How to write a killer design brief

by The Salmat Team
02 June 2017
How to write a killer design brief

As a business owner or manager, how can you get inside the designer’s mind and know what they want? That’s where the design brief comes in. 

Every successful campaign starts with a killer design brief. By providing the right information at the very start, you can ensure your new design is not only on-brand; it will inspire your target audience and hit your goals. Plus, you’ll save valuable hours of back and forth answering questions and digging out images. 

Here’s how to provide a killer design brief:

Job type

The first thing your designer needs to know is what you want them to create. What is the design project? What is the end product? You might brief your designer to create one or two items, or even a whole range of materials to support your campaign. 

Consider the following when briefing your designer:


What’s the campaign about? What is this communication trying to get the audience to do? If you can nail down what you want to achieve, your designer can create a design that ticks all the boxes. They may even be able to make recommendations that you might not have thought about.  

Target audience

Who are you trying to reach? A flyer designed for stay-at-home mums is going to look different to one designed for people in their golden years. Describe who you want to appeal to, or, if it’s easier, your ideal customer. 

Examples and references

This is your chance to show your ideas. Look for examples you love and give them to your designer. Head to Pinterest, Instagram and even Google Images for inspiration. This is also a good opportunity to tell your designer what you definitely do not want, as it will save your designer (and you) from wasting time. 

Key messages

What copy do you want to feature on the communication? Include a compelling call to action, your contact information, and any other important campaign details like a promotion code.

Mandatory elements

What are the elements that absolutely must be included in the design? For example, perhaps your flyer always needs to include a logo, store map, and promo code. Supply your designer with your brand style guide, if you have one, to ensure they use the correct fonts, colours and imagery style.

Images and materials

Do you already have a logo, images, or other materials that would be useful to the design? Do you have a brand style guide? Give everything to your designer at the start. If you’re not sure what formats and file sizes to provide, ask them.  


There are lots of things to consider here, so be as specific as possible. Head over to this article for handy tips and ideas on print options. Agree with your designer:

Dimensions of design? One or two-sided? Colour or black & white? Will the item be folded – if so, how? What orientation: portrait or landscape?


Timing can be a touchy subject but it’s important to agree this up-front. Tell your designer the date you need the final design, and use this to agree deadlines for the first draft, second draft and sign-off. Be realistic and remember to build in some wiggle room to ensure you have no trouble launching on time. 


A detailed design brief will lead to a successful end product, whether it’s a flyer, brochure, poster or the whole lot. And best of all, by providing everything at the start, you won’t be wasting valuable time going back and forth. 

Salmat has a dedicated design team that can design your flyer for you. For more information, call 1300 725 628.

About the author
The Salmat Team

Salmat is a leading Australian marketing services provider. We help clients connect with their customers, week-in, week-out. Salmat's unique combination of targeted letterbox and online marketing channels enables clients to Reach, Convert and Serve their customers. We also provide a wide range of back office solutions, through our Philippines-based Managed Services business.

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