How to write a useful design summary and get the design you want!

Problem Solving

How to write a useful design summary and get the design you want!


Whether you are a designer or a client, an important design summary is about making sure a project is successful. This article will tell you how to write a useful design summary that will benefit both the client and the designer. This article will be from the customer’s point of view.


First, you may want to know what a design summary is. A design summary is essential for any design project as it will provide the designer with all the information needed to meet your expectations.
A design summary should primarily focus on the design decisions and decisions and the business objectives of the design project. It should not try to tackle the aesthetics of the design… it is the responsibility of the designer.
The design summary also allows you (the customer) to focus on what you want to achieve before embarking on any work on the project.
A good design summary ensures you get the highest quality design that meets your needs and you have chosen the right designer.


If you answer these questions in an orderly and detailed style, your design summary will be 90% complete… The other 10% will come from the designer after submitting your summary.
Have fun answering questions and remember, provide as much detail as possible! This does not mean one line answers.

What does your business do?

Tip: Never assume that the designer will know anything about your company. Be clear and concise and avoid jargon when replying.
  • What does your company/organization do?
  • What is your company’s history?

What are the goals? Why?

  • What is the overall goal of the new design project?
  • What are you trying to communicate and why?
  • Are you trying to sell more products or get awareness of your product/service?
  • How do you differ from your competitors?
  • Do you want to completely reinvent yourself or are you simply updating your promotional material?
Tip: You should also provide old promotional material to assist the designer.

Who is the target market?

  • What are your target market’s demographics & psychographics? ie. the age, gender, income, tastes, views, attitudes, employment, geography, the lifestyle of those you want to reach.
Tip: If you have multiple audiences, rank them in terms of importance.

What copy (text) and images are required?

Tip: The copy and images used in a design are just as important as the design, and you should clearly state who is going to provide the copy and images if needed. You may want to consider

  • getting a professional copywriter/photographer – ask your designer for some suggestions.
  • What copy should be included in the design? Who provides the copy?
  • What images/photos/drawings should be used? Who provides these?

What are the specifications?

  • What size will the design be?
  • Where is it going to print/use? Web, business cards, stationery in your car?
  • What other information does the designer need to know about the specifications?

Have you got a benchmark in mind?

  • Even if they come from your main competitors, you should provide the designer with some examples that you consider to be effective or relevant design. This will set a criterion for your designer.
  • Give the designer the things you should not do and the styles you like or want to see in your design. This will give the designer an idea of ​​what to avoid and avoid disappointment on your part.

What Is Your Budget?

  • Prevents designers from wasting valuable time and resources trying to maximize your budget.
  • Providing a budget in advance allows designers to know if it is worthwhile to complete the project. Make sure you value their time.

What is the time scale/deadline?

  • Give the designer a detailed schedule of the project and set a realistic timeline to complete the tasks. You need to take into account the various stages of the design project such as consulting, concept development, production, and distribution.

Tip: Rushing design work does not help anyone and mistakes can not be made if you are pushed without time to reconsider a complex job, however, there are times when urgent work is required, in these cases you need to be honest and transparent.


As a designer it is important for customers to have a template like this because customers will never come to you with a design summary – do not hesitate to use it as you wish. By preparing a template, it will show them your expertise and ultimately (you) save a lot of time and money.

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