Once you’ve found the ideal freelance graphic designer to work with on your project you will most likely be asked by them to send through a design brief. Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty straight forward and is just a document giving the graphic designer the information needed to complete the work for you.
Here are the main pieces of information needed in a design brief:
A TITLE FOR THE PROJECT AND VERSION NUMBER
This is so both you and your designer know exactly which project you are talking about when discussing the work. This is especially useful when it’s part of a large, multi piece project. As design briefs often evolve and change, adding a version number also helps ensure everyone is looking at the same brief.
A PROJECT OVERVIEW
This doesn’t need to be a War and Peace. It just needs to be a simple overview of the reason for the project and, most importantly, the goal of the artwork your designer will produce. Is it to drive footfall into your store or to promote a special offer? Giving this kind of information allows the designer to know how to create something that best achieves your aim for doing the project.
ARTWORK SIZE AND PAGE COUNT
Confirm what size the artwork should be and also page count. This stops there being any misunderstanding and your little A5 flyer turning into an A1 poster!
TIMESCALES AND DEADLINES
This can be a really important one to include and is often one people leave out. Set a date you need to receive first proof by, when you will provide amends back to the designer and when the deadline for supplying to the printer is. This not only helps the designer manage their time but also gives you an agreed timescale in writing should there be any issues.
This one depends on the size and complexity of the project. Sometimes you can provide the text content for the project within the brief itself. This works for relatively small, simple briefs but if you’re working on a 100 page catalogue then I’d suggest providing it in a separate text document.
Finally, if you have any icons, images or other elements you want the designer to include, make a note of them in the brief. Whilst you should never provide images, logos or icons by embedding them into your brief (they should all be sent as separate files) it helps the designer if you explain where you’d like them to appear if you already have a preference.
Malcolm Roberts is a Worcestershire based graphic designer, blogger and lover of all things creative.
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