Graphic design is an artform, communicating your brand and key messages not only effectively, but beautifully across endless different mediums.

A clearly written design brief will ensure your designers have an in-depth understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and will save time by ensuring the project runs smoothly and meets timeframes.

To get the best result, one thing we know for sure after working with clients of all sectors and sizes, is that a methodical process will generate optimal design outcomes every day of the week.

That doesn’t mean the creativity suffers, it just means the final design not only looks the part but communicates your messages clearly and effectively.

Whether it’s a branding project, a campaign, an exhibition display or a piece of collateral, if you’re briefing an internal team or agency, here’s some tips to get you off to the best possible start.

1. Be clear on who you’re communicating to and what you’re wanting to achieve

The best design should engage your audience and encourage them to consume your content and have influence. You don’t need to come to us with all the design answers (that’s our job to navigate) but sharing these insights with your design team will ensure everyone is aligned to produce the best design solution possible.

Some questions we ask our clients from the outset include:

  • What’s the purpose of the communication?
  • What message does it need to communicate/convey?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What action do you want them to take?
  • How should it make your audience feel?
  • What are the mandatory elements? E.g. partner logos, fonts, colour.
  • How is it going to be used?
  • Is it digital, print or both?
  • If it’s print, is it to be printed internally or professionally?
  • Does it need to be regularly updated and therefore accessed as an internal template?
  • Is there a particular size it needs to be or is it flexible?
  • What accessibility considerations need to be in play re font size, colour etc?
  • What’s the likely longevity/what does it ideally need to be?
  • What’s the approval process?
  • Is there a production budget?
  • What are the timelines?

2. Share your existing assets

For new clients we start the partnership with a detailed list of all the design assets that are needed. This is so we can become familiar with your brand and hit the ground running.

Having all the assets from the start means we can get started without delay.

For current clients with new projects, there may be elements specific to the project that we require in order to get going. This includes:

  • Brand style guide
  • Logo files (including any partner/affiliate/membership logos)
  • Icons/graphic device brand elements
  • Image bank
  • Fonts
  • Visuals specific to the project
  • Examples of templates/collateral/signage etc

3. Consolidate feedback

There are often multiple internal stakeholders who will have input into the design to ensure all their needs are considered.

We appreciate that considering all stakeholders’ feedback can be tricky. Here’s some tips when you are consolidating feedback internally:

  • Ensure that your stakeholders have had input into the design brief and understand its contents
  • Ensure the final decision-maker is part of the briefing and design presentation process, so they’re aware of the context, parameters and rationale
  • Consider how any feedback received aligns to the objectives set out in your brief
  • Be aware how many rounds of changes are allowed in the estimate/quote
  • Ensure feedback is consolidated and channeled back to us via one contact
  • We love it when clients markup changes in a PDF
  • Try to keep the project moving to avoid inefficiencies and additional costs

4. Maximise the value of the design

If you’re investing in a key design piece or project, consider how the concept could applied more broadly to not only maximise your investment but also to reach your audience through other channels or applications. We can help you do this.

For example, an annual report can also translate into:

  • Video with animated overlay graphics
  • Presentation/slide deck
  • Web graphics
  • Social media design assets

To discuss your next design project with us, get in touch!