How to write a good brief?

Colin McKeown
Colin McKeown is Creative Director at Whitespace2 helping clients to develop their brand and communications to improve business performance.

As a client, writing a brief is a sound beginning for any design commission and clarifies the purpose of the project. A brief should outline the aims and objectives of the proposed design work, the budget and timescale. If you are working with a new designer on a first project, it should also include information about the company or organisation.

Designers instinctively question and analyse everything, so be prepared to answer questions about the brief and the content. In some cases the brief may well be rewritten as a consequence of these discussions. Short briefs therefore, are perhaps more appropriate for the majority of designers and projects, as they provide the starting point for the creative process.

With this in mind, here are five questions that a client should consider to create a clear and concise design brief:

  1. What is your business?
  2. What are your key objectives?
  3. How will you know the project has been successful?
  4. Who are your customers?
  5. What are your timescales and budget?
Share your thoughts