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Top 10 questions your brief should answer to make working with Graphic designer effective

Your project is tasking, working with a graphic designer should not.
Be before you contact the designers below are the questions your brief should an answer and during collaboration.

1. What do you want to do and what’s your budget?

  1. Set Your Budget:
    If you’re going with a customized solution, that is commencing a project that does not have a fix rate, your top goal is to decide the amount you’re willing to pour on a project to let the designer know what they can and can’t do or what to suggest.

  2. Write A Precise Brief Headings:
    Your briefs headings should be the name of the project or task that you want to do. For example, “Business Card” another example would be “Product label for Hair Care”, that’s precise, it tells exactly what your project is about.

    Avoid using a collective name for just one thing; an example would be using “Stationery” while you actually wanted a “letter head” design. If you must use such in the case where you have up to 5 stationery items to be designed, after written stationery as heading, list out each of the stationery items you want to do, so the designer can send appropriate quotation.

2. How do you want it done or it should look, should you trust the designer?

  1. Give Necessary Specifications:
    Do you have specifications for your project? Such as dimension, typeface and the format of the final file e.g. PDF, PSD and so on, let the designer know. Give your brand style guide to the designer if you have one for your brand.
  1. Describe The Look:
    You have gotten your brief title right, e.g. “Logo design for a beauty business”, that’s good but how do you want it to look like? A proper direction would save a lot of time and reduce back and forth.

    Before I got it right, I once worked with a client on Fiverr who couldn’t clearly describe what should be done for him, I displayed naivety went ahead with the basic info he gave which was “my product is hair growth so I want a logo with hair length or Afro”, this sounds simple and I went ahead and generate lots of idea of logo with hair styles in which I had to manually hand drawn some, providing options beyond two initial concept I stated on my Gig (service) and hoping to impress the client but when he saw the first draft, he said “these does not fit my business, I want a full logo!? ”, lots of questions ran through my mind, if the designs did not fit his business it means I didn’t understand his business because he didn’t explain his business and I never asked, and also what in design world is “full logo” he demanded meant?! I learnt from my mistake as a designer.

    Tons of idea can come to the designer’s mind on a project, don’t give half information so you can get what you want, also if you give directions like “I want a hot, maddest, baddest, cutting-edge, badass, cool or any like it is ambiguous and may not yield the desired result. Also, using a wrong term would make you and the designer going back and forth, if you’re not sure, send an image sample.

    When you want a designer to come up with the exact design direction you have in mind but had not clearly explained it, it could end in dissatisfaction even if the designer can generate tons of good ideas because he/she is versatile, versatility is not enough without a clear vision unless you do not have your own plan and you want to trust the designer to make design suggestion of what’s best for your type of business, some project will require you share how you want your brand to be perceived and your target market, this will help the designer narrow down appropriately.

    A final logo could look simple but a lot of thoughts and research comes in from the designer angle. If you do not know what style your logo should be, such as abstract shape, text type of logo, script type logo, mascot, emblem and etc., a little search on the internet could help. It’s smart move to simply look for an image sample that visually explain the style you’re looking for. See our logo service.

3. Do you have brand color or what are the set of colors you have in mind?

Most people believe certain colors are generally used in certain industry, instead of directly using such hue as those in your industry, if you chose a shade of those colors can set your project apart, besides you do not have to follow the trend because colors have different meaning in different country, depend on your audience; choose the right color that covey the essence of your brand if you do not have a brand guidelines.

4. What do you want to achieve on the project in term of execution?

We can call a design project successful if it achieves the objectives according the acceptance criteria you set. You have to decide early if your design‘ll be for a collection so that the designer can plan the design accordingly, an example of project that may have collection is skin care , hair care line , deodorant and etc.  

5. Who are your audience and do you have a competitor?

  1. Describe your competitors:
    If you’re not the first person in your niche, you can intuitively check your competitor, how they executed that which you want to hire designer for. And it is a smart move sharing a link to such resource with the designer.

  2. Describe your audience:
    Clearly define your audience, such as what their profession is, age group, how they buy, and their interest etcetera and how you want your design to speak to them is crucial in your brief. If your objective is to get your audience excited, shock and so on, let the designer know.

6. What are the correct dimensions of things to be designed?

If dimension applies to your type of project, giving out a measurement to your designer is good but what is better is giving correct or accurate measurement is critical to the overall design project to ensure things fits properly how they should, correct measurement can also prevent loss of money that could occur if what you print produced is not usable due to incorrect size. If your project is a product box, and you have a box supplier, most of them already have their template with die-line and its measurements, ensure you obtain the right template and pass it to the design to plan your design with it unless if you’re going the customize route where the designer comes up with a customized template measurement that suites the design

7. Have you written out the contents or body copy?

Prepare the content of your artwork (design), this is where you get to educate your customers on what they should know about your offering. If your product is an hair care product, you’ll need to prepare the ingredients, direction/how to use, caution and description where necessary, that been said, it’s always good to keep the content precise and comprehensive enough for your buyer, unless you’re designing a publication materials such as news paper, bulleting and some certain types of magazines, you should avoid too much details and texts, too much text can choke the space your designer need to explore creativity with.

8. Is the copy or the content you wrote the final?

Some designers charge per hour, some charge per time while some combine both depends on the type of project, the ones that charge per time might charge you for the extra hour they have to use to change your contents across all your project while those who charge per project may charge you for edit after the project is closed or if the number of revision allocated have elapsed. Finalizing your copy before handing it over to a designer will save you cost.

9. Attending to the drafts and whose opinion matters?

  1. Given project feedback without wasting time:
    Take your time to go through the first draft, make notes of all the changes and corrections you want in all pages if it’s a multi page project and send all corrections at once. Except for typos and grammatical corrections, avoid spending too much time adjusting the design. Before you make a big change, first ask yourself if that change would communicate your message better, having minimal adjustment will save you a lot of time and money you would have spent on revisions or in buying more designer’s time.

  2. Trust the designer:
    Let the professional do their job unless you design professionally yourself, that being said, you might need to keep your opinion because every design cannot be all thing to all people. Seeking second opinion about your project is good but too many opinions can lead to confusion, if you’re in charge, trust your instinct or let all the opinions stop at the person who makes final decision. I’m writing from experience.

10. When is the deadline or due date?

  1. Send your brief early:
    Once you have all necessary details you want to share with your designer written, get it across to your designer to get an estimated completion time which you can add additional few days to incase you need more revisions.

    If your project should take 7 days for competition and you’re getting across to the designer when you need it within 3 days, this might lead to a rush job or express charge from the designer or even it can lead to you not properly check out some critical things or not proofread the project, you cannot just overlook certain errors after printing which could cost you a lot to reproduce.

    Even though the designer hardly makes typographic mistake, he or she still cannot be perfect all through, you’ll still have to do your home work, proofread.


Attention to details is required while writing your brief to ensure your project is completed according to your specification.
If you’re in need of a graphic design service, let’s collaborate on this site online; send your project brief details to us now!


About the Author:
SunMyke is a versatile creative designer and and a founder of who leads the creative team at; He is also an occasional writer. He always looks for ways to help businesses solve their creative design needs.


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