The Bulletproof Design Brief | Dani Teal | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

The Bulletproof Design Brief

teacher avatar Dani Teal, Artist & designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is a Bulletproof Design Brief


    • 3.

      Understand the Briefing Structure


    • 4.

      Real Life Examples


    • 5.

      Class Project


    • 6.

      Final Thoughts


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Your clients deserve this!

Learn how to make sure your clients love your design services and will return for more!

How to create a Design Brief that will not only meet your client's expectations, but will also save you time and unnecessary revisions after the project is completed.

For all freelance print and surface pattern designers (both beginner and experienced) and anyone who wants to start working with clients, this class is a must! 

By the end of this class, you will have a solid understanding of this effective methodology, and you’ll be able to use it right away with your clients or personal projects.

On the Project & Resources section, you can download the Design Brief templates that you can use for your Class Project. Feel free to can create your own, if you wish.

* If you share your project on social media, please tag I love reposting student work!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dani Teal

Artist & designer


Hey there!!!

Hi! I'm Dani, an artist, surface designer and creative entrepreneur from Brazil, now living in Ireland. 

Here I help designers like you create modern and sellable artwork using a variety of art mediums. I believe anyone can create wonderful designs that others will want to buy.

See full profile

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Design brief is essential for any design project, big or small. In your ability to use and understand the brief can make or break the design. In this class, I'm going to teach you a briefing methodology that covers all the bases and sets you up for success. My name is Danny. I am a print designer and creative director behind any till studio. I have worked with a bunch of clients from all over the world, licensing artwork and creating bespoke designs. And I can assure you that I would not have been able to work on multiple projects at the same time if I hadn't had an effective Briefing Methodology in place. In the beginning, I thought it was incredibly difficult to work with clients. I was afraid I would never be able to create a design that meets the client's expectations while also incorporating my own handwriting. But I'm so glad I give it a try because it helped my business grow and I've learned so much along the way. And guess what? Turns out, it's incredibly simple to develop design briefs that sets you up for success and have your clients want to work with you again and again. Bullet proofs and brief allows you to set your client's expectations for the delivery. It saves you a ton of time during the creative process and prevents you from making unnecessary tweaks after the project is finished. Both beginners and experienced print designers are welcome in this class. By the end, you're going to have a solid understanding of this efficient methodology and you'll be able to use it right away with your clients. As a bonus, you also have access to, to design brief templates plus the questionnaire template that I use with my own clients to develop their design briefs. And you can start using them straight away. If you're ready. Let's get started. 2. What is a Bulletproof Design Brief: You've probably come across design briefs if you're an in-house or a freelance designer, or even if you only work on commission. The design brief is essentially a document that contains all the information required to create a project for your client. It's basically a blueprint that guides you along the creative process so that you don't have to start from scratch. And you will always have that blueprint to tell you what to do and what to design. The design brief is one of the most important documents in any designer's workflow. It's the foundation that every design is built on and it sets the tone for the entire project. Working with clients requires you to communicate with them and understand their vision and ideas so that you know exactly what they need and want for that project in you. The designer can then sets the parameters and guidelines for the finished design. Developing a design brief before you begin each project also allows you to set your client's expectations for the delivery because they will know the style, the color palette, manufacturing specifications, e.g. all upfront. And by using an effective Briefing Methodology, and that's why I call it the bulletproof design brief. Trust me, you're going to save a ton of time and unnecessary two weeks after the project is finished. Before we move on to the next lesson, I'd like to clear up some misconceptions about design briefs. A common mistake I see designers make when working with clients. Not paying attention to this briefing stage because they believe it's a waste of time and they should be focusing on creating the artwork instead. This is so not true. The design brief is a critical component of every design project. Before you begin creating a design, you and your client must agree on what's going to be created. And your client must provide you with a written approval so that you can move forward to the next steps. And because this is the document that contains all the information required to complete the project, you just can't skip it. If you don't create a brief or if your brief is too vague, you run the risk of having to make lots of adjustments later on. We consider the design brief as another contract. A brief contract. You and your client agree on all of the details and if they request additional changes, you can accommodate them for additional fees and your availability. This is fair to both of you, and this is how a professional designer works. Another misconception is that the design brief can be boring and repetitive. But Danny, I just got off