When beginning a design project, I try very hard to sort of get inside a client’s head and figure out what kind of “look” they are imagining for their logo, site, etc. so that I get hit the nail on the head with the first round of options. It can be a challenge though. Conceptual ideas are often difficult to put into words. Obviously, a good brief is an essential part of the design process. There are plenty of articles out there about how to get a good design brief from a client. Two of the best are at Creative Design and at Freelance Switch.

In the last several months though, I’ve been experimenting with adding a questionnaire that has been extremely helpful with clients who have a decent idea of what they want and who are not really looking for consultation on their branding. I’m not sure where I came across this, or I would give credit where it is due.

Rate the items below on a 1-10 scale,
with 1 being the left item and 10 being the right:
1. Elegant ———————- Grungy
2. Modern ———————– Traditional
3. Dark ————————- Light
4. Tight ———————— Loose
5. Personal/Casual ——————— Formal

I wouldn’t always take the above scores as gospel of course. If the answers given conflict with the other information in the design brief, I would want to consult with the client a bit about what they’re really trying to communicate with their brand.

Does anyone else use something like this? Would that kind of questionnaire stifle your creativity or would it be helpful? Is there anything else you would add? If you’re not a designer, I’m curious if you think that such a ranking of qualities would be helpful in getting your ideas across to someone you’ve hired to design something for you?