How To Write A Successful Brief For A Graphic Designer

Hiring an awesome graphic designer is one thing, telling them exactly what you want them to create is another.

We can fall into the trap of thinking our grapho can read our mind. Tell them roughly what you want and expect them to create a masterpiece right? But think about it this way, you don’t sit in the hair-dressers chair and tell them to do whatever they want (and if you have I can only guess you ended up a real dodgy haircut). The secret to getting exactly what you want from your graphic designer lies in the brief. So today I will give you some tips on how to write a A+ brief for your graphic designer.

Today you will learn: the 5 simple steps to writing a straightforward and specific design brief!


Let’s start with ‘who’. This part of the brief should explain exactly who your target audience is. You should make your designs highly tailored to your target audience, even if this means creating a few different design variations to meet segments of that audience. This is where your buyer personas should come into play, BE SPECIFIC!

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Job title
  • Income
  • Preferred social platform
  • Children/no children?
  • Level of education
  • Hobbies
  • Any particular imagery that would appeal to them? Remember, Be SUPER DUPER SPECIFIC!


When you want your graphic designer to ace your brief the ‘what’ needs to be crystal clear. What do you want? And don’t you dare just say ‘I want you to create a logo’ or ‘I need a new sticker design’, if you’re not specific here you are going to waste a lot of time with back and forth. ‘What’ should include a highly detailed description of the project including:

  • dimensions
  • colours to include/avoid
  • fonts
  • copy to be included
  • tone of design
  • design ideas/examples you like
  • file type ect.


You need a deadline!! Stick this at the top (preferably in clear bold font) so your grapho knows straight away what your expectations are and when you need the project to be completed by. Keep in mind your deadline shouldn’t be the actual day that the design will go to print or live online, leave time for potential adjustments (better to be safe than sorry).


One aspect that is often overlooked when writing a brief is ‘where’. So you want them to design a banner image, but where will this banner image be placed. Will it be printed? Is it for your website? It’s incredibly important that your designer knows the context and placement of the design as this will affect the end product. For example, if you ask them to make a cover photo without saying that it will be used on Twitter you will end up with a design obscured by the profile picture icon. Just as if you don’t tell them it’s for print they won’t include bleed lines.


Ideally, this will be at the top of your brief. This section should detail exactly ‘Why you want the design to be created’, what is the purpose of the project. Do you want to gain more social followers? Promote a new product? Get more views on your blog? A task without an end goal is pretty damn useless so before you start anything you should think about ‘why’ and what your true objective is.

I think the most important thing one could take away from this is to remember that a graphic designer cannot read your mind! It doesn’t matter how talented they are, if your brief isn’t clear there’s a high chance you won’t be fully satisfied with the end product. Take your time to plan out and write a clear and concise brief as every minute you spend on the details here will save you 10 minutes of back and forth in days to come. Have I missed anything? How do you write the perfect brief?

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