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Writing a design brief – what a designer needs to know!

Harvey and Hugo, Darlington, North East, North Yorkshire, Newcastle, PR, marketing, social media marketing, press releases, press, radio, magazines, TV, profile, creativity, design, corporate branding, identity, effective designCovering the whole marketing mix can be a challenge; sorting out press releases, social media updates and maintaining a web presence are vital but developing the right design brief for your designer may be the most important part to get right.

Whether it is for brochure design or a completely new brand identity, a detailed brief is required to allow the designer to provide you with an accurate estimate and to understand the full scope of the project.

Here are some basic tips to consider when writing a design brief:

Company profile

Who are you? It may seem obvious, but it is vital to explain what your business does. Highlight the industry you work within, how long you have been in business and how the structure of your business works.


What position does your company hold in the marketplace? Is the business local, regional, national or international? Does your company have a web presence and social media profiles?


What image does your company currently have? Do you have feedback from customers and employees about how the company is perceived? Who are your main competitors and influencers?


Why is the work needed?  Is the work based on an existing identity of the company or is a new identity required?

The brief needs to outline the aims and objectives of the project. Will the work be required across all elements, brochures, website, stationary etc? What goals or milestones need to be achieved? Are the materials required to generate sales, increase enquires or highlight a particular promotion?

Make the requirements of the design clear in the brief.


Design work does cost money. By providing a budget your designer can aim to design all the elements you require within your budget. If you can at least provide a maximum upper limit this will allow the designer to see what is achievable.


Where possible within your brief, outline your timescales. Again this provides a clear steer for the designer to work too. If the marketing materials are needed for an exhibition for example, time will need to be built in for the production and delivery of the materials.

Show them what you like

Don’t be afraid to include in your brief your current branding and marketing materials. Even if they are out of date, they will provide a useful benchmark for the work you wish to carry out. Show your designer some examples of other work you think is effective or that you really dislike.

A good brief will help you to build a good working relationship with your designer if they have a clear understanding of your design aspirations and will allow a designer to provide effective and memorable design for you.


Good Luck!


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