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What is a design brief

Definition: A design brief is a document that outlines the requirements of a design project. It is created by the client and shared with the designer to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Design briefs help manage expectations and ensure all stakeholders are happy with the final product. The document is tailored to each project and accurately reflects the client's needs and goals.

What is included in the design brief?

Company profile

The profile provides an overview of the company, its products, services, target market, and competition. This information helps the designer understand the company's positioning, messaging, and objectives.

Example: Mindmesh wants to revolutionize how people and teams think about productivity, and attain their goals without getting bogged down in distractions. We want to meet users in their workflows and make them more productive, and not impose yet another tool to think about.

Project overview

This section gives a high-level overview of the project, including the objectives, target audience, key messages, call to action, project timeline, and deliverables.

Example: The web redesign project aims to improve the website's usability by creating a more attractive design, optimizing the site for search engines and mobile devices, and making content easier to find.

Goals and objectives of the new design

The goals and objectives define and articulate what the new design is to achieve, such as increased sales or higher website traffic.


  1. Provide great user experience; 
  2. Increase sales; 
  3. Enable users to navigate more easily — especially target customers. 

Target audience

This is the group of people the client is trying to reach with their products or services. The designer needs to understand the age, gender, location, interests, and needs of the target audience to create an effective design.


  1. Project managers and team leads who are looking for a comprehensive solution to help manage their projects more effectively.
  2. Small business owners or entrepreneurs who need a simple, intuitive tool that can help them stay organized and on top of their projects.
  3. Companies looking to streamline processes and improve communication across teams.
  4. Professionals who need a reliable, secure platform that can help them manage their time and tasks more efficiently.

Design requirements

Design requirements include branding, tone, style, messaging, and elements like the layout, colors, images, and fonts.

Example: We aim for a tech-savvy, clean, and minimalistic design. All elements on the website should fit that description.


This section outlines the project’s budget — estimated costs for design, development, and production.


Total budget: $150,000

  1. Design agency cost: $70,000
  2. Development cost: $50,000
  3. Content production cost: $30,000

Project deliverables

The design brief defines a clear timeline for the project to help the designer to understand the client's milestones, deadlines, and expectations.


Expected timeline: 

  1. Preparations:  Week 1 & 2
  2. Wireframes: Week 3
  3. Mockups: Week 4 & 5
  4. Actual design: Week 5, 6, & 7
  5. Implementation: Week 8
  6. Testing: Week 9
  7. Launch: Week 10

Other relevant information

The brief also includes other relevant information, such as competitive analysis or information about the client's existing brand guidelines.


  1. Competitive analysis presentation
  2. Brand guidelines doc

Example of a design brief

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Article FAQs

What are the deliverables in a design brief?
Deliverables in a design brief are project schedule, budget, list of objectives, and target audience. They help the designer complete the project successfully.
What is the difference between a design brief and a creative brief?
A design brief is focused on the design aspects of a project, while a creative brief is focused on the creative elements.
What is a design statement in a design brief?
A design statement is a summary that outlines the project's goals, objectives, and key points. If a project aims to create a logo that appeals to young adults, the design statement is: "The logo should be youthful and modern to appeal to our target market."
Who should write a design brief?
The client or the project manager writes the design brief.

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