Learn about what’s happening inside Turquoise Creative, along with interesting extras!
How to write a good design brief to get the design you want!
How do you get exactly the design you want? The ideal design you envisage in your mind, the one to take your business to the next level? A good creative design brief is the answer.
A thorough design brief is the single most critical factor to ensure your project is successful.
What is a design brief?
A design brief is critical to the success of any creative design project as it provides the designer with all the relative information needed to exceed expectations.
A design brief needs to focus on the results and outcomes of the design and the overall business objectives of the project.
It should not attempt to suggest how the aesthetics of design could look… that’s the designer’s responsibility.
As a client, the design brief allows you to focus on exactly what you want to achieve from the design project, before any work begins.
A good design brief will ensure you get a professional design that meets your business requirements.
How to write a good design brief
The questions below are designed to help you crystallise your thoughts and provide your designer with a complete creative design brief.
Please make sure you have fun answering the questions and remember, provide as much detail as possible!
1. What does your business do?
• What does your company do?
• What is your company’s history?
Tip: Don’t assume the designer will know everything about your company. Be concise and avoid jargon.
2. What are the goals? Why?
• What is the overall goal of the design project?
• What do you want to communicate and why?
• Are you looking to sell products or increase brand awareness of your product or services?
• How are you different from your competitors?
• Are you looking to rebrand or simply updating your promotional material?
Tip: Give the designer copies of all your current marketing material.
3. Who is the target market?
• Map out your target market demographics? e.g. age, gender, income, tastes, views, attitudes, geography, lifestyle of your potential customers.
Tip: If your market has multiple audiences, list them in order of importance.
4. What copy (text) and pictures are needed?
• What copy do you need to include within the design? Where is the copy coming from e.g.your marketing department?
• What pictures / photographs / diagrams etc. need to be used?
Tip: The copy and pictures used in a design are as crucial as the design itself and you should clearly state who is going to be providing the copy and pictures if needed. You may need to consider engaging a professional copywriter or photographer – ask your designer for some recommendations.
5. What are the specifications?
• What size / format is the design going to be?
• Where is it going to be used? On the internet, stationery, marketing brochures on your car?
• What other information can you give the designer?
6. Have you got a benchmark in mind?
• What other material do you consider would assist the designer. This could be your competitors’ brochures.
• Remember things not to do are just as important, for example styles that you do not like or wish to see in your design.
7. What Is your budget?
• Providing the budget upfront allows designers to advise if the project is going to be possible to complete.
• Providing a budget allows designers to match valuable time and resources to maximise your budget.
8. What is the time scale / deadline?
• Make sure you give the designer a detailed schedule of the project. Set a realistic deadline for the completion of the work. Always take into account the different stages of the design project for example consultation, concept development, proof reading, production and delivery.
Tip: Rushing a design job through helps no one and mistakes can arise, especially if a complex project is pushed through without time for reviewing it.
Occasionally, there are times when a job needs to be completed quickly. In these cases you should be honest and clear with your designer.
Now that you know how to write a good design brief, give it a go and email us!Other articles relevant to :
Your brand is more than your logo. In a commercial context, brands are all about connecting customers to businesses.
Your logo and its ability to send out the right signals about your brand and what it represents is an all-important connecting tool in your business armoury. But it’s not the only tool.
To make that logo as powerful as possible and to give it an appropriate context, it’s essential to first identify and define the heart of your brand, its purpose and its cause. This is what branding means in the truest sense.
I’d like to share with you, exactly what that means for your business.
There are five key points to consider about your brand:
1. If marketing is how your business goes-to-market, then your brand is your Marketing Director, informing the focus of all marketing activity. From the products and services through to your people, your environment, processes and support systems – it encompasses your entire business proposition! Marketing without brand clarity is like playing the lottery, characterised by the highs (when you get lucky) and the lows (when you’re not) and having no idea of what’s working and what’s not. It’s a frustrating and inconsistent approach which doesn’t need to happen. Is your brand’s proposition clear and compelling for your most valuable customers and advantaged versus competitors and reflected in all your brand does?
2. Brands are all about making the right connections for your business. The right connections allow your business access to the right customers, the right channels, the right prices, the right territory in the market. Is your brand set up to make the right connections? Is it better at making those connections than your direct competitors?
