How to write a brief for your creative team

Aug 14, 2017

Writing a good brief for your creative team is the difference between an efficient and effective project and a chaotic disaster.

Simply put, a better brief means a better final product. It can also mean a more accurate and often cheaper quote. When the creatives you are engaging know exactly what is in scope for the final outcome, they can be clearer about the amount of hours it'll take them to get the project done. This also means less guesswork, less project management, and less administration.

Be clear about the outcome you are trying to achieve

What are you hoping this creative project will achieve? Are you looking to attract more sales from a certain channel? Are you hoping to raise brand awareness? Where and what medium will you publish? Being clear about the end goal, as well as simply the collateral you are trying to produce, will help a creative team to understand the purpose and meaning of your message. The better they understand the purpose of the project, the better their outputs.

Have a brand style guide

Have a clear style guide for both the visuals and the language of your brand. If you don’t have this already, this might be the first thing you ask your creative team to pull together. It should clearly show how your logo should be used, the colour palette and typography of your brand, and the way you would like to speak to your audience. A good style guide takes a lot of the guesswork out of the creative process, allowing your creative team to focus on the project rather than trying to rework the brand itself. A good style guide also ensures your branding remains consistent across all of your collateral.

Give an example of what you like and dislike

It usually just take a quick Google search to find a string of equivalent collateral that has been published by competitors. You can even look to similar collateral being published by business in completely different industries. Noting what you like, what you dislike, and why, gives your creative team some insight into what you will make you happy in a final product.

Be transparent with your budget and timeline

If you have a set budget, say so. If you have a strict deadline, say so. A good creative team can help you to make the most of your resources and will only commit to a project they can complete within the designated time-frame. If there are going to be any problems achieving your goals due to budget and time restrictions, much better to address them at the very beginning.

Be clear with what content you can provide

Whether it is text, photography, a script, or an illustration, content production eats up a lot of creative hours. If you plan to provide any of these yourself, make sure this is clear in your briefing document. Even if they come in draft form, they can save a lot of time for your creative team.

Carefully consider the scope

Put simply, take the scope and brief seriously. Read through it properly, and if you think there is a major element missing, then point it out. That small piece of extra functionality may actually be a whole mountain of extra work. The brief, right at the beginning of the project, is the time to make sure that everyone is on the same page.