18 Questions to Ask Your Client Before Creating a Graphic Design Brief

Creating a good graphic design brief is perhaps the first vital step that you should take to create a great graphic design. But many times, you might just assume about your clients’ requirements, business nature, target audience, etc. instead of asking your clients which lead to unsuccessful designs. Create a graphic design with a design brief is like starting to build a house without having a blueprint.

So what exactly is a design brief?   

A design brief is a document mentioning the company’s objectives and related design strategies for a project. It keeps the graphic design project going and helps the designer think tactically about the design solution. Besides, it helps the client to clearly describe what they want from the design, who is the target audience, and who all the key stakeholders are. A good design brief must also mention the competition, industry trends, budget, timeline, and measurements of success, etc.

A design brief should first focus on the business objectives and the outcomes, instead of attempting to deal with the aesthetic details of the design. And it is your duty to ensure it. It is you who’s responsible for exploring ideas while the client will clarify what the design needs to achieve.  So it’s imperative to ask your clients these critical questions when creating the design brief. Not only these questions will help you brainstorm ideas but also help clients feel very much involved in the process. Check out the list of queries mentioned below:

Top 18 Questions to ask clients before creating a design brief

Knowing about your client’s business is unquestionably the first step towards creating a powerful design. If you assume about your client’s business instead of asking the client, you’re making a big mistake. Ask directly to your clients about the background of their business. Ask their key competitors and many more.

Since you would be working to build a brand personality, try to include their brand persona on a personal level.

To know your client’s goal that they want to achieve through the project that you’re going to kick start will help you create more effective designs. If you know what the design will all about, you’ll be in a better position to identify and fill the gap.

Ask your client about the inspiration that drives them to get this design created. It would help you understand the project, the reason why the client wants to work with you and how should you get started.

It’s a professional approach to ask your clients about their expectations from their design projects. It gives them the impression that you’re a professional designer and your efforts, time and talents must be recognized.

Know your client’s unique selling points which will inspire your design idea.

Understand your client’s core values that drive their business. If you know what your client stands for, you’ll be able to include those elements in your design and pay respect to what your client believes in; thus winning your client’s heart. Some of your design projects may have a political angle while some may be related to culture. So make sure that your design reflects these core values. 

Before you start working on the project, ask the client about the elements that they like or dislike in their previous design. Go through the previous marketing materials and plan your strategy accordingly. The approach will help you understand what worked and what didn’t.

Without knowing the rivals, you may not be able to redesign a powerful branding material. Study your client’s niche market, identify top competitors and find elements that worked for them. It would definitely work for your client’s project.

Ask your clients about their target audience — what they do, what they like/dislike, how they react, etc. Keep these in your mind while creating the design.

Your design must be created keeping the gender of the target audience in mind. Ask your client if the project aims at any specific gender or mixed gender. If the target customers are of mixed type, include as many gender-neutral elements as you can.

Don’t forget that age is a vital factor when it comes to logo design or any other design as people of different age groups have a different choice. Pay heed to elements such as color, typography, shapes and style while creating the design.

To ensure that your design doesn’t hurt sentiments of your client’s audience, ask your client if their customers have any cultural concerns.

Know your client’s taste in design aesthetics, considering that they have a solid understanding of design. You should ask questions such as — “Would you like to incorporate isometric illustrations? Do you like a clean, balanced look or something new, experimental and dynamic?”  Answers to these questions will help you narrow down the choice of design trends.

There may be some specific elements that your client would like to include in the design — check it with your client. Asking this question will give your client the impression that you’re very much concerned even about the smallest element.

Knowing the medium, size and location of the design is essential. Your design considerations will vary depending upon the use such as — print, digital, handheld, and large-scale.

If the design is to be printed, ask your client the printing specifications as it will change your design considerations. You’ll have to limit the colors or you may need to add more layers to your design depending on the production technique.

Knowing the client’s budget for this particular project is also important. Check if it matches your rates. Make it clear to the client whether you’ll charge for each revision.

Knowing what file and format your client need will help you anticipate what type of license you will need for that specific design assets.

The final words

As graphic design is an important part of a business. These are the top questions to ask your client before creating a design brief. There may be some other queries as well but these are the top ones that we have shared. Remember that your clients not just like amazing designs but they also expect pieces of professional advice, understanding, patience, care, etc. If you ask the right questions, you’ll better understand your client’s needs and establish a solid common ground for delivering a pleasing experience to your client which will bring them again in the future.

Do you know any other questions to ask a client before you create a design brief? Please share in the comments!

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