3. Who are your most valuable customers? What are their needs? How does your brand address these needs, so it becomes the best solution for these people? Brands (not blands!) are defined by their actions. They stand for something clear and valuable to some and stand out from their competitors as a result. A powerful brand can clearly project what it represents and why that’s valuable to those it wants to connect with.
4. A brand is a promise, it’s not a logo. What does your brand promise and does it keep to it every time? What is its sense of purpose and how does that resonate with your most valuable customers?
5. What is your strategy to create tribes of Raving Fans – customers who love what your brand does for them, so they not only do they keep coming back for more want more but will also, crucially, willingly and strongly recommend your brand to others. Businesses that successfully and profitably create Brand Fans typically grow 2.5 times faster than those businesses in their market that don’t. Now that’s worth having and exploiting!
So, there’s a lot more to ‘branding’ than that all-important logo. If you correctly gear your brand to your business, it will become one of your most powerful growth enablers and you should be using it for all it’s worth.
Is your brand working as hard as it could be to take your business to the next level? We’d love to discuss that question with you and explore what more could be done – why not get in touch!Other articles relevant to :
What is a brand refresh?
Firstly, you are probably wondering what exactly is a brand refresh.
A brand refresh can be thought of as a facelift or renovation of your brand. It is not a total overhaul of your brand (that is always an option) but something far simpler.
Why would you consider a brand refresh?
We all know that change is a fact of business life. Businesses evolve. New products may be introduced appealing to a new types of customers. So whatever size your business is you must adjust to reflect your changing business and stay one step ahead of the competition.
Branding is all about distinguishing yourself from your competitors. But in marketing, it’s not just about differentiation, it’s about setting your brand apart and standing out from the crowd. Is your brand an asset or a liability in that endeavour?
So, to change the way your company is perceived a few tweaks here and there to your branding will help.
By making simple alterations to your branding and positioning, you can:
- Maintain your brand’s integrity
- Inject a new energy into your business
- Iron out any brand inconsistencies
- Ensure your company’s image is current in an ever changing world
- Generate a buzz among existing customers and employees
Many businesses are taking this route as it requires far less risk than a complete brand overhaul and can get you the results you desire.
Your business may already have a logo that works well, but things change with time and you need to make sure your business doesn’t become out-of-date.
How do you know when it’s the right time to refresh your brand?
If your business is facing one of these 5 scenarios, a brand refresh (or facelift) is definitely worth thinking about.
1. Is your branding out-of-date?
Your logo might have been revolutionary when you started your business, but now it has aged and your business’s image is suffering as a result. Take an honest look at your visual branding and assess whether it’s moving you forward or holding you back.
2. Have your products / services changed?
Is your brand messaging an accurate reflection of who you are and what you offer today, or is it outdated? Most companies grow and evolve over time to stay relevant. As an example, Starbucks originated in 1971 as a retailer of coffee bean roasting, and their brand identity up until 2011 featured the word “coffee” but over the years they have expanded their business to include espresso beverages, teas, ice cream, etc. which ultimately led to dropping “coffee” from their name.
3. Is your branding inconsistent?
Perhaps you use one version of your logo on printed materials and another on your website, along with all the various strap lines because you can’t decide which work. This can be detrimental to your brand. You need to be consistent or your clients won’t understand what you are offering and to make it worse, you may be seen as sloppy and unreliable.
4. Are you reaching your target audience?
Has your target market shifted since you created your brand, or maybe you have changed the audience your product and services are aiming at? In this case, a refresh will allow you to reach exactly the people you want.
5. Is your business preparing for growth?
If your business is adding in new product lines, or considering a merger, then this is a good time to reassess your brand and make sure it has the strength to carry your business through such changes.
If you recognise any of these scenarios and feel that it’s time to review whether your brand is a true reflection of your business, give us a call. We’d love to hear your story and perhaps we can help. Call on 01293 886805 or email us.
Click on the Alkira brand refresh to see more examples
Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition – when you’re planning to spend a significant amount on exhibiting at a show, how can you make sure you gain the maximum possible return on your investment?
Getting your graphic designer involved at an early stage makes a huge difference, as GEW found out this year.
GEW (EC) Limited designs and manufactures UV curing systems for printing, coating and industrial applications. They have just returned from exhibiting in Brussels at LabelExpo Europe, the world’s largest event for the label and package printing industry, attracting in excess of over 35,000 visitors.
