How To

How to write a pawsome design brief

by Jo Crellin |

It can take time for users to find your content, so when you commission graphic design, video or photography it’s important that you don’t rush it. In my experience, success comes from writing a good design brief.

If you’re a content marketer you’ll know two things; firstly that keeping up with social media and search algorithms can be a full time job and secondly that fantastic apps like Canva, Go Vyond and Vine mean content creation isn’t restricted to designers.

Graphic design is a skilled craft and if done correctly, it motivates. In our crowded newsfeeds, creating compelling content has become more challenging in the last year, so your design needs to be superior to stand out. It also needs to be well-executed.

Any Creative Director will tell you that good design takes time but when most of us are up against it, you may be surprised to hear that the best way to save time is to spend it up front, ensuring that your designer knows exactly what you need.

Here are a few tips for creating the perfect brief. Your designer will be sure to thank you!

Define the objectives of the content

Why do you need this graphic design, what are your business objectives? More sales, raise awareness or to be perceived as a market leader. Consider what you want the piece of work to do, what must it say? What are the barriers or challenges to communication? Nail this and your designer will have the bigger picture.

Give examples

Especially if you’ve never worked with this designer. They’re not mind readers and being creative means they can come up with a variety of options but if you have something in mind, don’t waste time in letting their creative juices flow when you had the image in your head.

Write it down

A conversation is great but specifics are easily forgotten. A detailed brief saves time in follow up calls and emails. With so many social media platforms and dimensions, technical information needs to be written down.

Then have a face to face

Talk it through, sketch it, tell them your likes and dislikes. Your designer will appreciate this and making sure you both understand each other means you’ll save time in miscommunication.

Don’t forget deliverables

A busy studio takes meticulous planning. To avoid disappointment don’t assume your designer knows it’s urgent. Make sure you outline the timeframe, the disciplines you’re looking for (photography, graphic design, video) and of course the exact technical specifications you require i.e. dimensions, video length, resolution or whatever applies to the discipline. It’s important to build in time for amends too.

Be open minded

You might have a great idea but if you hired a designer it pays to make the most of their creativity and expertise. Don’t rush it and if you keep talking you will end up with a fantastic piece of work.

I hope these tips will help you smash that next design project and to give you a flavour of the great creative work we’ve been doing, please take a look at our latest photography, design and video portfolio.

There’s lots to think about when it comes to a design project, but if I had to narrow it down to one top tip, it would be that you need to give design the time it deserves. Don’t be vague and always care about it, even if you’re the go-between on the project. No one plans to be pushed for time but without the due care and attention, you might end up with another Trivago ad campaign.