• Design

    A creative brief, also called a design brief, is a set of specifications for a design that you want to create. It includes sections like: the purpose of the design, the dimensions of the images, what kind of file type you need, etc. The brief makes it clear to your designer exactly what they need to produce for you.

    If you’ve never worked with a designer before, you may not be sure the best way to describe your project to them and may not know which details you should include to get a design that fits your vision. Even if you have an in-house designer or have worked with designers before, using a creative brief can streamline communication as well as make it easier for new designers to get up to speed with your company’s brand style.


    Your creative brief should focus on the outcome of your design rather than the aesthetics of your design. You should allow the designer to use their skills to create something that is individual to your business. However, you should try to provide your designer with as much background information as possible.

    Don’t assume that a freelance designer knows about your company’s style. Introduce your business so that they have some idea of your expectations. Give them a clear idea about what your company does so that they can create images that are relevant to your niche. Make sure your designer understands the goals of the design and also understands the products or services that you offer.

    Infographic for design brief template


    Using a creative brief will help you save a lot of time in the long run, especially when working with multiple designers. You will be able to avoid chatting back and forth discussing basic details if they are clearly written in a brief.


    Your designer can help you add to your creative brief by asking you relevant questions and by including information such as the color palette, fonts, tone of voice, etc. that they’ve used in previous designs. This document will become particularly valuable to future designers as they will be able to start from a specific structure and be able to create images that are consistent with your existing designs.



    We’ve found through our own experiences working both with in-house designers and freelance designers that they tend to do best when you give specific deadlines rather than asking them “how long” it will take them to complete a certain project. If you’re not sure how long something should take, you could try asking anyone that you know in a relevant business for an estimate of the amount of time that would be appropriate for the specific task. Even so, consider how long it takes to create a painting. A painting can take an hour or a year, depending on the artist’s vision.


    Giving a concrete time frame can help the designer to craft an image that fits in with your company’s budget. Skilled designers work quickly and should be able to give you a rough draft in as little as an hour. In fact, this is often how we’ve worked with freelance designers. You can pay them for one hour of their time to create a rough draft. Then you can review it and decide whether what they created matches your expectations before hiring them for the full job.


    By the same token, don’t get too hung up on the hourly cost of a designer. We’ve found that we’ve actually saved money working with a more expensive designer. Experienced designers can often be much faster to catch on to your vision and create something that you really love and want to use over and over again. Visual elements in your blog posts and social media are extremely important in crafting your brand’s identity and finding a good designer can make a big difference in the impact that your images have on your audience.

    Image of creative brief sections for sop template



    Included in the SOP provided above are various sections that you need to fill out before you pass the creative brief document to your designer. The first section includes the client information. Even if your organization is small or you are bootstrapping a business, including the Client Information section is an easy way for the designer to know who to contact and who to pass the files to once the design is complete.


    The Client Information section also helps designers who are working on multiple projects to keep things in order. Staying organized helps projects be more cost-effective as you won’t waste time or resources passing questions back and forth or digging around for files and information about a project in the future. Everything is laid out clearly in the creative brief document and the designer can get started with the actual design work right away instead of coming back to the project manager with a list of questions.


    The next section that you’ll need to include is the Project Overview. This section includes information about which platform the design will be used for (Instagram, blog, printed flyer, etc.) along with any details about the project that may be relevant such as whether the design is going to be part of a marketing kit for a specific product or if the project is ongoing. If you’re unsure about some of the details, don’t get too hung up on this section. This should just be a brief, quick and dirty overview of how you’re going to use the designs. You can add more details as the project progresses and the brief will become even more useful for subsequent projects.


    The next section included in the SOP download is the Purpose of your design. In this section you should describe what you want your designer to achieve once the product is complete. For example, you may be creating social media images for a campaign to sell a specific product in which case you should include detailed information about the product.


    Target Audience is the next section of the design brief. Here you will include details about who the images are meant for. If you’ve created a target avatar before, you should pass this information to your designer so that they can adjust the style of the design to match the interests of that audience. If you haven’t created a target avatar or brand style guide, here is our Brand Style Guide template which includes a section on defining your target audience.



    The next section of the creative brief template is about the deliverables. Deliverables in short just means what stuff the designer is going to pass back to you when they are finished with the design. Clarify to your designer the dimensions of your design as well as what file types (PNG, JPG, etc.) you need with the working files. As a rule, you should ask your designer for the working files for any design. The working files are the files the designer has used to create the design such as Photoshop files, Adobe Illustrator files, etc.


