10 Things To Include in a Creative Brief by @skleberdesign

10 Things To Include in a Creative Brief

by Stacy Kleber Jensen | Featured Contributor

Whenever you deal with a designer, you should always include a creative brief to help summarize the project. This will ensure that both you and the designer are on the same page.  Below are our tips on 10 things to include in your creative brief.

1. Scope of the project

The most important thing to include in any creative brief is the scope of the project.  What do you want designed, and what are you trying to accomplish?  How many pieces does it include?  The more information you can provide, the more likely you are to get a successful final product. While designers need a certain amount of freedom for creativity, they will most certainly also need the insider information about your business that only you can provide.

2. Due date

The next most important thing is when the project is due. This will help the designer develop a schedule that suits your needs.

3. Branding that already exists and should be included

You should include any information on your branding that needs to be included – this might be a logo, a subbrand logo or particular brand colors that are always applied for your business.  This is a good time to inform the designer of any existing style guide.

4. Point of contact

Always include the name, email and/or phone number of the person that is the point of contact for the project.

5. Project specs

In addition to what the project is, you will want to include project specs. These might include the size of the document (ex: trifold brochure that folds to 4″x9″) or the size of the image (ex: banner for twitter header, 1500px x 500px).

6. Audience

Who are you trying to reach out to with the design?  Audience is essential as it will have a big impact on how your final product should look, the tone it should have, etc.

7. Competitors

You should include competitors in your brief so that the designer can see what approach they are taking. This will to only help them to make sure your approach is unique, but will also ensure that the designer can observe what people are responding to. When it comes to competitors, there is a delicate balance between being similar and different in order to achieve success.

8. Final text

Ideally you should provide the designer with text that has already gone through editing and approval. The more final the text, the less revisions you will have, and the less costly the final product.

9. Images

While it is fine for the designer to choose images that help dictate the design concept, if there are any images that are required, or an image bank that is preferred, it is best to mention this up front. In addition, this is a great time to mention any sensitivities that the designer should consider (ex: diverse groups of people, primarily females, etc).

10. Budget

I always appreciate knowing a client’s budget up front. This will ensure that we can come to a realistic expectation in terms of time and final product.

Though creative briefs have been a subject of questioning recently, I believe that it is a great way to get you and your designer on the same page as soon as possible. Not only does it help both parties focus their thinking, but it ensures that you have documentation of what was agreed in detail.

What else do you like to include in your creative brief?


Stacy Kleber Jensen (Washington, DC) – Founder and Chief Creative Officer of the graphic design studio, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC

Stacy Kleber Jensen

Stacy Kleber Jensen is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Stacy Kleber Design, LLC (www.skleber.com).  She is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a BFA in Visual Communications and a concentration in Graphic Design. Stacy is currently attending the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School to obtain a Masters of Science in Marketing.

Stacy founded her graphic design studio, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC, in 2008. Since its humble beginnings, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC has grown to specialize in branding and design for growing businesses and start-ups. Projects range from logo design and business collateral (business cards, stationery, etc) to websites and social media assistance. The greatest part of owning Stacy Kleber Design, LLC is helping businesses to establish their brand and their identity as a company, as well as find their voice in an ever changing digital world.

Notable clients include ASRC Federal Holding Corporation, Marriott OceanWatch Villas, Myrtle Beach International Airport, Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Please connect with Stacy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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