the phone with my client. I know exactly what they want. I don't need a brief, it's a simple design, you might say. And I'm here to tell you that. Yes, you do. We may believe the information is crystal clear in our minds until the moment when we show the design to the client. And they say, Oh, this is not what I had in mind. Now, what do you do? If that happens? You're going to have to redo the work. You didn't have a document with all of those specifics. And that can happen more often than you think. Even when using a fantastic brief. Some clients may even change their minds when they see the finished product, or they may feel like repurposing the app or for instance, and they have the right to do so. However, you must protect yourself and be compensated for the work that falls outside of the scope of the project that you had previously budgeted for. Also, when working on multiple projects at the same time as I normally do. It's easy to forget things and you don't want to bother your clients with questions you have already discussed with them. So make a list of everything and create a simple brief. If the design is simple, it doesn't have to be overly complicated. Later in this course, I'm going to teach you how to create briefs for more complex projects and simple brief for the simpler ones. In a nutshell, the bulletproof design brief will provide you with the blueprint of all information you need in order to create a project for your client so that you deliver exactly what they requested with this few adjustments as possible. 3. Understand the Briefing Structure: A compelling design brief must be to the point. So only use information that is relevant to the project. It must be clear that is easy to follow. So try to avoid industry jargons if possible. It also must be concise with a well-written text, and it must be visual. So include imagery that illustrates the color palette, the style of the motifs you're going to design. Provide image references so your clients can see what you're talking about. Now let's take a look at how an effective design brief is structured. Here are the main components of the brief. The first component is product line. What is your design intended for? Before you start any creative process, you must understand what your client produces and the kind of things they want to design for. Fabric accessories, e.g. are usually printed on a small scale. So the artwork must be proportional to the fabric space visible in the finished product. Bedding designs, on the other hand, are typically larger in scale and may not require a seamless repeat layout. The second component is concept. What is the design going to be about? It could be something seasonal like Christmas or Halloween, or it could be summer at the beach. It could also be something as simple as a vintage floral or animal kingdom. Your client will most likely know or have some ideas about the thing they wish to develop with you. You can also help them explore the concept by offering your own ideas and suggestions. And this interaction is extremely beneficial for both of you. And the clients love hearing the designer's vision. After all, they hired you for this creative project so that they could see your handwriting in the finished product. The third one is elements or motifs. Be very specific and try to avoid a generic words. Let's say your client wants a tropical flora. Which flowers and leaves are they referring to? Be specific? Make a list of each flower that will be designed, such as hibiscus, banana leaves. In some ferns, e.g. if they are unsure about which elements they require, show them imagery to assist them in making a decision and discuss with them which ones would be more appropriate for this design. Number four, style. Take note of this tile you're going to use in this design. Is it minimalist, is at your own signature style? Is it modern, playful, traditional digital art? Here are some examples of styles. Again, try to be as specific as possible. If hand painted, stage, the painting technique. If the client does not specify a style they most likely want you to design and the style with which you are most comfortable. However, it is worthwhile to confirm with them. Number five, color palette. Is your client looking for a specific color scheme or are they open to your suggestions? Perhaps they want you to coordinate with a certain color palette that they already use in their items. Or maybe they need Pantone colors. Is there a limit to the number of colors you can use due to manufacturing requirements? You need to find out all of those specifications and incorporate them into the design brief. Number six, scale. The artwork size varies greatly between screening printing. It also varies from one product to the next. Is your client looking for a large-scale design with more indicates details? Or do they want a tiny pattern? Number seven, printing specs and deliverables. It is critical to understand the manufacturing specifications and limitations before creating the artwork. What's the manufacturing process like? What are the constraints? What's the required file size? Is it necessary to separate colors for screen printing? When designing patterns for fabric, e.g. you may have a strict color limitations, so you must know how many colors you must use. A head of time. And number eight, timeline. How long will it take to accomplish this project? When should the final design be delivered to the client? Do you plan on showing it to them and requiring their approval along the way? Share these important dates with your clients so that they know what to expect from you. These are the fundamentals to develop an effective design brief. Make sure you create a professional looking document containing all the information you need and use reference images. Don't forget to ask your client to review the brief and approve it. They can now detail anything they want to change or that you haven't stated in the brief. I guarantee this is going to save you a lot of time after the project is completed. 