the client has all of the text, photographs, and other assets ready, and can meet at a moments notice to answer any questions – oh, and the client will NEVER change his/her mind!

Meanwhile, back on planet earth, we have to go through a number of steps, including consultation, creative conceptualisation, development and repetitive incorporation of amendments, approval, signing off and production, shipping and delivery – and this, coupled with key contacts not being available from time to time, and having to wait on third parties for other artwork or assets can make that same job stretch to a month or more. So please allow enough time for your project.

I hope this gives you some food for thought – if you take anything away from this, then consider that if you cannot readily answer any of the above, then you probably aren’t ready to engage a designer in the most economical manner.

Discuss!

Of course, if you want advice – then drop us a line! Advice is free

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