This was a significant event for GEW. Not only were they a major sponsor,but they were alsoe launching the new ArcLED hybrid UV curing system to the international label industry. Their stand and supporting graphics needed to deliver maximum impact and appeal.
Turquoise Creative : working with us
Planning started 8 months before the exhibition, where creating the overall concept through to stand design and build was crucial to the success.
The Product : branding and design
At this early stage there was merely a fantastic product. Together with the marketing team, we had several creative brainstorming sessions to create the brand. ArcLED was born along with the visual look and feel for the new product branding. We now had a starting point for the advertising and production of all marketing material for the exhibition.
Pre Exhibition : advertising design
Promotion started prior to the exhibition, which required the design of a targeted advertising campaign to ‘tease’ the new product into the marketplace.
The Stand : space planning and design
As well as the stand being eye catching, which was achieved through lighting, imagery and suspended banners, we wanted visitors to feel comfortable about stepping into the space and engaging with GEW.
Off-stand : sponsorship brand design
As sponsors of the exhibition this gave GEW a number of other promotional opportunities, from floor tiles to the amazing Backlit Astrid Walkway billboard. The design of which all had to be consistent in both terms of brand styling, imagery and message.
Turquoise Creative : Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition
Much of the success of the show for GEW lies in their foresight to engage with Turquoise Creative many months prior to the exhibition. This enabled us to really understand what our client’s objectives were and the messages they needed to convey. This insight allowed us to create the design that reflected GEW’s brand, values and products.
You hear about people going the extra mile for their clients. In this case, it was literal. We jumped on a plane to Brussels and visited GEW on their stand! It was immensely satisfying to see many months of hard work come together.
Turquoise Creative’s tips for a successful exhibition
If you are planning to exhibit at a show here are our top tips:
- Planning – plan your exhibition design and all supporting graphics well in advance
- Message – create a strong consistent product message
- Listening – does your designer listen to what your objectives are?
- Asking – do they ask questions to really understand and then listen again?
- Direction – listen to what your designer has to say (it will keep you on the right track!).
If you wish to gain maximum impact from exhibiting at a show please give us a call on 01293 886805 or email us.Other articles relevant to :
Graphic design is more important to your business than you think
Stop for a moment and think of some of the world’s most iconic brands.
What makes them so unforgettable? And what can business owners, of all sizes, learn from them to gain the impact we desire?
It’s usually standout graphics, powerful packaging, appealing advertising or well-written copy. These attributes are achievable for SMEs, even acknowledging that their budgets are minute in comparison to these giants.
Apple, Inc. is known for their amazing packaging designs, use of large areas of white space, gorgeous product photography and beautiful typography.
Nike uses type in a different way and creates maximum impact, inspiring imagery and bold colour palettes which all portray the energy and lifestyle their brand requires. Apple and Nike aren’t just examples of powerful branding, but outstanding graphic design.
If you are a business owner, you may have hundreds of concerns to address during your working day, so you might be tempted to ignore the need for professionally crafted graphic design.
However, utilising a professional a graphic designer could be the integral step in the process of establishing and maintaining a successful business.
So what is graphic design, and how can good design help your business?
Graphic design is the process of visual communication, and problem-solving through the use of type, space, image and colour.
Graphic design helps you make a great first impression. Consumers tend to gravitate towards better-designed products, while providing a positive anchor in their minds. Good design gives you instant credibility, inspires confidence and trustworthiness, and clearly communicates its point to your audience.
Poor graphic design can have an adverse effect on your product or brand!
Have you ever visited a website that was hard to navigate, or an advertisement in a magazine that was hard to figure out?
Perhaps you left the website feeling frustrated and didn’t complete the task that brought you there.
Furthermore, an advertisement that is difficult to read or visually disorienting would fail to get your attention long enough to convey the message it was trying to. Advertisers spent thousands of pounds that fail to convert to a sale, and worse the design the costlier it can be for a business.
Good graphic design connects a marketing piece together.
Typography, colours, images, and the hierarchy are the resources a graphic designer uses to create a design that clearly communicates brand, information and value in an eye-catching way. Designers use these principles to minimise distracting, less-important elements and highlight the things that are important, allowing viewers to quickly see what they need to know to decide on a purchase.
Good graphic design make good business sense…
If you feel that your branding is inconsistent or elements of design are letting you down, let’s have a chat. Give me a call on 01293 886805 or email me.Other articles relevant to :