Design Method

The Importance of a Good Brief


It’s the simple things in life that makes me happy!

A nice clear, crisp, sunny English winter’s morning…

A smile on my children’s faces…

And a good brief!!!

Being in the creative industry for over 15 years there is not a lot I have not seen. Much has changed in this time; the advent of Facebook, the maturation of web design, the growth of mobile Internet…

However, the one thing that has remained constant in all that time is the appreciation of a good brief – or the fear of a bad one.

As a designer there is nothing worse than a bad brief. It can be the undoing of the best intentions and the easiest going clients.

Think about it, you would not just leave a painter and decorator to do as they wish in your house with no direction or instructions of what colours to use or what wall paper goes where, so why would you let a designer loose on your website, brochure, or branding?

No, I don’t know either!


Knowing simple things can make our job so much easier, such as images – whether you have any or need us to source them, the target audience, or in my opinion the most important detail – competitors. Your company needs to be different and stand out against the crowd, and we can only help do this if we understand the market and what competition our clients face.

A good brief can also put an end to any potential disagreements, such as “Wasn’t logo design included?!”… or “I definitely said the 15th” and help a project get delivered as expected, and on time!

Pelling’s way of combating this issue is to create 2 brief sheets, one for websites of any size and a second for printed work and branding. We quite often fill these out on behalf of clients after meetings or telephone conversations so we know exactly the answers to the questions we need.

If you’re a designer, or in any profession that deals with client instructions, you’ll be able to sympathise with the potentially catastrophic effects of the Bad Brief!

If you’ve had a particularly bad one, we’d love to hear about it!