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.
You 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
Quick do’s and don’ts when writing a brief
- 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.
- 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.