How to Write a Logo Design Brief

To get the best, you have to give the best, and this means providing the right documentation to the designers. The right documentation is known as a design brief. We’ll look at what a logo design brief is and help you learn how you to write a good one.





What is a Logo Design Brief?

A logo design brief is a document that instructs the designer about what you’re looking for in a logo. It’s ultimately the designer’s job to fill in the details, but your job is to be as specific as possible about what you want and need from the logo. A logo design brief should include the style you’re looking for (e.g., colors, size, etc.) as well as the deadline and budget for the project.

Why are Design Briefs Important?

The design brief is crucial information to the designer because it helps them define your framework. Instead of having to guess what shade of blue you want your letters to be, they can take your suggestion of cerulean and integrate it into the perfect typography for your business.

What Should be Included?

The first thing you should list is the name of your company (try our Business Name Generator if you still haven’t decided) as well as who your company is and what you do. You’ll also want to include both the culture of your company and the types of customers you’re trying to attract.

If you have a tagline, tell the designer whether you want the text included in the logo. If you have ideas about placement (e.g., the tagline should be written in boxy text surrounding the logo, etc.), write them out as a requirement. Any spacing or capitalizing needs should be well defined too. For example, indicate if you want your business name to read CleanFood instead of Clean Food.

Choosing a Style

When it comes to style directions, here are a few suggestions:

  • Minimal: A minimal style might be just the company’s name with no extras.
  • Modern: Modern style uses clean lines in its design, whether applied to image or text.
  • Classic: This logo will usually pay homage to the retro designs of the mid 20th Century.
  • Complex: Typically reserved for creative companies that want lots of details.
  • Playful: Carefree and light-hearted, usually for brands that appeal to kids.
  • Daring: A logo style that gets in people’s faces and demands their attention.
  • Inclusive: you want to bring everyone to the table and help solve a problem. 

If your brand came to life, who would it be? When you think of your logo as a real person with strengths and flaws, it can give you a better idea of what to tell the designer.

Don’t overwhelm the designers, though. Try to stick with two main traits (e.g., inclusive/minimal or daring/modern). You want your contest participants to have some degree of freedom, but you need to be specific enough so that your entries aren’t all over the map.

You can also include existing logos that you like as an inspiration to the designers. Check out your competitors or just look at famous brands across the ages. And if you need help to Form an LLC and identify what you stand for, we have the tools that you need to help you get your business off the ground.

Tips to Clarify Your Brief

If you’re not sure what kind of colors you want or the image you’re looking for, be honest about this. As long as you’re prepared for designers to interpret this however they see fit, you’ll get the full power of their creative forces.

Make sure that you’re upfront about when you need the first submission and how your revision process works. For example, the contest entry is due within two weeks and designers will have one week to revise if need be.

Designers need to have a strong idea of the timeline they’re working with so they know if they can devote their talents to the project. Contests usually produce results far faster than working with a specific agent or freelancer, but it’s not an overnight process either.

You should be applying the same deadline rules to your budget. You need to be upfront about what you’re paying and whether it’s per project or per hour. If you’re going to pay per hour, make sure that you get an idea of the time estimate from the designer before moving forward.

You should also clarify how many redesigns will be allowed and whether those are included in your budget. For example, one redesign is included in the price.

What to Avoid When Writing a Brief

Here are a few things to avoid when writing a brief:

  • Lengthy explanations: The more you write, the more likely is that the designer will become confused. They won’t know which elements to highlight in the logo.
  • Assuming language: Treat your designers as professionals. Don’t imply that they might plagiarize or otherwise try to sabotage your company.
  • Empty words: Treat every sentence or bullet point in your brief as a direction to the designer. Get to the point and then move onto the next one.

So to recap, the basic structure is business name, company information, design/color preferences, deadline, and budget. You can also add a simple farewell sentence like “Can’t wait to see what you come up with!”

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What to Expect

If you’re working with experienced designers, they’ll be familiar with your industry and how your demographic is likely to respond to your logo. As you’ve probably already guessed, the most experienced ones are also likely to only work at a certain price point.

You can technically make your logo design brief as vague as you want it to be. If you’re really unsure and you don’t mind sifting through the entries, you can write it however you see fit. You might find an up-and-coming designer who nails it immediately for next to nothing. But the more likely scenario is that you’ll end up with logos that you can’t use. The good news is that a failed logo design brief can give you clues on how to write the next one.

Once you’ve mastered the art of a logo design brief, remember the concept can be applied to more than just logos. For example, maybe you want to design company uniforms with funny sayings on the back. You can hold a design contest for this by following the same rules for the logo brief. It can be a great way to secure relationships with designers you’ll use again and again.

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