    These files are valuable to you because in the future, if you work with a different designer, they will have the option to start with the existing working files as a template to create any new images that you may want to look similar to your current images. The working files also make it possible for you to change text or adjust parts of the design in the future if you decide you want to just tweak a design rather than have somebody go back and create a new design from scratch.

    How to define tone of voice for creative brief


    In the next section, Style and Tone, you should detail your brand style such as the colors that you want to use, font styles, and text that you want to include. To make things easier, you can create a brand book. If you haven’t done this already, you can go to our Style Guide SOP and create your own using the template provided. This will become a valuable resource for yourself, your team members and your freelancers so that you can all stay on the same page regarding your brand’s style. Consistency is crucial in creating a clear brand identity and a brand book can be an invaluable way to maintain that consistency.


    The designer should also know the tone of voice that they should use or the tone that your images should reflect. Ask yourself questions such as: Is the tone formal or more relaxed? Do you want to use humor or should the designs convey a more serious tone? Is the content edgy or should it be family-friendly?  

    No doubt before you hand over this design brief, you’ll have seen other websites and social media content that have inspired you. You should include this information in the Resources section at the end of your design brief. Add links to designs that you like, existing designs from your company, links to your brand book or Style Guide, links to information about your target audience, links to your social media channels and whatever else will help you designer successfully complete this project.You may also detail how your business differs from your competitors so that your designer can create something unique for your brand.

    How to write a creative brief for designers infographic


    The SOP provided is completely editable so you can add any additional sections that you think will be useful to your designer. The more you work with these briefs, the more efficient you will become and the more complete they will be.


    Record questions the designer asks you throughout the design process and use this information to create an even more detailed Creative Brief the next time around. Even if you are a small or medium-sized business, you should aim to create detailed documentation as if you are a million-dollar business. Creating this documentation may feel tedious and unnecessary at first, but as you grow you will realize how critical it is to scaling your business quickly.

    Using a creative brief can help you feel more confident and appear more professional while working with designers. We hope this SOP template proves an invaluable resource for crafting designs that you love. Good luck!

  • Design

    Once you’ve built an Android app, it’s time to think about the promotional materials that you’ll put together in order to get the app seen and downloaded in the Android market. Since you’ve spent so much time and effort on developing the app, many of these promotional details may have been pushed to the back-burner.

    The truth is, some of these details are just as important as how your app functions because they may be the determining factor for whether or not a user will download your app. One of these details is the feature graphic, which appears at the top of the screen when you look at the details for an app in the Google Play App Store.

    The feature graphic acts as a visual summary to describe your app’s purpose and its benefits to users who may not have ever seen or used it before. The image should be colorful and eye-catching in order to stand out in the sea of apps in Google Play or any other Android app markets.

    feature graphic example for android play market

    Android Feature Graphic Rules

    Feature graphics must follow the guidelines that Google provides in order to fit perfectly in the space provided in Google Play. It’s better not to take a graphic that you used for a different promotional spot, like on your Facebook page or your app splash screen, and stretch it so that it fits in the feature graphic space. The feature graphic should be specifically designed for use in the Google Play Store.

    That being said, you can certainly use elements or the style from other graphics you’ve created for your app. Just make sure that your designer creates the feature graphic using the dimensions outlined by Google. The design requirements can be found in the SOP document available for download above.

    feature graphic for localization of app

    When considering the design of your feature graphic, think about whether you plan to translate the app into different languages in the future. If this is the case, you should think carefully whether or not you want to include any text within the feature graphic. Google allows you to change the feature graphic for each language but this may end up being a an unnecessary use of your time, especially if you plan on keeping the style of the app updated with market design trends.

    If you can come up with an image for the feature graphic that describes your app without any text, it will simplify your work in the long run. Additionally, try to avoid using screenshots of your app in the feature graphic or you will need to update the graphic every time you make changes to your app.


    The Importance of the Feature Graphic

    The feature graphic is the very first thing that your audience will see related to your app after they click on the app icon in Google Play. They will see this graphic before they see the your app’s written description. They may even judge your app based solely on this graphic.  

