Real Briefs for Graphic Design Student’s Reference


College projects often allow a lot of room for interpretation and can be very open which is good but they can lack the substance of ‘live’ work matt mcarthur

After seeing the above comment from Matt McArthur from my post about an HND in Graphic Design it got me thinking. When I was at college I had no real idea of what live design briefs were like or the budget or time allowed. I think if I had, myself and fellow students would have found it a real eye opener.

I wondered if it would be of interest to any graphic design students if I posted up a few of my old design briefs (with clients names etc changed) with a guide to how long I would expect to spend on them?

Often briefs are are very vague and a writen brief is a luxury, usually, I just take notes from a verbal design brief.

If anyone would be interested in this drop me a comment below and I will start to dig out a few old briefs and write them up for you as soon as I get time. If any other designers have old briefs (no rude comments please) they are prepared to share email me – mail @ (remove spaces) and I will post with your link.

Anu suggestions for the type of “real design briefs” you would like to see are welcomed in the comments below.

Update: You can now find sample design briefs here

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  1. Posted April 16, 2007 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    I’d love to see some! We always complain when the profs don’t give us a detailed brief, and they say that it’s not going to get any better in the real world lol.

  2. admin
    Posted April 16, 2007 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I am afraid its true live briefs are often very vague. I will post some briefs as soon as a get a minute.

  3. Posted April 16, 2007 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Hehe – looks like I’ve triggered something there! Would be interesting to see for sure.

  4. admin
    Posted April 16, 2007 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    You have, hope you don’t mind?


  5. Posted April 16, 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Not at all – I’m very intruiged!

  6. Posted July 29, 2007 at 11:22 pm | Permalink


    Would love any copies of briefs you have, I have just started a small design biz with my mate, and we struggle on the brief side of things, as expected hehe.

  7. Posted July 30, 2007 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    HI Brett

    I will see what I can sort out in the next few of weeks, but in the mean time if you check my design resources section I have listed a website which has several samle briefs. Also on my design resources pages you will find downloadable job sheets, sample invoice, design brief sheet and a freelance rates calculator which you may find useful.

  8. Katie Egan
    Posted September 27, 2007 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi I have just read your article, I have just been set a project at university to find a brief online. I was wondering if you could send a few my way, I’m mostly interested in product design, packaging design and 3d design. Thank you, Katie Egan

  9. Posted September 28, 2007 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Hi Katie

    I am absolutely frantic at the moment trying to sort things out for an exhibition I am doing next week. Please can you drop me an email (via contact form) in a week or so to remind me and I will see what I can sort out for you. In the mean time take a look at this post which has a link to some briefs.

  10. james
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    im in my first year or graphic design and have just been given our briefs for the second semester, which is find/create your own brief, so it would be really useful to see some examples.


  11. Graeme
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Permalink


    Amateur here! I think I might be in the wrong area to post here but is it OK to ask a question? It’s about Templates again! My son’s friend’s boss would like a web site for his company. I have the idea and have come across a template that would suit as it’s similar to what I want. I will need to tweak the code a little and obviously other parts including the CSS but is it OK to use templates? I understand the coding and everything but should I use it?

    Thank you as always,

    Best wishes

  12. Posted March 26, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Graeme, I think its ok to use it as long as you give credit to the original creator – ie. template by XXX customised by (your name)

  13. Graeme
    Posted March 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Tara,

    I was wondering what you and the others thought about the boxed web sites that you can buy from the store? My son’s friend has asked me to re-design his bosses company web site for him and when I asked for the URL and hosting details he gave me this box. I would rather re-design using the regular way.

    Thank you as always,

    Best wishes

  14. Posted March 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    HI Graeme, I’m sorry but I don’t have any experience with boxed websites. Most of my work is design for print and the web design I have done I have always just bought hosting from hostgator and used wordpress.