A comprehensive design brief serves many purposes. It gives your designers the information they need to strategise, gets you to focus on what you need and why and creates an understanding between both parties as to what’s needed, how it’s to be developed and what it aims to achieve. Answering these questions lays the foundations for a successful process and outcome.


1. Project Purpose and Business Objectives

• What are you trying to achieve with this project? (sales, awareness, education, promotion, etc.)
• What do you see as the best way to achieve this?
• Are there any alternative means we should look at?
• What is promoting you to undertake this project right now?


2. Scope of Work and Deliverables

• What type of project is needed?
• What are the final items to be delivered?


3. Core Target Audience

• Who are the audience?
• How old are they and where are they from?
• What are their attitudes and aspirations?
• What are their buying and usage habits?
• What are their lifestyles like? What are their needs and wants?
• What are three words to describe how you’d like your audience to see you?
• How do they actually see you now?


4. Positioning and Competitors

• Who are your competitors and what is your position in the market?
• What are your competitors strengeths and weaknesses?
• Is there a way of using this information to our advantage?


5. Product Features and Consumer Benefits

• What are the most important and compelling features?
• What are the main consumer benefits and how will they be better off?
• Do you have information to support these claims?


6. Key Messages to Communicate

• What is the single most important message we need to communicate?
• Is there anything else we need to communicate?


7. Personality or Visual Tone

• What is the personality or visual tone of this project?
• What are the overall personality traits the brand must communicate?
• What would you like the target to think after they see this?


8. Creative Considerations and Restrictions

• Where will the text, illustration and photography come from?
• What must be included? (logos, colours, legals, etc.)
• What are the limitations of this project?
• Any special considerations?


9. Production and Distribution

• How will this be produced and distributed?
• How does this affect the budget, time, colour and mechanical requirements?


10. Project Timing, Budget and Measurement

• What are the schedule milestones and final deadline?
• How do we measure the success of this project?
• What are the budget limitations?

We’ve been asked to create a new brand identity for a great new store opening up on Darby St, Newcastle. It’s a children’s lifestyle store carrying a fantastic range of super cool kids clothing and accessories. Not your usual children’s wear store. If you’re in Newcastle and you have kids 0-14 years old, keep your eyes out for it.

Budgeting for design

Revealing your budget to your design company involves a certain amount of trust which is something that a good business relationship should always have.

Fearing that your design company will design to that dollar amount when a more inexpensive result may be possible is an understandable concern. But being hesitant to reveal your budget has it’s dangers. As stated in an AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) publication, A Client’s Guide to Design, it’s as risky to design in a budgetary vacuum as it is to design without a goal.

If you inform us of how much you’ve budgeted for a design project, we’re usually able to put together a cost proposal to produce the best possible results to fit within that amount. Or perhaps we can suggest more inexpensive ways to achieve the same goals!

Graphic design is a process that when given more time yields better results. When we ask about your budget limitations, we’re looking for a ball park in which to explore options. But it’s not just about time. We also need to know whether things like photography, illustration or even special print techniques are an option.

If you need help establishing your budget, we’d be glad to meet with you and help you understand the costs and how to relate them to arriving at an appropriate budget.

Retaining image quality

When producing artwork, especially for print, good image quality is vital to a high quality job.

A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Especially when supplying images to your design agency. More and more people have Adobe Photoshop at their fingertips and unless you know the image size dialog box very well, you may be wasting your time making changes. If anything, you’ll probably be damaging the file.

When it comes to image quality, you can’t make something from nothing. If the image is small, making it bigger in Photoshop only increases the size of the file. Unless the image detail is there in the original image file, its quality won’t improve.

So how do we know the image size? If you have Photoshop, open the file, go to the ‘image’ menu and select ‘image size’. Uncheck ‘resample image’ and key in 300 pixels/inch in the resolution field. This will show you the maximum physical size the image can be when printed.

If ‘resample image’ is checked and you increase the resolution, you’ll be making the file bigger but the physical size remains. To make the resolution larger, Photoshop needs to create more pixels. Where do the pixels come from? It costructs them from the pixels around them. What does this do? It makes the image blurry!

Sometimes we’re supplied images taken from websites for use in print work. If an image is 150 x 200mm at 72 pixels/inch and we change this to 300 pixels/inch for use in print, the physical size changes to 36 x 48mm. That’s very small and probably not much use.

All computer monitors show colour differently unless, like our screens, they are colour calibrated for the monitor type and the ambient light of the room they’re in. If your monitor isn’t calibrated, you won’t see the image as it will be when it’s printed.

We prefer to be supplied images which haven’t been touched so that we know we have the best image possible. Please do check the size so you know what you have but don’t save any changes you make.