A man went to a mechanic to get his car fixed. He said, “Please fix my car, it is broken.”
The mechanic asked the man if the engine was broken. The man replied, “Everything is broken, just fix it.”
A week later, the man came back and the mechanic gave him a completely different car.
“This isn’t my car!” the man said. “I want my old car back.”
Time is money. Therefore, minimizing the time needed to produce creative design is essential to profit. This can become a crippling challenge to many companies when the client who needs the design and the person who makes the design cannot meet eye to eye.
The problem with creative design is that it is not cut and dry – it is abstract and subjective. The one who needs the design and the one making it must have a common understanding of what the outcome should look like. This is why making a Creative Brief is extremely important.
A Creative Brief is a simple document or template that a client fills out with relevant information to give the artist a particular direction. This way, the client and the designer have a more common understanding of the outcome to eliminate the need for a complete rework. Every time a creative design is rejected, the designer will need more time to produce an output from scratch. This is counter-productive for companies that operate in a fast-paced environment.
Here are the elements of an effective Creative Brief:
Indicate whether the design is for a logo, packaging, or website, etc.
Include the name of the person who made the creative brief. This is important to know where a miscommunication might have happened in the process if the design made did not meet the project objectives.
Indicate the approving people of the design. This is important if the project is suddenly transferred to a different person. If there is a clear document, the artist will know whom to consult about the design and s/he will know who the stakeholders are.
Background / Overview
What is the big picture? What is the market’s status quo? Does the client have any personal inclination towards a certain direction? What is the design trying to convey?
Creative Project objectives
Is the design created to inform, entertain, sell, represent, or brand a product? Like any project, smart objectives need to be observed.
Who will the design reach? This is crucial because there is a psychology behind the different people who might have access to the design. It is important to know the best way to appeal to them and what kind of triggers they are more likely to respond to.
What are the competing brands in the market? How are you similar, and more importantly, how can you establish a stark difference between you and your competitors?
Distribution (Usage of the product)
It is necessary to note what form the design will take. Will it be digital or printed? Will it be on a website or Will it be imprinted on physical products such as shirts, caps, or other novelty items?
Creative considerations (Additional information) This may include the following:
- Creative thought-starters or inspiration.
- Approved High-resolution photos of the author(s) and signature (so design team can incorporate these trust signals in creative product),
- Reputable testimonials.
- Inspirational quotes from authors,
- Media exposure.
- Consumer insights or data.
- Description of the brand personality.
- Positioning tag lines (if any).
- Result expectations.
Include a realistic schedule or timeline when drafts or samples are needed or when the entire project needs to be done.
Paulius Staniunas Art Director of Mindvalley