Don’t Piss off the Designer! - How to write a clear brief
Briefing in your design agency can be a really arduous task, particularly when your agency hasn’t really provided a structure in which to brief them or a system for managing tasks.
In this article we will cover a series of inclusions to consider when briefing in an agency or in-house designer.
Who is the primary contact and what are their details? Sometimes the person who made the introduction is not necessarily the lead on project. Minimise the miscommunication or time lost in back and forth by putting the designer in direct contact with the project lead. Share their email and contact phone for fluent communication.
Deliverables: Be specific with the deliverables, give a name that is clear for each party i.e. DL Double Sided Flyer and any other specifics such as dimensions or print/digital considerations. In the example of the DL Double Sided Flyer it may be that the document is A4 and concertina folded to become DL; it will be full colour; printed professionally for distribution; available for digital download and at home printing which means a second format with a white border should be created so home printers can still get a nice result.
Is all the content to be provided or will there need to be budget/time for gathering stock imagery?
Speaking of budget, it always helps if you have a perceived budget of time or cost in mind. It is best to let your designer know at this point and they can guide the conversation or outcomes with more clarity.
Most importantly provide a reasonable timeline. In particular if print is required, ensure you have at least 5 days for print, delivery and distribution - which may also require more time.
Project Styling and Objectives: In particular if this is the first project or a project with an external client, it is best to provide something that shows a previous style to follow or Style Guide. Let the designer know any 'must-haves', logos, imagery and share any examples of ‘things you like’. Send them or share a cloud drive such as Google Drive with high-res images; logos in vector formats such as eps, ai, pdf or svg; and any other relevant links to previous projects or competitor content. Anything to keep them on track towards the right direction. Make sure overall they understand the final goal and whether there are any obstacles to consider in its delivery. What should the project achieve?
Profiling: Who are we and who is our target market? If you haven’t already used a tool such as our Brand Tool or this project is for an external client which the designer may have not interacted with before, it is good to get clarity of who you seek to reach, with what message, through this project.
Ensure they know the industry segment you are in and highlight this, if available, through examples of what your competitors are doing within the space. Then discuss the target audience. What is their economic status? Is it consistent with your typical target audience? At what life stage are they in (Young, single, married, parent, elderly)?
With all this information in hand let them know what your consider to be a success within this project. That way you are all aligned to a single goal.
We’ve put together a quick example using Google forms of what we provide our clients. Have a look and let us know your thoughts: https://goo.gl/forms/S9ZGNGwTXS6OOay53