How To Write A Design Brief That Gets Results + Tips For Giving Design Feedback

Picture this: you have a brilliant idea for a design project and you want to give life to it. But before jumping headfirst into the creative process, there’s one important thing that you need to do. And that’s to write a design brief. 

So, what’s the big deal with that? Why do you need to write a design brief? Well, think of it as a roadmap that guides both you and the designer toward a shared destination of success. A design brief serves as the key communication tool that bridges the gap between your vision and the designer’s expertise. It provides a clear understanding of your brand identity, target audience, project scope, and objectives. 

This is why you need to know how to write a design brief that aids this creative process and ensures the best possible results. 

So today in this blog we will discuss just that. Additionally, we will also discuss how you can further streamline the process by giving on-point design feedback to minimize the number of revisions.

Let’s first look at the various components of a design brief.

Important Components to Consider When You Write a Design Brief

49% of SMBs report that graphic design is very important to their success. But without a good design brief, a wholesome graphic design cannot be turned out. That’s why we need to learn to write a design brief that gets results. 

With that in mind, there are a number of elements in a design brief that help create a great design. Understanding these will help you how you should write a design brief. 

1. Project Overview

When you write a design brief you can start by explaining the motivation behind the design project. This is where you need to cover the “why you need to create this design” part. This will help the designer get some context into why you need this design and how you’re going to use it.  

You can then briefly explain the scope of the design project and the deliverables needed. Be specific about the required design assets, such as logos, website layouts, brochures, social media graphics, or any other materials.  

Next, you would need to let the designer or design team know your design objectives and goals. You can do this by communicating the key messages or information that must be conveyed through the design to the designer.

While you write a design brief you would also need to describe the target audience or users for the design. Provide relevant details about their demographics, preferences, interests, and behaviors. Because understanding the audience helps the designer tailor the design to resonate with the target market. 

Then mention the project timeline, including any specific deadlines, or important dates. And unless you’re working with a service that offers unlimited graphic designs, communicate the available budget for the design project. This information helps the designer plan their work and deliver on time and within budget.

2. Brand Identity and Guidelines

Any design that you get done should reflect and reinforce your brand’s identity. That’s why you need to effectively communicate this to the designer when you write a design brief. By understanding the brand’s values, personality, and unique selling points, designers can create visuals that align with the brand’s essence and help differentiate it from competitors. 

Consistency in brand identity across different designs can raise a brand’s sales by 33%. Moreover, it helps establish brand recognition and build trust with the target audience.

Therefore, when you write a design brief be sure to add the below components that define your brand identity:

  1. Logo
  2. Color palette
  3. Typography 
  4. Icons or illustrations
  5. Existing templates
  6. Brand tone
  7. Brand tagline (if you have one)
  8. And any other visual assets you might have within your brand.

Along with these. you need to let the designer have your brand guidelines. These help the designer know how to properly use all your brand material. 

This is a snippet from the brand book of Urban Outfitters:

If you don’t have a brand guideline, take this as a cue to design one for your brand. The benefits of a properly designed brand guideline are immeasurable. 

3. Unique Information and Requirements

Each design has its own unique content and requirements and it’s your job to specify these beforehand. Specifying this information when you write a design brief will help minimize revisions and unnecessary back and forth. 

Let’s look at what these unique details are.

  1. A good copy is an essential part of a design. So when you write a brief, clearly specify the text copy. You can do this by differentiating these below details where required:
  1. The next thing is the size of the design. It’s quite important to let the designer know what size you need the design in and for which platform you need it. Also, this would be a good time to let the designer know if you need multiple sizes and which size you’d like to see first. Below is a list of social media sizes for your reference. 
  1. Let the designer know if it’s for web or for print. The size specifications will giveaway this detail but it doesn’t hurt to include it.
  2. We already covered that you need to provide color palettes and typography information pertaining to your brand. But if you need a design to be done in a specific color, style, or typeface you should include those specifics as well when you write a design brief. 
  3. References of the kind of design you expect. These could be those that you like or designs from your competitors. You can also include why you like them and what specific things the designer can adapt to your design. 
  4. And finally, you can let the designer know about anything that needs to be avoided in the design. This will further help the designer or design team streamline the design process. 
4. Language and Communication

Clear and concise communication is very important when you write a design brief. Which is why you need to use simple and understandable language. 

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid being vague about important details. In that sense, it’s best to eliminate ambiguity. Instead, be very specific when you state what you want and how you want it. 

This way you can reduce a lot of back and forth. 

But what if you gave the right brief and the designer has worked on something nice but it’s still not where you need it to be? How do you proceed to provide design feedback for that? 

This is where giving design feedback comes into the picture. Now we’ll talk about giving clear design feedback. 

Giving Effective Design Feedback

Graphic design is a creative process involving the fusion of art and technology. So it’s no wonder that it’s highly interpretive. When a designer receives a brief there could be more than one way that it could be executed, creativity-wise. To your dismay sometimes the turned-out work wouldn’t be exactly like you envisioned it. 

How do you give the design feedback to bring this design to the point which you want it to be?

We will take a look at a few things you can do.

Tips for providing design feedback
  1. Give design feedback that is constructive

Help the designer understand what is working and what is not. This way both parties can continue working together in harmony. 

  1. Give design feedback that is precise

Be very clear about what changes you want and where. That enables the designer to make targeted revisions and move forward in the right direction.

  1. Give design feedback in a bulk

Try not to rush giving the initial feedback. There may be more things in the design that you need the design team to work on again. So take your time and go through the design a few times over before you hand it back in to be revised. This allows your designer to work on it all at once. 

  1. Give design feedback using tools like Loom

Loom is a video communication software. You can use it to share your screen and record it to show the designer what needs to be changed instead of just saying it. This will help the designer twice as more than if he just read your revision requirements. 

Pro tip: Did you know that there are unlimited graphic design services out there that include a feedback tool within their project management dashboards? Design services like Penji, Kimp, and Design Pickle provide access to revision tools where you just have to point and click to add a comment to where you require changes. 

  1. Give design feedback by going on a one-on-one call with the design team. 

When it comes to some design projects, there’s nothing like talking face-to-face with your designer to clarify differences. You can also involve relevant stakeholders in the meeting and have a rounded discussion about the revisions. 

Key takeaways

 So, next time you embark on a design project, remember the importance of a well-crafted design brief and why providing accurate design feedback is important.

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