The Major Do’s and Do Not’s of Creative Briefs

A well-written project brief is the key to a smooth and productive design process. The brief not only serves as a great way to organize your thoughts as the client, but it also establishes a clear understanding of expectations for the designer. As talented as they may be, designers are not mind-readers (unfortunately).

We’ve compiled some quick details that you should include in creative briefs to develop the strongest relationship possible with the freelancer working on your next project.

Background on Your Company 

At first thought, you might want to jump straight into details of your project when filling out the brief. Instead, take some time to give the designer information about your company. Details like what you sell or offer, values of your company, and targeting audiences are important for the best possible project outcome.

Designers can use this information to think critically while designing your project. They understand which techniques and styles work best with different industries and audiences. The product should undeniably reflect your company as a whole, and the designer can do this better by understanding your company.

Your Desired Style

The client is not expected to be the creative individual in the relationship; however, it helps the designer when the client can articulate their desired style for the project on some level. Is your company aiming for a more modern or traditional feel? Do you want the project to look playful or professional?

Colors also play a factor in these stylistic choices. Should your design be bright and colorful or more neutral tones? Does your designer need to stick to specific branding colors? Check out The Psychology of Color in Branding and Marking for help deciding what colors will work best for your next project.

Important Requirements

To minimize the amount of revisions needed, include requirements ahead of time. Does a partnership logo need to go on the one-pager your designer is creating? Are there colors they are not allowed to use? This may sound strict, but it is not uncommon. For example, the University of Michigan’s style guide does not allow the color red to be used on any of their internal marketing materials.

We understand that articulating this information can take time and we also understand how busy each work day can get. However, it is crucial to include as much relevant information as possible in the brief. The designer wants to create the best design possible for you, and this helps make that possible.

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