• Jonathan White

Brief encounters

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

An expertly written design brief is the vehicle, which allows for a smooth journey between concept and delivery. We work together to first establish a clear and accurate brief, which saves our clients both time and money.

With this in mind, I’ve devised a handy briefing form template, along with our easy to follow briefing process (below) to keep your marketing on track. Design briefs provide an opportunity to ensure that all stakeholders are in agreement with the process to be followed in developing an effective creative solution.

A design brief should introduce your company, it’s brand values and, if applicable, it’s mission statement. Provide details about the target market, desired outcomes, your competition, and provide crucial technical information. Provide your designer or agency with the information they need to exceed your expectations.

Assume nothing

Many design projects go wrong because someone ‘assumes’ someone else knows what they know. All parties involved must be able to ask as many questions as necessary when developing the design brief. Design briefs are produced to ensure absolute clarity, understanding, and agreement from all stakeholders.

You are paying for the designer’s ideas, so avoid the temptation to tell the designer what to do. Instead, be clear about what the item needs to achieve, so the designer can explore ideas. This is where you need the designer’s expertise. It’s rarely a good idea to give a designer a mocked up layout – they will simply follow your instructions which are not necessarily making the best use of the space. I have even received design briefs on post-it notes!

Following the process is as easy as making a brew!

1. Briefing

Switch the kettle on. Start the ball rolling by introducing your company, its brand values and, if applicable, its mission statement. Provide details about the target market, desired outcomes, your competition, and provide crucial technical information. The budget and rounds of amends included should also be agreed.

2. Concepts

With brief in hand we begin by sketching ideas, sourcing images, choosing colours and selecting typefaces. Brewing up concepts is one of the most time-intensive stages of the creative process. We strive to explore all the possibilities to achieve refreshing results.

3. Develop

After we have presented you with a range of design concepts, and when one is approved by all stakeholders, the next stage is all about your comments and feedback. We will develop the concept to your taste, stirring elements around to make the message even stronger.

4. Artwork

Milk and sugar? With the design developed and approved, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Attention to detail and sound technical knowledge are of paramount importance at this stage. Rest assured, I’m experienced in refining artwork to a T.

5. Delivery

Now it’s time to dig out the fine china (or mugs) and serve up the print quality artwork or web friendly files. Continued communication between client, designer and printer is vital. Thirst quenching graphic design will be your reward.

6. Feedback

Do you prefer smoky Lapsang Souchong or fragrant Earl Grey? Did the campaign meet targets? Were the timescales and budgets realistic? Knowledge shared will help improve future graphic design briefs. Time to brief your next project...

Design work that brings the flavour. #briefing #design #marketing
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