4. Real Life Examples: In this lesson, I'll show you two examples of design briefs and the final brains I made based on these briefs. So this is a short and super-simple brief. It's basically a mood board and it has all the requirements for this particular project. So one-page only and we have the project specifications. So product line, concept, elements and motifs. I'm going to design the style, the color palette, size, as well as the printing specs. Use imagery to demonstrate the style and color palettes to your clients so they know exactly what you mean. Make sure you show one of your own designs that are in the same style as the project requires. You won't need anything else for simple artworks like this one. However, you must state all the details so that you and your clients are on the same page. And as you can see from this brief, the client wants Chinese magnolias in different shapes and buds, organic lines with take brushstrokes and tiny irregular dots on the background. It's a two Pantone color print. Very straightforward. And now I'm going to show you the print I made from this brief. As you can see, I used the required pentagons. So it's a non-directional print with the brushstrokes, fluoro of Chinese magnolias. Not a different flower, but the Chinese magnolias that were stated in the brief and the tiny dots on the background. Now, a design brief for a more complex artwork. We will have the same components as a simple brief. But this time we're going to delve a little bit deeper into each topic. On the first page, we're going to write a client overview. What's important here is to know the brand concept in values. You can ask the clients for this information, of course, in your questionnaire, or you can just take it from their website if it is there. But be sure to include this in your brief. I also ask the clients brand guidelines if they have it and the logo files. Because in the final delivery, when I use mockups to show the print I made, I'd like to add your logo. This allows the client to see how the design will look like before it's actually created and also make it very unique to the brand. On page two, we're going to write down the project specifications. So a more detailed concept of the new collection, the product line, and the printing attributes. You may ask what if the client doesn't have a design concept or they don't seem to be interested in having one. Well, in this case, I recommend that you explain how important this is to guide the creative process and perhaps offer to develop the concept for the client. This adds value to your services and even allows you to charge a higher price for them. Now, we're going to look at the design elements and motifs. Make sure that each element has an image. You're not going to design a generic abstract brand or just a floral. You must specify the elements that will make the design and use imagery to illustrate what you're saying. Here. It's the lily bouquets. Monstera leaves an animal skin, just like this leopard print here. These are the motives that will make up this design. So display the images that you intend to design so that your client is able to request changes before you begin the project. This will save you a significant amount of time and unnecessary adjustments after the project is completed. You can find royalty-free photos on websites such as and In the style reference section, include images of previous works in the same style. Or if you already have a signature style which is fantastic, you should still mention it here and show have visual examples. The same thing for the color scheme. If your client requests a limited color palette, you must have the exact codes and only use those. Alternatively, they may be open to your suggestion, which is wonderful. However, I still recommend that you list the colors here and perhaps explain that they are only guidelines and that you may change the colors as the project progresses. So for the size, what size should be, how big should each element B? And I usually like to add an example of a similar print type. For this design, e.g. it's a seamless pattern that can be repeated endlessly with no visible seams are interruptions. So I like to have one here to show as well. Last but not least, that project timeline. According to the brief, this project is going to take 4-6 weeks to be completed. The week one is the design brief. Week two to three, first drafts and lots of sneak peeks. Week four to five, Friends delivery, week six, revision and final files delivery. And now I'd like to show you the final design I created in response to this design brief. As you can see, the lily flowers and monstera leaves are done in the style I described in the brief. Everything is in fact exactly as stated in the brief. The color scheme, the scale style in motifs. 5. Class Project: Now it's your turn. Your class project. You're going to create a one-page design brief, including all the specific cations and imagery. Just like we discussed in lesson four, you are not required to create the final artwork, but you're free to do so if you wish. And when you finish your design brief, make sure you upload it to the project gallery so everyone can see. I can't wait to see your design brief. 6. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for watching this class. I hope you've learned how to write your own bulletproof design brief and that you feel confident that you have the resources to use this incredibly effective methodology in your workflow straight away. If you enjoyed this class, please leave a review. Your feedback means a lot to me and we'll help me improve in my future classes. If you have any questions about this class, Use the discussion session down below. And remember to upload your design brief to the project gallery so everyone can see and I can comment as well. If you want to learn more from me or if you want to follow my work, you can visit my website at Danny or follow me on Instagram. Danny tilde dot Studio also makes sure you follow me here on Skillshare. This way you'll be the first to know when I launch a new class. Once again, thank you for taking this class and I look forward to seeing you in the next one. Bye.