When starting any sort of business you will probably need to brief a graphic designer at some stage (unless you’re really handy with design programs! I certainly am not!). The main pieces you will need are logos, packaging design and branding for other content.
Here are 5 tips to ensure you deliver a brief that your graphic designer will be relieved to receive, and also will give you the design result you were hoping for!
1. Give them a DETAILED written brief
I’ve worked with quite a few graphic designers and their biggest frustration seems to be not getting enough clear information. Vague briefs from clients make their lives difficult, so whilst you may not want to bore them with the entire history of your business, it’s better to give more information than not enough. Ensure the brief is in an easy to read, written format. A Word document or similar with clear headings and descriptions. Some designers may have their own briefing templates they like clients to use (you should ask the designer). It’s a good idea to have your own briefing template in case there is more info you want to provide, and for consistency for future projects. Having the brief in writing also protects you if there are any disputes about the designs provided and what was briefed.
2. Include as much background information as possible
Your brief shouldn’t just be about what colour you want your logo. It needs to include some background on your business, your plans for the future, your mission statement and core values. Write about your target consumer, what gap the product fills in the market and who your competitors are. The designer will use all of this information to create appropriate graphics for the market you are targeting.
3. Ensure you are clear about the file types you require
Get to know what types of files you will need for now and the future. Specifically request these in your brief. I’ve heard of many small business owners being burnt when they have used what they thought was a graphic designer to only receive JPEG files of their logo. These files are a limited size, can’t be resized and in many cases may be too small to even print onto your packaging. Logos and packaging design should be provided as Vector files (AI or EPS) so that they can be edited in future. You probably won’t have the software at home to view those files, but your printer will use these. You should get PDF or JPG files also, so that you can view and proof them on your computer. If you are worried about colour, ask your designer for colour proofs.
4. Let the designer know as much about the physical product packaging as possible
When it comes to packaging and logo design it’s really important to let your graphic designer know about the physical packaging you plan to use. If they aren’t designing the entire package, what size will it be? Will it be printed on plastic, glass, paper? You may be printing onto transparent film and so the designer may want to re-think the colour options. I’ve had a designer create an entire front and back label which was being printed directly onto glass bottles. They had to consider minimum font size and whether a barcode printed onto glass would even scan. There was plenty of trial and error! It was imperative that they were involved in the entire design process, especially when it’s quite complicated.
5. Understand how many proofs are provided
If you are paying a designer a package price for logo design for example. This may include a number of proofs, or just 1. Make sure you understand what you are getting. Respect the designers time, they will not provide you an unlimited number of proofs. After all, nobody works for free. Most designers have packages where they provide approximately 3 proofs. If your brief is solid, you should get a design your happy with within the 3 proofs. You may then be able negotiate any minor amendments you require later on.