    Creating the feature graphic for an app is often an overlooked or rushed task, but it’s important to spend a little bit of effort creating a graphic that grabs the attention of your target audience. Choose bright colors, simple messaging and make sure you don’t crowd the space with unnecessary images or text. This will encourage users to download your app which in turn will lead to a higher ranking in Google Play and more potential revenue for your team.

    take time to create a quality feature graphic

    As the design is so important for the feature graphic, outsourcing this task to a designer with a marketing background may be a good idea if you don’t have one in-house. Experienced graphic designers will understand the best layout for the space and will know which elements to include within the graphic to attract the attention of your audience. The designer can use some of the working files from your user-interface design and playfully incorporate them into a graphic which becomes an eye-catching ad for your app.

    The SOP document that will be emailed directly to your inbox is a creative brief with all the instructions that your designer needs to create a feature graphic for Google Play.

    You will get a PDF and a DOCX that you can edit yourself to add in your specific requests or details. Pass the SOP to your designer and they will pass the feature graphic back to you. Good luck on your project!

  • Design

    There are lots of tools out there to create your own social media images, but if you really want to make your mark on social, you can outsource your images and have a designer create your images by following this social media graphics checklist.


    Using social media images have been shown to improve social media shares, earn more retweets, and get more engagement. Your social graphics are also a great way to show your companies values and shows your audience what your brand is about.


    To make sure your audience recognizes your social media graphics, you need to keep certain aspects of your images uniform. Many experts recommend keeping your companies logo in the same location on every image and using your brand colours or text.

    Although you probably won’t use all of your brand’s colour or type fonts in every image, using 1 or 2 of them throughout your graphics will create a connection between your business and your social campaign. When your audience sees your images, they’ll instantly recognize your brand.

    To make sure your designer and team use a consistent theme for your social media graphics, you might consider creating a style guide for your brand.

    Buzzfeed’s Proper Tasty videos have the same visual style, making their recipes instantly recognizable on Facebook.


    If you haven’t yet established type fonts for your business you can use several tools that can help you use find fonts that work together visually. Choose the main font for headlines, another for subtitles and a font that is easy to read for the body text.

    For example, you might use a similar version of a font such as italics or bold for your subtitle and use a contrasting font for the body. Try to keep the body text as simple as possible, so that it’s easier for people to read. There are several fonts that fit the bill including Georgia, Helvetica, Open Sans and Verdana.


    Selecting your brand’s colours is an important part of establishing your brand. You might employ a designer to help you choose colours that reflect the values and niche of your business.

    Once you’ve chosen the main colour for your brand, you can easily find an aesthetic colour combination using tools such as Paletton to find complementary colours or Color-Hex for similar colours and to browse colour palettes.

    To help your audience recognise your brand, it’s important to keep the colours of your social media images consistent throughout.

    Marmite consistently uses their unmistakable yellow and black colours through their Instagram content. There’s often strong product placement too, with a jar of Marmite in almost every post.


    Each platform has its own size guidelines for images, so it’s important to create your graphics for the social media platforms you’ll be using. Optimised images will look much better and also shows professionalism. Of course, cross-posting across platforms is a common occurrence now, and it is possible to reuse certain images over several social media platforms.


    Here’s a list of sizes for shared social images as of 2018:


    If you’re using images, either stock or your own photos you should try and keep them thematically similar. They should be a visual reflection of your brand, whether you’re a company or a person. Your images are also a good way to show your businesses character.

    If you’re using overlays for text in your images, you should consider keeping the location of the layer the same in every image, which will help to further your brand’s recognition.


    Similarly, if you’re using filters or effects, choose 1 or 2 for your social images and continue to use them throughout.

    By following and creating visually consistent social media images you can establish templates that will not only create brand recognition but will allow the quick and continuous creation of your social media images.

    Download your free social media graphics checklist to make outsourcing your social media images a breeze.

  • Design

    A favicon is the tiny icon that appears on the left in the browser tab when somebody is viewing any of the pages of your website. Most website creators don’t spend much time creating and implementing the favicon. This tiny design element however, plays a great role in your brand’s identity. Consider how often you have multiple tabs open in your web browser. Even those of you out there who have sworn off multitasking know how often they have a multiple browser tabs open.

