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Whether you're the client, the designer, or an account manager, you have a vested interest in making sure the goals and scope of your project are crystal clear. A great design brief is like a roadmap.
So, what exactly is a design brief? It's a short document—usually just one or two pages—that clarifies the strategy for a creative project.
Product design brief pdf converter
It documents the goals of the project and starts the plan for how you'll get there. In this article, we'll give you tips on how you can create an effective design brief for your next creative project and help keep you on track.
What is the product or service? How do the customers or clients talk about them?
Get more details: Have the client describe their business as if they just met you at a party—instead of the sales pitch they'd give at a conference. What do they love about their company and what are they most proud of?
Doing it right: Clarify the extent of the campaign, how many platforms will be covered and how the design files will be used. This helps the designer to know, for instance, how the new logo will work online, in print and on other collateral pieces. Creative brief specified specified design for print and online. Describe the customer. What type of businesses are these customers involved with? How often do they buy or use their service?
Get more details : Can you put a face to that customer? For instance, is it a something male or stay-at-home-mom?
Defining the competition helps to clarify the landscape. It helps to clarify the strategy, too, so the designer can make savvy decisions about how to stand out from the crowd.
Get more details: Ask them how they want to be different than their competition. Do their customers often confuse them? Doing it right: Two coffee shops sell the same basic product, coffee, but they appeal to their audiences in quite different ways.
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Mad Cap Coffee Company is bright, bold and urban. Assuming their customers are young, hip professionals is probably right on. Coffee Supreme is earthy, mellow and rustic. Their customer is most likely a little older and aware of the environment. Is the client high-end, helpful, friendly, techy or earthy?
Do they want to be bold and dominant or easily approachable?
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Get more details : What colors does the client like—or not like? Maybe their competition uses blue and green, and they'd like to stand out.
The CEO may also despise the color purple, so this is all good information to know ahead of time. You may want to ask what fonts appeal to them. Consider a variety of serif, san serif and script fonts. Does the client like straight-laced fonts that show seriousness? This will help you figure out the tone of the design pieces. Doing it right: Create a mood board.
Pinterest makes it super easy, but you can also create a mood board on a bulletin or cork board. Tear out ideas from magazines, grab color swatches from a paint store and anything else that inspires you such as pieces of fabric or postcards. Start with a color, then add fonts or type treatments.
How To Write a Product-Brief
Look for photos that illustrate the perfect customer. Is the company looking to grow their mail list, get more clients, gain awareness, sell more of their product or change their image?
Is the goal 4, subscribers? Do they want to increase their sales by 10 percent? Get more details : Do they have a call to action?
Are they looking for customers to click through to buy their product, sign up for a course or make a phone call?
Get more details : Define whether the design budget is separate from the web development piece. Does the budget include any copywriting or photography?
Do materials need to be printed? If so, has this been costed? Get more details : If anyone else is to be included on approvals, make sure to get their name, email address and phone number. Connect Communications, Inc. What is working—and what isn't? Get more details : Are there existing brand guidelines? Are there required fonts or colors? Get more details : Will website copy come from a copywriter? Is a photographer taking photos? If you're the designer, you should also plan to keep the design brief within view as you create concepts.
Finished product: branding campaign by design firm Anagrama for Xoclad. For the design, it will be a fabulous portfolio piece. Here we compare three case studies, and look at what works best.
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The first brief, from Andate Publishing, contains a good deal of useful information but lacks just as much. The team knows what the overall project is, who the audience is and what their strengths are.
Now take a look at the brief from Glitschka Studios. They ask many of the same questions about scope of project and audience. But they also want to know their color preferences and tone, where the materials will be printed and how to measure success of the project. The first brief from PR Guy Online is much too brief no pun intended.
The team knows the contact info and the project scope, but what about budget, deadlines and competition.
This is a super-thorough brief. The designer knows what the project objective is, tone, message, why buyers should believe in TOMS and what buyers believe in. Again, we have too little information gleaned from the first brief from Laughing Guy Media. They know the audience and project concept but have no idea about tone or deadline.
Now jump over to the brief for Krista Kennedy. It includes the scope of project, contact info, problem to solve, audience, sizes of materials needed and deadlines for all pieces. Great creative projects start with a great design brief.
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Who is the client and what do they do? People get in the habit of selling their business instead of talking about it. What is the scope of the project? What is the project? Why do they need designs? What materials do they need? Consider this checklist: If the client needs a logo, do they want a type treatment, an image or both?
How to write a design brief that gets you results
The designer may be responsible for an entire ad campaign or new branding. Clarify what formats are needed for all of the deliverables.
If there are print files, what sizes and formats are needed? If there are social media files, which platforms does the company use? If the designer is creating letterheads, do they need editable Word templates? The next important question: What is the deadline or deadlines?
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