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How to Brief your Graphic Designer

Having a beautifully designed brand and marketing material is great, but if it doesn’t attract or entice your ideal client or speak the correct message, then you really may as well have created something in Word and saved yourself some money. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a graphic designer and I love nothing more than seeing businesses with beautiful branding – but it has to be intentional, specific and targeted. Take the time to create a brief that is purposeful with all the right details.

Below are a few questions that I like to ask my clients, to help me understand their business and exactly what they are trying to achieve from their branding and marketing.

A little about your business?

The best place to start is by explaining about your business – explain your elevator pitch in real-life words. What is your full business name, what you do, what are your main products and/or services (just a simple list), why you do what you do?

What is your Brand position + Target Audience?

Who is your audience or target market? Are you a high-end product found in luxury boutiques or are you a product that will be stocked in every supermarket across the country? Will we be targeting Mum & Dads with young children or 26yr old Male Tradies? What age are they / what is their income level/business or consumer / global, rural or urban?

Who is the competition?

Many people don’t like to answer this question, they feel if they do, then it will look like they are copying. However, the reason designers will ask it is that they want you to look at YOUR point of difference. Why are you different from your competitors? Or what are they not doing, that you can do? What will make you stand out from them? If you don’t know this answer, then you may be able to talk to your designer about it.



What are the needs of the project?

This is where specifics are essential. Details, details, details! It is vital to ascertain exactly what the purpose of the design project is: grow your email list, get more clients, product awareness, etc. Do you require a logo, printed material, digital imagery or a website? Say for instance you are after flyers…. what size would you like, landscape, portrait, single or double-sided, are you supplying product images and copy, do you need a copywriter, would you like them printed or would you prefer a print-ready file supplied? Be as clear and concise as you can.

What look and feel needs to be portrayed?

What is the aesthetic of your brand? What are your brand colours? What colours do you dislike and want to avoid? What emotion do you want to evoke with this design? It can be helpful to compile a few descriptive words – ie, strong, edgy + tribal gives a whole different feel than – airy, whimsical + playful.

What is the budget?

How much have you allocated to spend on this project? Many people like to leave this question blank, but it really is an important question. Be as clear on what you need this budget to cover. Do you need to hire a photographer and studio to take product photos or is it acceptable to source stock images? Will the copy need to be written or do you need a copywriter. The designer will take all of this into account and can also offer other options is budget permits.



Who will be approving?

If you are a one-person business, well then this question is easy. If there is a committee or a board that will be giving feedback and approving designs, then it is best to supply all of that information to start with – as well as the contact details of those who need to brought into the loop. If there is a committee, I would suggest nominating no more than 2-3 people to be able to give their input – but also one main point of contact who is responsible for collating feedback.


Is your proposed timeframe relaxed or do you have a specific deadline that needs to be met (launch, event or advertising)? Your designer will make sure that they will be able to deliver the proposed project within their own schedule and/or offer alternative deadlines for relaxed projects.

This may seem like an excess of information, but believe me, your designer will glean the heart of your business and extract from this, what they need, to deliver you intentional and targeted graphic design that is perfectly aligned with your audience. Take time. Write it down. Be as clear and concise as you can. It will be worth it 🙂


Megan Horsfall


A happy and colour loving graphic designer who loves to create timeless authentic brands for entreprenuers and small businesses. As the heart behind Happy Splat Design, Megan partners with faith driven businesses to pull out their unique business personality and turn that into a beautiful brand wit purpose.

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basics 101

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