    A well-designed favicon can make it easy to navigate back to the pages that you want to view, even without reading the text on the browser tab. You can give your website a more solid brand identity by spending some time on this little bitty icon. After all, this icon appears on every webpage you publish!

    you can often recognize websites by their favicon image

    Back in the day, when Google analytics was still just a dream, many website owners used the favicon to estimate the traffic to their sites by tracking the amount of people who added the site to the their bookmarks. These days the favicon is more about the user experience.


    The favicon should be a graphical representation of your brand. While it may be tiny, it can help your brand stand out in a big way. Websites that don’t design and implement a custom favicon resort to using the default icon for the platform used to develop the website. Using this default icon can make your project look overall unpolished and unprofessional.

    Make sure you aren’t distracting the user from all the great content that you offer on your website by implementing the favicon in all of the necessary places of your site’s code. After you complete the SOP available for free above, you’ll not only have all the formats needed for your favicon but you’ll have the HTML code needed to implement the favicon on your website.


    Due to the limited space for the favicon you shouldn’t just stick in any image, like your brand’s logo, and expect it to look good when made into a favicon. You should make sure you have a designer create the image specifically for the favicon space so that it looks great in all of the following places:

    • Classic desktop browser
    • Mac OS Safari
    • Windows 8 and 10
    • Android Chrome
    • iOS Safari

    All of the instructions and specifications for creating a favicon for each of these places are included in the SOP above and they are extremely easy to follow. We found a free tool that makes this daunting task quick and painless without you having to sacrifice any opportunities for brand awareness.

    make sure your favicon works for every device and browser

    Because this is an important but often overlooked aspect of your website, it’s important to have a designer take a specific visual feature from your website or logo to create a relevant and eye-catching icon. This isn’t a very time intensive task, and if the designer uses the SOP provided above then the task becomes even faster. While you may be on a tight budget, getting this done right should not break the bank.

    Pass this SOP directly to your designer and they will have all of the latest requirements and constraints of a favicon so that you don’t have to worry about assembling them yourself. Using the SOP, your designer will be able to create a favicon in all of the formats needed for the various browsers, tablets, mobile phones, etc. without wasting time.

    Once you or your freelancer has followed the SOP to generate your favicon in all file types and sizes needed, you can implement it on your website. Give the icon a final check to make sure it looks the way you want it to on every platform. This is fast and easy to do by using this free favicon checker tool.


    The checker will show you how your favicon will look in all places on the web, including on Microsoft’s tablet computer and Safari’s pinned tabs, both of which have more unusual favicon requirements.

    Download the SOP above to get started today. A good designer will get your favicon back to you in no time. Best of luck on your website!  

  • Design

    Everyone and their mother has a podcast these days. You can find topics ranging from fixing your car to breast-feeding and of course much, much more. Podcasts are a great way to absorb information while you’re doing something else and as a podcast creator you know that most of your marketing is done through audio. Since there are lots of podcasts out there and the market is getting more saturated, you should think about spending a little extra time on your podcast cover art.

    What you should remember while when designing your podcast cover is that you should use images you use are related to your podcast. That might seem really obvious but this is a great with you to play on the name or brand of your podcast.

    For example, podcasters who interview successful or skilled people such as Tim Ferris have an image or photograph of themselves as Tim Ferris is his own brand. There are also podcasts such as those that I myself listen to like the Myths and Legends podcast that has an image of a castle on the cover art.

    Having a great image will definitely help your podcast to stand out in iTunes or wherever else you upload your podcast. Remember that often this image is just seen as a small thumbnail on people’s phones so you want to choose a graphic that is simple enough that it is clear when it’s really small.

    Likewise, you want to make sure that it looks good when it’s large because in some marketplaces you will see a full size image. You want a good balance between being simple and being informative enough to explain what it is that your podcast is all about. Keep in mind this is also probably the only image that your listeners will see related to your podcast so keep it general enough to cover any topic that you might discuss on your show.

    Because most of your listeners will only ever see a thumbnail of your podcast cover art, try not to add too much text.  Also try to limit your font types to two or less so that it doesn’t confuse or detract from the image of your cover art.

    If you’re not a designer, in order to look more professional you might want to outsource this task so that people see your podcast as professional. Often people will judge your podcast content based off of your cover art rather than taking the time to read the description of what your podcast is about. Make sure your designer adheres to all of the requirements outlined by iTunes or wherever you planning to upload your podcast.

    The SOP provided outlines all of these requirements. You can pass this document directly to your designer or freelancer.

