Using and interpreting a design brief correctly can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful design. So what is a design brief, what it is and why is it important?
A design brief is going to give you a set of instructions to work with when you’re creating your designs and the reason that it’s so important is it allows your clients to explain to you exactly what they want and for you to have a really good understanding of what it is that they want before you actually begin designing. So that’s obviously going to save you time, which is money and it will also ensure that you’re going to arrive at a really successful outcome far quicker.
So how do you go about creating a design brief and what should you include?
When you’re given a design brief from a client, it depends on that particular client as to how much information they give you. If they don’t give you enough information, you really want to make sure that you ask them lots of questions. You do that via a phone or skype call or via email but either way you want to make sure that you’ve got a really good understanding of what they want.
Questions that you might want to ask include what’s the theme what sort of style of motifs do they want to use? Is there a particular look and feel that they’re after in terms of the treatment that you might use to create your motifs? Do they have a colour palette in mind or is there a limited number of colours that you’re able to use within the design? For example, you might go ahead and create a design that’s got 20 colours in it, but they might only be able to use a design that’s got five colours in it so you really need to know that before you begin. If you didn’t it would mean you would need to make huge changes to your design in order to go from 20 colours down to five colours.
You also want to have an understanding of the processes that are going to be used. For example, are they screenprinting or are they digitally printing their designs? Having an understanding of how the designs are going to be used and the manufacturing process can affect the way you create your designs.
You also want to have an understanding of the target market the designs are intended for e.g.womenswear or kidswear? Your target market will often affect the colour, motifs and scale of your designs.
You could also ask if they have a scale in mind in terms of whether they want to or are able to use large scale motifs or would they prefer small scale motifs?
Do they require you to create some colorways of the designs or coordinates to go with the designs? Are they after a collection of designs and if so how many designs and what sort of designs are required? You want to have a really good understanding of this before you begin.
I always like to ask clients if they have any visual images of examples of what they like before you begin because a picture can tell a thousand words and it will really help you get onto the same page far quicker than just words. Even if you’re being commissioned to create a design in your style, you could ask them for examples of your work that they like.
You could also create a mood board before you begin to check if you’re on the right track and that your visions align or they may even have a mood board they can give you.
Using a design brief and asking all these questions is going to help you ensure that you aren’t wasting time creating something that they don’t want, and also allowing you to create a design that’s successful far quicker, which is obviously going to save you time, which is going to save you money. And that’s what we want.