The Ultimate Design Brief

This brief article outlines how to write an effective design brief that will help us and you.


At SM1 Print Studio we want to ensure that you achieve the design you require and that your project is successful.

A Design Brief is vital to communicate your understanding of the project to the designer. It doesn’t need to discuss ideas or aesthetics, it simply needs to outline exactly what you want to achieve, focusing on the results and outcomes, as well as overall business objectives.

Writing the design brief

To help, we have outlined some questions that you should look to answer, providing as much information as possible:

What are the objectives of this project?

  • What is the project’s overall aim?
  • What do you need to communicate, and why?
  • How do you differ from your competition?
  • Do you have any old material that you wish to refresh, or move away from?

What is your target audience?

Think about the demographic of your audience – their age, gender, income, tastes, views, lifestyle etc.

What copy (text) and images are required?

The content of your material is crucial to the ideas/suggestions that come out of the design process. If you don’t have any content, or need some writing, please ask us at SM1 to be introduced to one of our copywriters. Also think about what images you need. We can supply licensed images, or perhaps you have some of your own that you can use.

What are the specifications?

Do you have any ideas on the size/shape of your design? Will you be using SM1 for printing, or will we need to send the design elsewhere? Is there anything else specific to your design that we need to be aware?

Ideas and benchmarks

What can be really helpful are ideas/benchmarks of some designs that you either admire, or are from your competitor. This can help steer the designer to create something that you have already started to visualise. Also think about designs/or elements that you wouldn’t like to see, so as to avoid any disappointment.

Budget parameters

If you have an idea on budget, it is very useful to know, as it prevents the designer creating a design that simply won’t be able to be produced.

Deadline and/or timescale

In order to meet your expectations, it is advisable to state a schedule of the project and a realistic time for the completion of the work.

Sales tool

– according to recent studies, a large majority of people tend to look for videos rather than text content for information. Using video sales tools provide a more convenient way to learn rather than reading tons of text crammed in a single page.

Event presentation

– most of us have been to events where presentations have been unreadable slides after slides, so make yours different to keep your audience engaged and awake! It can then be repurposed (pre and post) for promotional and data capture opportunities.