How do your designer briefs fit?

15 November 2014

If you’re looking for lingerie, this is not the place to find it.

However, writing a brief for a designer is a little like underwear: it serves to protect the outer layers (what the public sees) from the body’s natural systems (the company’s internal decision-making processes, which, let’s face it, can be messy); and it shapes and supports the body so the outer layers look good and promote confidence.

Good designer briefs mean no VPL (visual pain line – what you feel all through your body when you receive design concepts that don’t look like you expected).

Help your designer to help you look good and feel confident with the result by being specific and clear about:

  1. The product or service’s key advantages and benefits (not just the features).
  2. The purpose of the communication piece or campaign (why are you doing this and what do you expect to get out of it?)
  3. Who it is for and what action do you want them to take (audience/market).
  4. Any themes that it must reflect, complement or develop.
  5. What items you want designed (logo, letterhead, long-range missile) and how many versions of each.
  6. The brand values you want to reinforce.
  7. The image or impression you want to generate about the product/service.
  8. Any mandatory factors (colours, fonts, sizes, words, pictures, etc.).
  9. The dates and deadlines you’re working towards (and why).
  10. Any geographic considerations (does this have to be shipped or be effective in seven languages?).
  11. How much money you have (or are prepared) to spend.
  12. How you will measure the success of the exercise (KPIs).

Follow these guidelines and you’re more likely to find a comfy fit.

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