What to include in a Design Brief

Clikit_website_02Here at Pixel Perfect Interactive we deliver design services across the creative spectrum and the importance of a solid brief can’t be emphasized enough.

There are a number of basic parts that any good design brief includes. Ensuring that my clients include each of these in their brief makes my job that much easier and simplifies the process which in turn leads to shorter turnaround times and better client relationships.

What is a design brief?

A design brief is a document completed by an individual or organization that outlines the objectives and expectations of the creative project and covers an array of information relating to the organization and message to be conveyed.

A comprehensive, detailed brief becomes the guiding document for the entire design process, and spells out exactly what the design team needs to do and the constraints within which they need to do it.

Below I’ll examine the elements needed for a comprehensive design brief which will hopefully be of some assistance when planning your next creative campaign.

Supply general info on your organization

If you get the below four points right it would give the creative team a great understanding of the current positioning of your organization and the insight gained will be invaluable during the design process.

  1. Why? The “Why” is your reason for existing, the higher cause you believe in and the big problem you want to solve.
  2. How? What are the properties or differences you want to make to achieve your “Why?” and how does this differentiate you from your competitors?
  3. What? This most probably equates to your products or services that you offer.
  4. Who? This is your target market or audience. This should co-exist with what your organization does.


What have you done before in the realm of design? Knowing what you liked or disliked before will give the designer a better view of what you want as a client. Provide existing or past creative for easy reference.

Know your goals

Knowing exactly what you want from you project will help the design team immensely. If we know what you want done, we can figure out exactly what you need. These are the questions that we need answers for:

  1. Why are you seeking design services? Is it a rebrand, or a new company? If it’s a rebrand, why are you seeking to rebrand?
  2. What are your goals? Increase sales, increase awareness etc.

Choose your channels

Not every project is as in-depth as every other. Be precise in terms of the channels you want to utilize.

Different channels require different approaches. Designing for print, web, email, social media etc. are vastly different and require different approaches.

Project Requirements

Do you require the designer uses any specific text, colours or images? Do you have an existing brand guide? If so, supply these details to the designer.


Tell the designer how much money you are willing to spend! At Pixel Perfect Interactive we try and make working out a budget easy by creating packages around particular price points.


Set a realistic deadline for the project that both you and the design team agree upon. Remember, there are many stages to the design process, each taking time and resources away from the designer and yourself to dedicate to each phase of the design process (Brief, Research, Concepts, Feedback etc.).


If you address all the points in this article you will find that it will most surely make the process a lot easier. Take your time in creating the brief as the more information that you put into the document, the quicker the end result will be ready. For easy reference, I have summarized the above in a quick reference guide which you can view here.

Halo Media
Thinus du Plessis is the Managing Director of Pixel Perfect Interactive which delivers a multi-layer blend of design, print and online marketing services backed up by innovative technology solutions.
Thinus has been actively involved in the IT and Marketing industry for 16 years and is passionate about finding the right answers to transform brands and build business for his clients.
Website: www.pixelperfect.co.za
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/pixel-perfect-design-&-print-studio
Twitter: twitter.com/PixelPerfectSA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pixelperfectinteractive

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