Design Factsheets

To brief a designer effectively, you must put together your ideas on: the business strategy behind the project; the project’s business objectives; the expectations of the project; and what you expect the project to involve. You can then produce a detailed document covering all elements of your design project.

This should contain sufficient information about what the project aims to achieve to make the proposals effective and relevant. This process will also clarify the process in your own mind

Thoroughly does it

This brief can then be developed with the designer to help form a common understanding of objectives throughout the project, between your company and the designer. Prepare your brief as thoroughly as possible to minimise the chance of omitting something that might prove costly further down the line. Going through the process of writing your brief will help you to clarify the project in your own mind. Remember that everyone in the business can contribute.

Your brief should include:

  • Business Objectives
    These are the goals of the project – what do you want to achieve? These should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related.

  • Project Outcomes
    What will the results of the work be? How will you measure your success? What are the deliverables at each stage of the project?
  • Background
    What is the history and current standing of the market/product/service? Who/what is the competition? What is your marketing? Who is/are the target audience/s? What knowledge is available about the market?
  • Project Specifics
    Include all technical requirements, manufacturing and distribution details, and environmental issues. Are there any constraints to consider?
  • Project Management
    What is the timescale? What is your budget? Has your project team been identified? Establish who owns the Intellectual Property Rights of the material being produced by the designer? Build formal reviews into your timetable.

You can use design to improve your business through the products and services you offer, and you can double its effectiveness by planning for and using design strategically. By thinking the big design picture, rather than focussing on one single product, you can link all of the parts of your company that benefit from design and create a powerful business response that is irresistible to your customers.

For design advice in your region contact your local Business Link and visit the Design Council website.

‘A detailed brief must be developed with a designer, to help form a common understanding of objectives throughout a project…’

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