Write a design brief for marketing content

1. Outline the quantity, content type, marketing objective, and deadline for the design.

This can simply be a sentence: “We need [quantity] [content type] for the purposes of [marketing objective], by [deadline].” For example, “We need four advertising visuals for the purposes of launching a new product line, by next week.”

2. Refer to your marketing strategy and outline the target audience of the content – who is this design for?

This will ensure that the end product design will resonate well with the intended audience and achieve your marketing objective. Designers typically design with the end user in mind and may do their research to see what design elements are effective for a specific audience.

3. Provide context - in a paragraph or two - for why the design is needed and how it will be used.

For example, if the designer is tasked with creating updated ad visuals, explain why updates are needed, how the previous ad visuals performed, whether the new ads are part of a larger campaign, and where those ads will be displayed. This additional context will ensure that the designer understands what potential problems will be involved and that the finished output will work seamlessly with the rest of your marketing efforts.

4. List any technical requirements like dimensions and file types, and content requirements like copy, imagery, and icons.

You can identify technical specs from platforms or service providers where the design will be used, or produced in the case of print. For example, single image ads on Facebook call for dimensions 1200 x 630 pixels, in .png or .jpg file type, with text and logos taking up no more than 20% of the image.

5. Provide a branding guide that includes rules for using color and logos to ensure designs fit your brand image.

If you don’t have a branding guide, you can create a simple document that outlines your company’s fonts, colors (in HEX and RGB format), and logo and its variations if applicable. You can also send branded assets that the designer can refer to. For example, website, presentations, leaflets, documents, social media posts.

6. Describe the visual style you want from the design by using a few keywords and phrases.

For example, “punk rock, street art aesthetic” or “professional but fresh and modern”.

7. Provide at least two references for inspiration that will either illustrate the visual style or act as examples of the content type for the brief.

You can find references by similar companies or competitors on websites, Instagram, Pinterest, or Behance.