Design Brief Example: How It Should Look Like and What It Should Contain

Kateryna Mayka

Have you ever ordered a design project? If yes, then you probably know that the successful execution of an order depends on mutual understanding between the designer and the customer.

Before starting the design process, you as a customer should write down the requirements you have for the project. This way, when communicating with designers, you will be able to clearly explain what exactly you need.

As a design agency, we always offer our clients to fill out a document with a list of questions. This document is called a design brief. It clearly explains the project requirements and helps a designer to find common ground with you.

It is possible that your ideas about the desired format and concept of the product may change during the discussion with the design team. Still, as a customer, be sure to fill out the brief to record your main wishes and preferences.

In this blog post, you will find a design brief example and templates to help you create an effective brief.

Before we get to examples and templates, let's take a look at the most important points you should discuss, so we will understand what a design brief should include.

What information should I include in my brief?

The brief is a document that contains a list of questions regarding the implementation of a specific task. Thanks to the design brief, we (the design agency) understand what kind of result you (the client) want to see. Writing a good design brief promotes achieving a result that will fully satisfy you.

Below you will find a list of questions. When you answer them, you can assume that 90% of the work is done! The remaining 10 percent you will gain when discussing the brief with your designer. So, get ready, and let's start!

  1. What does your company do?

    Even if it seems clear, do not think that the designer already knows everything about your company. The deeper the designer understands the scope of the business, the more opportunities for creativity he/she has.

    Write clearly and concisely:

    - What your organization does
    - What background your company has
    - What your goals are and why

  2. What tasks should design solve?

    It may be the increase in sales or attraction of more attention to the product or service. State what you are trying to communicate with the help of design and why.

  3. Who are the competitors and what differentiates your product from them?

    Knowing the main competitors and the unique value proposition (article link) of your product is also very useful. The design should reflect the unique advantages of the brand in order to stand out among rivals and be catchy.

  4. What is your target audience?

    When writing about your target audience don't forget to mention the age of your users, their education, marital status, occupation, income, etc. Explain to the designer who these people are, what issues they want to solve, what companies they interact with, etc.

  5. Do you have copy and images for this design project?

    The text and images used in the project are as important as the design, and you must know who writes the copy and where you get the photos. There may be a need to contact such specialists as a copywriter and a photographer.

    Answer the following questions:

    - What text to include in the project?
    - Who will write it?
    - What images/photos/diagrams, etc. will you use? Who will make them?

  6. What is your design vision?

    Tell the designer about the scope of the project, find some examples/references to the design style you like, and want to see in the project.

    Show templates that you think would suit the most, even if it is the design of your main competitors. By doing so, you set the bar for your expectations

    Show the designer examples that you DO NOT like. This will give them a general idea of your tastes and preferences and prevent you from getting frustrated with their work.

  7. What are the timeline and budget?

    Determine the project budget in advance. This way a designer will be able to optimize the time and resources spent. Determining the budget also allows the designer to decide whether they want to perform this task.

    Give the designer a timeline and set a realistic final deadline. You have to take into account the different stages of the design work such as consultation, concept development, execution, production, and delivery.

    Of course, no one likes haste and it often leads to mistakes, but often it is simply necessary to complete the work in a short time. In such cases, you must honestly inform the designer in advance.

It is necessary to discuss all the above questions with the designer before you start working. You may think that some of them are trivial and the answers are obvious. Still, the quality of the design depends on the knowledge of all these details.

Now as we know what information is important and why it's time to look at some design brief templates.

Design brief templates

The above questions are fundamental, but they don't always look exactly like this. The following templates will show how you can outline the questions in your design brief.

Ossmium template

free brief design template
a template for a creative design brief

In this design brief template, the first and the second blocks tell the general information about your company and provide the details about the product. The third section will show what tasks the design is supposed to solve. That is it represents the design objectives. The fourth block is about deadlines and payment. And the fifth one is connected with the question "How do You see the design?" It shows what result, you as a client expect to see at different project's milestones.

Kick-off template

simple design brief template
simple and free template of a design brief
free design brief template

In this brief layout, all questions are divided into blocks and spelled out in detail which makes it clear and very convenient to fill.

Both templates contain the main points you should discuss with your designer before start working on a project. You may use them or create your own one.

Brief Examples

Now as you've checked templates look how the completed design briefs may look like.  Check the following samples of client briefs.

Brand design brief

an example of a design brief for clothing brand
Image credit: Pinterest

Self-branding design brief

self-branding design brief example
Image credit: Pinterest

Ad campaign design brief


Nike brief design example
Image credit: Pinterest

Website design brief

example of a creative design brief
Image credit: toggl.com

Logo creative brief

creative design brief example
Image credit: Pinterest

Greeting card design brief  

an example of how to write a design brief
Image credit: Pinterest

Website design brief  


website design brief example
Image credit: weblium.com


These examples show complete and well-thought-out briefs that help save time and money both for you and for the designer.

Things to remember

Creating a brief is, first of all, the teamwork of the designer and the customer. That's why don't be afraid to forget to mention some important information in your brief. If the designer you've chosen is a professional they will never leave you alone with this question.

Yes, it is difficult to collect and structure such a volume of information in one short document. However, this greatly simplifies the creative process and allows the designer to focus on a unique solution for your particular case.

In case you need more guidance on creating a brief or want to learn more about the product design process contact our team.

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