Everyone is familiar with the idiom flying blind, an expression used by aviators when they cannot see anything because of the fog for instance. Well, in most cases, entering into a design project without a brief is like flying blind.

The importance of a creative brief takes away the need to produce hours of work without taking sensible precautions, because you trust your instinct.

Importance of a creative briefYou could be so wrong!!! Of course there are situations where a formal brief may not be necessary: were a designer or team have a long term relationship and understanding of each other’s expectations, an add-on to an existing project that’s already well underway, or just simply a very uncomplicated and obvious project.

But mostly, it is critical to have a defined formal brief in order to be as efficient as possible.

To avoid misunderstandings and delays, use a creative brief as this will keep your projects running smoothly by:

  • Connecting the intentions of the client with the creative approach
  • Keeping the team in agreement
  • Managing the expectations
  • Defining clear, measurable goals

What to include in a creative brief

 

  • Background information on the company, product or service
  • Insight into the target audience
  • Brand characteristics, vision, mission and undertaking
  • Have any collaterals been produced for this business or brand before
  • The competition
  • Where will the design be used?
  • Goals and objectives
  • Unique Selling Points
  • The business or brands call to action
  • Key design elements for the look and feel
  • References of desired expectations
  • Timelines
  • Budget

Quick do’s and don’ts when writing a brief

 

Do:

  • Get buy-in from everyone up front to ensure smooth road ahead.
  • Identify the most critical points to communicate and keep it simple and short.
  • Use a discussion style to ensure everyone is in agreement on the goals, objectives and message.
  • Focus on insights to inspired by actual data which will spark original ideas.

Don’t:

  • Use one singular brief for all projects (have different approaches for different styles and size of projects)
  • Use glib, obvious adjectives, descriptions and ideas (use plain language and real facts with distinctive and unique)
  • Use obvious and generic demographics (use well researched and in-depth data for a more well-rounded picture of who the target is)
  • Only focus on product/service features. (approach with the view to getting an emotional response to a product or brand, many buying decisions are based on a reaction to this)
  • Let the creative brief become the (be cautious to not spend too much time on it).

A design brief is a point of reference not only for a design but can also e used to create the scope of work. We get to pen down the expectations, outcomes and final requirements. Better clarity in the initial communication on a creative project, eliminates misunderstanding, delays and loss of hours used to rework and rework.

Lisa Leathes

Lisa Leathes

Creative Marketing Media strategist at Creative Imagineering
Integrated Marketing & Media Strategist - Social media engineer and content marketing aficionado #South Africa. Imaginatively engineering simple ideas to build brands. Design-Web-Social Media-SEO.
Lisa Leathes

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