Developing a
Design Brief

By Martin Steinhobel

What are your options?

Whether you decide to do all your re-branding work yourself or decide to engage a large design firm to do it for you, you should develop a Design Brief to guide the way. In the design world this is fundamental to getting good design results: it serves to clearly articulate your goals and objectives and provides context in which your new brand identity will be developed.

There are many templates out there and a quick review should leave you with a good idea of the common elements and allow you to develop a workable outline suited to your purposes.

Here’s what we suggest for tech consulting firms: a rundown of some of the key elements you should take the time to outline.

Objective/Key Message
What are you trying to say and to whom are
you trying to say it?

What specific deliverables need to be produced?

Gather information to help provide context for
your branding (or re-branding) project.

Outline any challenges your designer (or design firm)
should know about.

Value Proposition
What is your value proposition and are there
specific elements of your value proposition
that need to be highlighted?

The Target Market
Provide details about this market and the personas
you are needing to reach.

Outline any constraints such as budget or
time-frame issues that need to be understood.

What are you hoping to achieve in the long-term
and the short-term?

Who will be involved and how will this process work?

Once these elements have been covered, both you and your designer (or design team) will have a good idea about that is required. This will serve to keep the project on track and provide accountability on both sides. Also, any issues or unanswered questions will come to light and can be addressed before a whole lot of effort is expended. This reduces frustrations and also leads to much better outcomes.

Important note: The inputs for your design brief are embodied in the maturity of your message. If you are not able to clearly articulate your message as suggested above in the form of a message brief, spend the time you need to get this done before you write your Design Brief. It will pay dividends in the long run and will allow you to develop a much better brand identity!

Want to learn more about brand identity?

Check out our Complete Brand Guide!

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