  • Design

    For better or worse, people today consume much more digital content on a day-to-day basis than even five years ago. This often means that we are all overwhelmed with data and content being thrown at us on a regular basis. People take less time to actually read the content of articles or product descriptions and instead they generally look first at the pictures to gauge whether the information is worth their time before spending time to read.

    People are influenced faster through visual communication and so your apps store screenshots are a great way to get their attention and tell them your message without them actually having to read anything.


    If you’re anything like me, and are attracted to shiny, pretty things, app screenshots are one of the most important things that will persuade me to download an app. Often the most brightly colored images will entice me and in general I’m heavily influenced by details and interesting graphics that I see in the screenshots.

    According to research only 2% of people actually read the full app description and many people actually ignored so your screenshots are extremely important in order to get people to download your app. It’s important to include the features in your app. Consider the features that your competitors have and those that are unique to your app. Highlight your apps truly great qualities and convince your audience that out of all the apps on the market, yours is the most essential.


    You can also use the space as a mini tutorial to show your users how easy your functions are to use. People will often judge the quality of your app based on the screenshots as well. If your screenshots are unattractive and the design is outdated then they’ll be more likely to think that your app is worth less and be less willing to purchase it, especially if it’s a paid application where they can’t see the actual app until they buy it in the App Store.

    App screenshots are also an incredibly important opportunity to localize your app. In both iTunes and Google Play, you’re allowed to upload different screenshots for all major languages. As most developers now upload screenshots with a bit of text around them explaining the features, you can change this text into different languages. This is a simple way to have a much wider reach in the App Store for people who do not speak English.


    Even if the app itself is in English only, you can still localize the explanatory text in the screenshots. In our experience, we saw a massive download increase (400%+) after localizing this text without even updating the actual app’s interface into other languages. It also helps to translate the app description, but even just doing the text in the screenshot images will help quite a bit.

    When creating your screenshots, you want to make sure that the dimensions match the requirements in the App Store. In the past, it was popular just to take a screen a literally take a screenshot of your app on your device and then use that post that directly to the app store. Currently the design trend is to have the screenshot embedded into a larger image that has a background and a space for a short sentence or a few words to describe each app function. This has many advantages, not least of which is that it saves you the hassle of taking screenshots in multiple resolutions. Instead you can just chop the border area in order to fit the resolutions that you need.

    This space around the screenshots also allows you opportunity to put other kinds of text, such as awards that you had that your app has won or positive reviews that people have given. This also encourages the user to download your app.

    When you are creating your screenshots, use colors and fonts that are consistent with your app design. Also make sure to utilize all five screenshots allowed in iTunes. Google Play allows even more than 5 for your users to peruse. Keep in mind however, that most users only look at the first one or two screenshots so make sure you put your app’s key functions first.

    Before creating or asking somebody else to create your screenshots, you might want to get inspired by a checking out the top apps in your category and seeing what they’ve done with their screenshots.

    The SOP above provides detailed and current information about how to create a screenshot and the requirements from the App Store. You can pass this SOP directly to your designer and they will use it as a creative brief to create the screenshots for your app.

  • Design

    The app icon is a small square that makes a big statement. With such limited space, the app icon offers a unique but very challenging opportunity for you to express your app’s function and overall style. It also helps to create brand recognition and many brands choose to use the icon or a variation of the icon to represent their whole image.

    Because the app icon is so small, it makes sense to use either a tiny amount of text or no text at all. You will see that most apps follow this this rule and focus on an image that is related to the brand. The image should stand out enough to evoke recognition in a returning customer or interest in a new customer.


    Consider the genre of your app when designing your icon as well. Games generally have fun and colorful icons, whereas educational apps might have more serious and interesting-looking icons.

    Pay attention to modern design trends by scrolling through the app store’s top rated apps. It is especially useful to look at the top apps within the same category as your app. Browse the app icons of your competitors and view as many icons as you can to get a feel for how other developers are currently utilizing this design space. Update your app icon every so often in order to make sure that you don’t little outdated in the app store. Over time the overall style of app icons shifts as design evolves. Be sure to check back every few months or so to make sure you stay current.

    Another thing to consider when creating your app icon is whether or not this will be the only app that you release on the app store or whether you plan to create a series of similar apps in the future. You’ll have better brand recognition if your app icons resemble each other or maintain some common theme.