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How to write a design brief checklist

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Getting the most from your design relies on having a clear design brief. This checklist sets out the essential components for a comprehensive design brief. http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/

Getting the most from your design relies on having a clear design brief. This checklist sets out the essential components for a comprehensive design brief. http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/

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  • 1. www.prcoach.co.uk Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 1 of 2 How to Write a Design Brief - Checklist If you want to get the most from a designer then you need to give them a clear and concise brief. Here’s a checklist for the important aspects to think about when commissioning a designer to work on a publication, or asking them to quote. Many of these bullets equally apply to other design work. How to write a design brief - checklist Your design brief should set out: • Background to the publication – why it is being produced. Is it to support a particular initiative or as a ‘re-fresh’ for current materials? • Primary and secondary audiences for the publication and any specific requirements that need to be taken into account in this respect. • How the publication is to be used. • Whether the publication is being produced as hard copy and/or available online, via CD etc. • Whether there is an intention to post the publication out. • Length of publication and any ideas regarding size, whether it has to fit a particular format. • Number of articles/sections. • Typical length of articles. • Tone/style for the copy. The design must support the copy otherwise the publication as a whole won’t work. • Whether financial or statistical information is to be included and any restrictions on how these should be presented. • The sense that you want to get across in the publication and any specific information about your primary audiences that is important in this respect. It’s can be helpful to list down key words that will help convey the feeling that you want to capture in your publication. • What photography is envisaged? Do you need to support each article with photography and are there any sensitivities about who should be
  • 2. www.prcoach.co.uk Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 2 of 2 photographed? You need to make it clear in any budget whether photography is included or not. • It is important to discuss the style of the photography the designer suggests and the extent to which this helps you get your messages across. • How articles/copy for the publication will be delivered – format and estimated timing so the designer can schedule their work. • Quantities for print run. • Any design restrictions – fonts, colours, layout, style guidelines. • Paper – weight, whether it needs to be recyclable. • Whether wet proofs are needed. • Deadline for sending to print and delivery. • Specified budget. • Whether mocks of designs are required. • Sign-off process. • How amendments will be made, passed on. It’s essential to look at previous work the designer has done to assess their capability to take on the project. You must be confident not only in the design but in being able to work with the designer to deliver the publication. Project management is essential for ensuring the publication is delivered to time and budget – ensure that you work through, and agree, the timetable for the project. Build contingency into your timetable to allow for holidays and possible slippage (always check when your designer is going on holiday). It’s also worth exploring with the designer the print management. Check to see if that is something they would do and the costs involved. It may be cheaper to source your own printers but remember that there is time involved in liaising with them etc. If you are inexperienced in this area you will need the guidance of a designer anyway to ensure that you know what to check with the printer. Bear in mind that digital printing is cheaper and quicker but litho printing will give better quality. You need to work out, as is the case with PR in general, what is important to you in the trade off between price, quality and time – squeezing any one aspect has a knock-on impact on the others. Have a look at http//:www.prcoach.co.uk for more checklists and ideas to help you with your PR.