What is a design brief?

What is a design brief

A design brief is a document provided by a client, prior to the start of the project. It gives graphic designers details to complete the project.

Items that can be included in a design brief are:

Company Background

This is relevant if you are working with the designer for the first time.

Write a few sentences regarding your business to help give the designer a better understanding of your industry.

Project requirements

What marketing material do you want? A brochure, website, poster, leaflet etc How many pages? Brochures need to be a set number of pages divisible by 4 if printing is required What size and specific dimensions? Eg. A4, A5 Who is the target audience? What is the overall look and style required? Is it for printing or web? Quantity and paperweight? How is the final file to be supplied? Eg. JPEG, PDF

Existing brand guidelines

This will contain details regarding the logo, colours, image style, font and layout and will help the designer understand the brand.

Copy, logo and images

It is important to note that images required for print purposes must be 300dpi. Images used for websites are normally 72dpi. Designers cannot use logos from websites for print.

Budgets and timescales

A designer would need to know if there was a deadline for completing the project. The designer will need to ensure there is sufficient time to design and will also need to co-ordinate with suppliers to ensure printing can be completed within the set timescales.


Don’t be afraid to show your designer things that you like either at the meeting or online. For example, if you have particular fonts that you like, then let your designer know rather than saying you want a fancy font which is going to be open to interpretation. Likewise, it is important to let your designer know if there are fonts, colours and styles that you don’t like.

We have had meetings with clients who have drawn their idea or shown examples of things they like such as images, fonts, layouts, colours which we discuss in more detail and it helps have a better understanding of what the client wants.

It is important to note that it does not have to be an in-depth document. A designer will ask many questions to find out what you are looking for.