BRIEF : What should be in a brief?

Three main objectives need to be communicated:
  1. Specifications.
    Specifications are the objective part of the brief, the hard facts and figures like physical size and quantity. These may change as the project progresses, but documenting them at the beginning ensures all suppliers are estimating to produce the same product.

  2. Expectations.
    Your — that is, the client’s — expectations should be documented at the beginning so designers understand your needs and submissions can include the relevant information. Winning an award at the Australasian Reporting Awards is an example of an 'expectation'.

  3. Deliverables.
    Clearly stating expected deliverables early in the process is one way to avoid future conflict and misunderstandings.

How many designers should you ask to quote?

Aim for three submissions – four at the maximum.

Preparing an estimate and/or submission takes time, so it’s unfair to ask a plethora of studios to submit. And it's important to make sure each of the invitees is appropriate for the job. Ask around for referrals (or find work that you like and track down the designers) to refine your list of candidates.

A brief phone call to each to confirm that they are available/interested will ensure submissions will be returned.

Deliver the brief via email re-stating the submission deadline in the covering email.

The facts

The print specifications are a vital part of a briefing because the production cost is often a major component of the budget.
We’ve prepared a glossary to de-mystify the print language.

Download the glossary...


Design Business Council (dbc) workshops

Preparing a design brief

Evaluating a design presentation

The dbc is a professional development body that helps organisations work with designers. dbc workshops will assist you prepare a brief and then evaluate a presentation.

More detail on the workshops...