A logo design brief is a roadmap – a short document underlining what the final outcome of the project is. Writing a good logo design brief is just as important as hiring the right designer. It’s what helps us understand your vision, your business, and your thoughts about how customers should feel when they think of you – this roadmap helps us design a high-quality logo that will do your business justice.
Let’s talk about what it’s important to have in a brief, why it’s important, and at the end I’ll give you a template you can use next time you want to hire a designer.
Tell us about your business
The background information about your business is useful for us to understand your services and products, and how we can create a brand that your customers can relate to.
We want to know about your industry, what you’re selling, what makes your company special; and if you have any important brand values or stories to tell, we’d like to know about those too. It’s impossible to incorporate everything into a logo, so there will always be priorities and trade-offs. The elements that make you special will go straight to the top of the list.
Another important factor is who your customers are. In order to promote your company, you need to know who you’re trying to promote it to. Are you targeting a particular industry, age group, demographic? The more details you can give us, the more it will allow us to create a logo that will target that exact group.
In order to design a logo fit for all purposes, we’d also like to understand where it will be used. Will it be mostly on your website, social media, and ads, or do you plan to print large banners and spread them around the city? Do you ship packages on which you want to print your logo, or even better – maybe you deliver your service in branded cars? Your brand should shine through in all these instances, and the logo is a brand’s main outlet. It’s important to understand where it will be shown, in order to design something fit for purpose.
Tell us about your style
A logo should be original, otherwise it won’t represent your business properly. Your logo should stand out as yours. While we never know in which direction a project will go, it’s always nice to listen to your ideas. If you’ve seen an icon that you like, an illustration that you stared at for a bit too long, or even a colour palette that you don’t like, we want to know about them.
If you haven’t got any particular ideas, but you’ve seen a logo that you like, feel free to send that to us as well. This will tell us about your taste. What’s important is that the logos you send are similar to the one you want. Don’t send Nike’s logo if you’re not looking for a minimalist style. It’s also important to differentiate between logos you like (say Alfa Romeo’s, which is quite complex), and logos that would fit well with your business (say something simple like Puma’s).
Tell us about feelings
Some of the best briefs I’ve seen included the feelings the brand should convey. When you look at Headspace’s logo, it makes you feel calm – almost like the feeling you get when you’re on your balcony at sunset. It’s not the same feeling you get when you see the AC/DC logo, which is about everything else other than calmness. It’s also interesting to see how the two designers achieved widely different results, but they’ve both used simple styles.
If you know what you want customers to feel when they see your logo, that’s a powerful element to put in your design brief.
Tell us about timing and budget
When you work with me, by the time I’ll ask you for the brief, we’d have already discussed this. But in case you choose to work with someone else, another thing you might want to mention in your brief is how fast you want your logo to be done and how much you’re willing to pay for it.
While it’s never comfortable to talk about money, it’s important for a designer to know which budget to stick to. Are you willing to pay per-project or on an hourly basis? If it’s the former, how many revisions do you want included? An experienced designer should be able to hold your hand through this. If not, it might not be the right designer.
Keep in mind that in logo design you truly get what you pay for. You won’t get an incredible logo for $150. You might strike lucky once, but the chances are minimal. The fee you’re willing to pay is equal to the results you’ll get.
More details, better results
When putting a logo design brief together, you want to follow this rule: the more details you give us, the better work we’ll be able to deliver. Don’t be afraid of adding too much information, because a good designer will be able to see a red thread and use only the most important elements. It’s always better to give too many details than too few.
If you’re ready to hire someone to design your logo and brand identity, you can use my template as a starting point. Feel free to edit, add, and remove anything as you see fit.