Writing a clear and concise brief is incredibly important to ensure that objectives stay focused and information is shared clearly and plainly. It will not only be an excellent starting block for your designer, but also an incredibly useful exercise for you to do too. A good brief should answer the following questions:
What needs to be communicated?
Who are the target audience?
What are the goals / objectives?
What is the key message?
What are the specifications of the project (i.e. print size, online uses etc.)
Answering these questions, as well as providing background to the task in-hand, will help your designer deliver a solution that can be held up against the brief and ensure that each point is delivered on. It will also streamline the information you share with your designer, saving precious time and money that can be lost with lots of back and forth, trial and error and trickling of information. It should force you to consider your brand and challenge in an objective way – your target audience cannot be everyone, you cannot have 10 'key' messages etc.
The brief template (available for download below) will be a useful tool for asking yourself the above questions and committing your objectives to paper.
Let's go through the brief template, box by box as if I were a real company writing a design brief. For the purpose of this exercise, I'm an independent Spanish restaurant requiring flyers to be distributed to local offices to drive lunch time sales.
PROJECT TITLE: Lunch time flyer
DEADLINE : 05/10
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT: To entice workers to come to our restaurant for lunch, by targeting local offices in the form of flyers.
OBJECTIVES OF PROJECT: Increased lunchtime trade and more exposure of our presence and offering.
RELEVANT BACKGROUND INFORMATION: We've been in the area for a few years now but have been losing lunch time business to some of the new fast food chains that have arrived in the area. We are an authentic, family run Spanish restaurant with an emphasis on good quality ingredients.
Office workers in the area looking for somewhere a bit more special for team lunches, birthdays, lunch meetings etc.
KEY MESSAGE: Lunch set menu deal. 3 courses and a drink for £20
SECONDARY MESSAGE(S): Come to Padrón for a quality, substantial meal in a nice restaurant setting.
ASSETS TO INCLUDE: Our logo (supplied), www.padronrestaurant.com, phone number: 09 39 46 28 46, address: 41 King's Square, Reading, map showing where we're located (to be illustrated), instagram: padronreading, facebook: padronreading, twitter: padronreading
CREATIVE REQUIREMENTS: concept [-], copywriting [x], design [x], artwork [x], sourcing imagery [-], illustration [X], retouching [-], proof reading [-]
DELIVERABLES: Final artwork of flyer.
SPECIFICATIONS: Double sided A5 (210 x 148mm) portrait or landscape