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How to create a Design Brief that doesn’t suck

Do you know what happens when your design brief sucks?

brief,design brief,design brief template,design brief example
THIS! This happens when your design brief sucks.

You might have seen James Fridman on Twitter (@fjamie013) – a guy who accepts Photoshop requests for fun. His edits are not only excellent but hilarious. Enjoyable really, we can find ourselves in Twitter’s rabbit hole for a few hours.

You see, design requests here are one-liners so it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. A one-sentence instruction simply cannot help a designer do exactly what you like.

A well-written design brief is a primary need for any design request.

In this article you will:

  • Understand the importance of a well-written design brief
  • Get tips on how to write a brief
  • Be able to Get a FREE design brief template

messy table cartoon

Like you, brands and creative executives who invest thought for their campaigns need a tangible document to convey their ideas to whoever’s creating their designs. The benefits of creating a well-thought brief flow two ways: to the client and to the designer.

With this document, the guesswork is out of the way and the designer will be able to see a clear path to deliver the requested designs with high quality, speed and without too much back and forth.

But Deer Designer offers Unlimited Revisions, so why create a design brief if I can request revisions over and over again?

Well, that’s true. We will make changes to your designs as many times as you need. But do you want to be frustrated with never-ending revisions? 😨 I mean, we don’t mind, but it’s your time and money you’d be wasting.

Without a design brief, a designer implodes, cries (for help), guesses (badly), and worst of all: fails to reach YOUR goal.

You are lucky if you’re subscribed to a design service like Deer Designer. But what if, you’ve got a freelancer that charges per hour and only communicates whenever it’s convenient to them?

Que Horror!

designer quote Charles Eames

Recognizing the need is the primary condition of Design. – Charles Eames

What is the purpose of a design brief?

A design brief saves you time in the long run. Aside from not having to boomerang your designs over and over again, if you carefully think through the foundational brief, you can use it again for your other design needs, only tweaking a few items.

A design brief is also a form of documentation. Literally a page that everybody on your team must be in. It outlines objectives, deliverables, and expectations thus empowering you to objectively assess shortcomings and give the designers concrete feedback on their work.

For unlimited design services, a brief serves as a map used to set clear expectations for its writer and the designer.


Get it right in the first go without countless revisions.


What is in a design brief template?

In order for your design brief to not suck, it must first help clarify the need. Your need. Here are the following guide questions that can help you organize your thoughts before writing the brief:

  • What is the purpose of the design?
  • What are the objectives?
  • Who needs to see it?
  • What are the colours, fonts, styles?
  • What is the design inspiration?

Gather all those answers and, with the vision now clear in your head, get the template.

brief,design brief,design brief template,design brief example

Yes master

This Design Brief Template is just a document. A piece of pen and paper needs a writer for it to have value. In order to write a useful design brief, you need the following:

  1. Vision for the project. The vision doesn’t have to be your own brainchild. You just have to have a good grasp of it.
  2. Background: It also helps to know where the brand came from. You want to have information on the branding or marketing mistakes the others did so you can learn from them and not waste their time with Deja Vu.
  3. Audience Insight – To make a connection with your audience, you should have their data, likes, dislikes, language, comfort content and more.

Now you are ready to use the Design Brief Template. Let us go through each field one by one:




With Deer Designer, you’re able to request designs for your own brand or for your clients’.

This is where you let your designer know about it.

Project name

A clear and specific title is helpful so you and your team can easily track and search your tickets for future reference.

Good Examples:

– Christmas banners for ACME Limited

– Stark Industries

– Homepage design for 21/08

– Banners (Facebook/Instagram) for Coca-Cola

Bad Examples:

– New request (not clear or distinct enough)

– New order for Monday (not clear and the deadline is vague)

Background Story

A short story about the “Why” of the project. A 4-5 sentence paragraph is enough to remind everyone “why” this design should be done.

Making it easy for you

Check out this pre-filled Design Brief Template to see how it works and the final deliverables:

And here are some deliverables from the Design Brief Template above:


So now that you know what a design brief should look like inside and out, let us summarize by outlining what a design brief is NOT:

👉 A design brief is not… Brief.
A design brief contains a lot of information, all in one document. So it can be kind of wordy but each part of it is significant.

👉 A design brief is not… Simple.
A design brief can make or break a design. Its writer has put a lot of thought and considered a lot of factors into it prior to its creation.

👉 A design brief is not… Set in stone.
The beauty of a design brief is that it leaves enough room for creativity, especially for designers. The client communicates what they need and the designer will do their magic. What’s important is they are targeting the same goal.

Now go and save tons of time and fewer revisions by using the Design Brief Template to communicate your vision with your team.

Good luck!