Graphic Design Services: How to write a decent brief

14th July 2021

Small business marketing sometimes requires the expertise of a freelancer. If you’re using graphic design services for the first time, getting off on the right foot typically starts with writing a great creative brief.

What is a graphic design brief?

A brief is a written document that outlines a project for the freelance graphic designer. It provides all the information and resources necessary for the freelancer to complete the work.

A brief ensures that everyone is on the same page so that the process runs smoothly and the final design is precisely what the business needs. Including the necessary elements in the brief decreases the need for revisions, saving the freelancer time and your business money.

Provide purpose with your graphic design brief

The very first thing the freelancer needs to know is the purpose of the project. What problem is the company trying to solve? Why do they need this work? How will the work address the problem?

Defining the goals of the project helps both the freelancer and the business. Too many projects are undertaken without laying adequate groundwork. Writing a creative brief is an excellent way to make sure a company has a thorough, well-conceived strategy in place.

Pitfall: If the freelancer is providing work that will be part of a larger project, they need access to the work that has been completed. Working on part of a project in a vacuum risks revisions.

Supply the specifics for your design task

A great brief is specific and concise. The freelancer needs to know precisely what your company wants. Depending on the work being done that may mean the type of image, the title of a blog post, or the subject of a photograph.

Specifics may include dimensions, word count, format for delivery, and more. Businesses also need to be clear about elements that must be included. Required elements range from phone numbers to color palette.   

Pitfall: It’s important to supply the information necessary for the freelancer to do the work without telling them how to practice their craft. There is a balance between specific and stifling.

Know your audience when using graphic design services

Freelancers need to know to who their work is intended for. Telling them what is needed might feel thorough, but failing to identify the audience can lead to disastrous miscommunication.

The brief should be as specific as possible about demographics. Small business marketing is often intended for a very distinct audience. Knowing the details of that audience will inform the content created.

Pitfall: Companies need to define the audience for each project, not just for their business as a whole. Using the core demographic for everything hinders projects and creative work that may reach beyond current markets. 

Provide context when working with designers

A freelancer needs to know the story of a business, especially small and medium-sized businesses operating in niche spaces. Companies want work that reflects their ideals and history, and that can only happen if those things are shared with every member of the creative team.

A good creative brief not only supplies the freelancer with valuable insight but also gives the company a chance to reflect on the values they want to express in their marketing.

This is also a chance for the business to provide the freelancer with examples of tone and personality. They can be examples from past projects or other companies.

Provide brand assets to your designer

Briefing a freelancer includes providing resources, like brand assets.

Providing access to existing creative work, logos, fonts and styles, will help both your company and the freelancer. The artist has more tools to work with and the company gets a better end product.

Pitfall: Graphic design briefs that are providing examples and resources need to leave room for the freelancer to create. Too much direction, restriction, or instruction may result in a less creative end product. 

Keep communicating when using graphic design services

When thinking about how briefing a freelancer, it’s easy to forget that a brief is not a static document. It can and should allow for questions, collaboration, and ongoing communication.

The best final products are the result of combining a great brief with open minds. Small business marketing is all about making the most of each investment. Investing in graphic design services, like Metigy’s in-app Creative Services, can give a small business a real jump start in creativity when lines of communication are kept open. 

Writing a creative brief is essential to getting the best work from any graphic design services. It’s also an excellent way for you to examine your social media content and make sure you have the right visuals in place.

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