Ten Tips for Writing an Effective Design Brief
from @issue: the journal of business and design, vol. 2, no. 2 http://www.cdf.org
A well-written brief offers two important advantages: (1) it demands that "in house managers" clarify the project's business objectives at the start, and (2) it gives designers a summary of key points to refer to later on. Keep it short and recognize that its purpose is to provide enough information to assess the proposed assignment realistically without discouraging creative exploration.
1. Corporate profile
Include even if it's well known. A designer's erroneous assumptions about you can skew the entire opening discussion. Provide synopsis along with pertinent historical highlights.
2. Market position
Write a realistic evaluation of your organization, service, or brand relative to your competitors.
3. Current situation
Explain the situation that instigated the need for this project.
What do you want to achieve?
5. Target audience
Who are you trying to reach? Are you reaching them now? If not, what do you feel is missing? For multiple audiences, rank them in terms of importance. Provide demographic information, if relevant. Explain any unusual or unique attributes about your audience.
6. Corporate/brand personality
What is your image in the marketplace? How do you want to be perceived? Cutting edge? Relaxed and friendly? Trendy? Elegant? Inexpensive and approachable? Any subliminal messages you want to convey? Jot down a list of adjectives you want to project and another list of messages you wish to avoid.
7. Budget ballpark figure
So designer can develop project/concepts with that in mind.
8. Schedule and deadline
9. Design medium
Where are the places the design will appear? print, CD-ROM, Web? Does it need to fit in a #10 envelope, etc.
10. Technical and practical constraints
Does the designer have to stay in certain parameters? If there are inflexible parameters, state them up front. Don't base parameters simply on the fact that "it's always been done this way." This may prevent designer from coming up with a solution that no one has ever considered before.