What is a creative brief?
A creative brief is a short document that sums up a project’s mission, goals, challenges, demographics, messaging, and other key details. Typically produced by the person heading up the project, a creative brief outlines the problems to solve and offers the tools they might need, without prescribing a solution.
Why do you need a creative brief?
To start – you need a plan! A solid creative brief ensures everyone is on the same page before the project has begun and acts as a guiding north star throughout. Simultaneously allowing a project to stay on track, whilst underpinning the creative concept and strategic thinking.
A creative brief helps align everyone on the task at hand. Even the best creative minds in the world can’t solve a problem they don’t understand. More than just an arbitrary document, it is a tool that allows for clear and thorough communication from the very beginning of the design process. It prevents potential last-minute project changes, misunderstandings, and conflicting objectives along the way.
Marjorie Newnham, Project Manager at Fiasco Design, adds: “With larger projects that involve multiple stakeholders and various rounds of creative, it’s especially important to agree on the deliverables up front, so there’s no potential for confusion later down the line.” Establishing parameters and crucially – building trust, at the beginning will help ensure a smoother project journey.
Who is a creative brief for?
It’s quite likely that the people who will use the brief are an external creative agency who may not be familiar with language that is specific to your industry. So it should be accessible to a designer or web developer, for example, and avoid lots of acronyms or jargon. However, worth adding that this doesn’t mean a creative brief needs to be dry! It’s meant to incite enthusiasm and possibilities.
Hayley Yates, Account Director at Fiasco Design, adds: “It’s valuable for us to know if a client’s been through a similar creative process before, or if this is their first time. It allows us to tailor our approach based on their level of understanding of the process, as the acronyms and jargon exist in our industry too!”
What should a creative brief include?
Whilst not an exhaustive list, including these key bits of information will help a creative agency to understand and work towards your project.
Although it might seem like a lot of information to convey in a relatively limited amount of space, a good creative brief stays focused and to the point. Pages and pages of additional information should be unnecessary. The more you are able to distill your thinking into clear and concise points, the clearer it will be to the creative agency you’re partnering with. The brief process in itself, might in fact help to refine exactly what you’re hoping to achieve.
Working at the intersection of brand and digital, we take our partners with us at every step of the creative journey. Our open and inclusive ethos helps us to create joined up work that sparks change. Looking to start a creative project? We’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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