How to brief your graphic designer


Giving a brief to a Graphic Designer can be really hard! Often thought to be quite easy, but when you get down to business end of a job, it is the single most important element to ensure you get a great result on your logo, website or graphic design. 

More often than not when a customer is un-happy with a final result it’s generally to do with an inaccurate brief. I’m not saying that the blame is entirely on the client, but the communication to the Graphic Designer must be accurate and clear. And only the client can provide this! In other words…

We are not mind readers.

When briefing the designer, consider the fact that different words and styles mean different things to different people. Here’s a few examples of how descriptions can be misinterpreted. We asked 3 of our clients to describe 5 different words and what they meant to them. The out come is really interesting and just goes to show how unique everybody is.

What does the word Funky mean to you?
1. I get a 70’s vibe involving flares, psychedelic patterns and bright colours 
2. It makes me think of bright pinks and yellows, I don’t think I like funky!
3. Something edgy and modern looking

make it funky

So…. you want your logo to dance in hot pants?

What does the word Clean mean to you?
1. Straight lines and white space
2. Something ambient with geometric space
3. Soft circles with black space 


Even something ‘clean’ requires creativity and hard work

What does the word Traditional mean to you?
1. Something like a King would have, like a royal British feel
2. Makes me think of a family crest style
3. I think of something that has a script style font with lots of decoration on it


Even old War Generals need a Graphic Designer!

What does the word Elegant mean to you?
1. Makes me think of a classic woman smoking a long cigarette and wearing a netted hat
2. Clean white lines with bold shapes and colour
3. The colour red


Yes, your logo can include a beauty spot if you’d like

What does the word Modern mean to you?
1. The word modern makes me think of something really abstract 
2. Something techy, computer looking
2. Clean lines and white space – like where I buy my coffee


My logo should be so modern that its from the future

You will also have your own ideas about what the above words mean! So I’m sure you can see the challenge in understanding what a client is after when they say words like funky and traditional. 

So here’s the No Grey Creative top 5 tips on how to properly brief your Graphic Designer:

  1. Tell us your elevator pitch.
    Sum up your business in very simple terms that clearly demonstrates what you are selling. The better we can understand the elements of your business clearly the clearer the elements of your logo will be. Don’t be everything to everyone. Specifics are what sell you. 
  2. Don’t get caught up on what colour you want.
    At this point you can suggest a colour you would like to use, but 8 times out of 10 the colour you have in mind will not be what you choose. Things look very different once you see them rather than how you imagined it.  So just keep an open mind as we know you will be surprised at how different a colour combination can work. 
  3. Where do you your customers shop and what brands do they buy?
    This point is important. If your target market shops at Target, Jb Hi Fi, HR Block accountants than you could rightfully assume that your logo should look cost conscious and affordable. If your customer shops at Prada, Price Waterhouse and has a yacht at Docklands Marina then your logo should look expensive, affluent and worth the cost of your product/service. It is foolish to assume your target market is high end, and scoff at the word affordable. There are plenty of people out there who are looking for a affordable product/service and you can capture them by creating a brand that speaks to them. 
  4. What do you like?
    Tell us and show us examples of graphic design you’ve seen out there. You wont need to look very far! Now this doesn’t mean that you show us the Telstra logo and say you hate it, that generally means you hate the company not the actual logo. Tell us why you like things and why you don’t. This is the key to us reading your mind and unlocking your cognitive style, which you probably didn’t know existed. 
  5. Don’t say “I just want something clean and simple”
    This can mean so many things, and guess what? EVERYONE WANTS THAT! No one wants messy and confusing do they? Clean and simple is literally the art of graphic design. Taking a project, ideas and concepts and knowing what to leave and what to take away. It looks super simple but trust us, its not and its what we specialise in. We make it look easy. 

Here at No Grey Creative we’ve made it easy to give us a comprehensive brief, to ensure you can get your ideas across to us and then in turn we can turn your ideas into clever pieces of graphic design that get your message to your audience. 

To fill in a brief for a logo click here

To fill in a brief for a website click here

To fill in a brief for other graphic design click here