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  • Kelly Weber

Creating a Compelling Brand Brief for Your Designer

Updated: Nov 9, 2021


Whether you’re looking to hire a designer on Fiverr, through an agency or freelance, the key to getting your logo and visuals to connect with your audience and have something that truly resonates with your brand, is to get the brief for the designer down pat.

In addition to negotiating for revisions (there will almost always need to be revisions), asking to see samples of the designer’s work, and comparing a few options before deciding, there’s an important piece of work in preparing the brand brief for them.

To spare you some of the headache, I hope the following tips can help you create a brief that leads to a compelling logo for your brand: 

1.     You need to have your brand tagline and descriptor as well as your brand values (how you operate) and your mission, or brand purpose (why you’re in business – beyond the goal of making money).

To start on these, think about what you do best, what unmet need you serve, why you do it, how you plan to solve a problem for your audience, and who they are.

Answers to these questions will help get the ideas flowing and will be useful for your marketing communications later too. Jot down whatever comes to you and don’t worry about grammar, spelling or if it makes sense. Once the thoughts are down, you can start polishing the ideas into messages that resonate with your brand & purpose. Though companies don’t always publish their brand purpose or values publicly, these internal messages will still act as your brand compass and are essential for your designer to know so they can subtly communicate these in your brand visuals as well.

If you need help defining these elements —and they are absolutely critical to building a solid brand foundation – reach out to a branding or communications consultant who can ask you insightful questions and help guide you on this key messaging.

2.     You need to know the uniqueness of your product or service. This is your differentiator. There are many areas in which you can differentiate: is it your service (e.g. bespoke, discreet, fast, warm & friendly, etc.)? Is it your specific knowledge-base and experience (e.g. you have that special something that only 0.01% of your industry has)? Is it your go-to market strategy (aggressive and growth-oriented, i.e. the partners that sign on with you today are here for an exciting future)? Is it the niche area your product serves? Etc.

Knowing your point of differentiation is critical as you need to be ready to stand out from the crowd and you need to know how you do it to be able to communicate this effectively to your audience. This will serve you beyond just successfully creating a brief – this will be your unique value proposition in all you do.

As an aside, price is one way many businesses try to differentiate through offering the lowest cost, however, I strongly advise against this because it ends up being a losing game where you are either constantly being undercut by your competition (who are also competing on price) or doing the undercutting yourself, in turn losing revenue that could’ve been yours.

3.     You need to know who your target audience is. For example, this could be professionals in a specific industry or the elderly or MNCs. From there you need to drill down to the minutest detail about how they think (psychographics) and who they are (demographics). People with different backgrounds, experiences, and priorities will want to be engaged with differently than others. Once you know your audience, how they feel, what they need and what makes them tick, it is so much easier for your designer to use this info strategically to create something beautiful to speak to them.

4.     You need to share with the designer your desired brand colours and the impression or feeling you’re trying to evoke with your brand. If this is challenging, try and imagine your brand as a space and what it feels like when you step inside. You can also try some of these on for size to see if they resonate with your brand:

·       Corporate, personal/independent

·       Accessible, exclusive

·       Formal, casual

·       Soft, hard/strong

·       Light/bright, dark/mysterious

·       Consultative/collaborative, authoritative

·       Down to earth/grounded, idealistic/dreamy/atmospheric

·       Simple, elaborate

·       Bespoke, conventional

·       Buzzing, Calm

·       Pragmatic/practical, Romantic

·       Trustworthy, thrilling

·       Bold/brave/courageous, safe/secure/risk-free 

·       Innovative, traditional

This might sound a bit abstract but imagine the Chanel logo on a frozen pizza box or the Nike logo at the dentist’s office – something would feel off. This is because these logos evoke certain feelings with their design, the colours & imagery used, and of course, the brand associations they have in our culture today. That’s why this piece is so important, to make sure your logo provokes meaningful associations for your brand. 

5.     You need to share where you’re going to physically use your logo. Is it predominantly for digital, e.g. for your website or social media; is it going to be in a large format such as billboards or on the exterior of a building, or will it be physically printed, whether that’s for your business card, product packaging, or label? All these factors are key for your designer to ensure the logo communicates clearly for its intended use.

6.     You need to provide an idea of logos you like and, those you dislike. Be conscious that there may be logos you like because they call out to you or have tremendous brand equity in the market, but what you’re searching for in this exercise are examples of logos that resonate with the brand you’re trying to cultivate.

A good starting point is your competition, to make sure your logo makes sense in your industry or desired space, but beyond the competition it’s also good to do a search to see what other logos and styles you may want. I recommend searching on Pinterest, Instagram & Google and then curating a Pinterest board with logos you like to help guide your designer.

Your research will also help you discern if you want a flat logo, minimalist, typed font (and if typed, serif font or sans serif) vs. cursive, image-based or text based, etc. There are loads of gorgeous logos out there, have a poke around and see what calls out to you and then it’s worth it to test some ideas out with your target audience to see if these types of logos call out to them as well. At the end of the day, you can love how it looks, but it’s paramount it speaks to them. There will be designers that specialize in different types of logos so if you know you want a specific type of logo, seek a designer that does that well.

If you’re in the middle of this process or need any branding support along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d love to help. 

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