The Pathway of Inefficiencies and Headaches
Are all of those back and forth email exchanges, and phone tag games you and your designer go through at the beginning of every project driving you crazy? Why doesn’t the designer just create what you need, what you feel like you asked for? The thought crosses your mind that maybe it’s the designer being a prima donna – most designers can be a bit persnickety, and possibly a smidge difficult.
You could chalk it up to a communication gap, one that can never be bridged, and keep missing deadlines and wracking up those billable hours. I would bet, if I were a betting woman, you’d rather not continue on this misguided path that leads to one proof after another proof, after another, after another.
The solution is somewhat simple. Create a design brief using these 6 questions.
This helps facilitate better conversations with your designer and aligns your expectations with the project. Chew over these 6 questions, and save yourself money and meet your deadline.
The Pathway of Communication and Beautiful Design
The Creative Brief:
1. What are the goals?
What are the goals you want the design to achieve? Describe what you want from this new design. Is this a rework of an existing design or a completely new design? Do you have solid ideas already developed or are your ideas vague? Nail down your goals before the project begins – is the design needed to educate, raise awareness or is it meant to sell a specific product or service?
2. Who is your target audience?
A design created to reach truck drivers is going to look different than a design created to reach fleet executives. Make sure the designer knows the demographic you are trying to reach.
3. What available materials exist?
Do you have a logo, a brochure, product photos or other material that might be helpful for the design? If so, pass those along – through email or file sharing.
4. What are some examples of other designs you do and don’t like?
Provide a few examples of designs you don’t like as well as a few you do like. It is especially helpful to communicate to the designer if you have particular “do not’s”. A good example is that you possibly don’t want to use your competitor’s color – maybe that color is green.
5. What is your budget and schedule?
Be specific for both. Make sure you clarify between when you need the first proof and the final deliverable.
6. What do you need to receive from the designer?
Decide what type of files you need from the designer. Decide how the proofing process will work. Decide if you need a tri-fold brochure, a flyer, a website design. Determine if there are any restrictions – such as size requirements, or the number of colors for a print project. Will the designer need to upload the final files to you directly, or to the printer?
So in the end, after all these questions are answered you will have a great outline for your project. It will be a clear and concise tool that you can then give the designer and will help the creative process get off to a good start and hopefully result in a great ending – a successful project!