Creating a brief

The formulation of a clear and comprehensive brief is fundamental to achieving a satisfactory result. A brief encapsulates what the business wants the designer to achieve and gives focus to the designer's creativity.

It is best to formalise a brief in writing. Consider the relevance of the following information for inclusion:

  • background about the business, market and context for the project.
  • nature and scope of the project, and details of any previous work.
  • required outputs and deliverables including quantities or schedules of accommodation
  • project objectives which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-related and state what the project is expected to achieve for the business
  • marketing background: [where relevant] history, positioning, market share, competitive products, market research
  • target audience/users: who will use or consume the outcome, pricing, volume and life expectancy
  • constraints may include siting, manufacturing, technical constraints and details of guidelines such as corporate/branding, regulations, permissions required or obtained.
  • technical information: including elements of products and details of known working parts or processes
  • manufacturing, production and distribution: facilities available, preferred materials and techniques, packaging, transportation
  • maintenance: what is required and by whom
  • environmental issues: range and type of impact
  • budget: an indication of the budget available and sources of funding where relevant.
  • timescales for the different stages of the design process and final completion
  • terms of business
  • intellectual property agreements including patent, design registration, copyright and trademark ownership
  • deadline for submission of proposal