One of the most challenging tasks of being a designer can be keeping a project or (more specifically) a client, on brief. It’s all too easy for them to get carried away with concepts and ideas that are clever but not necessarily on brief. This is why it is essential that a written brief is produced at the beginning of a project. Whilst writing a brief can, on occasions be a laborious tasks it can save an awful lot of time and pain further down the line.
Producing a brief ensures that both the client and designer start at the same point. It also provides the designer with vital background information on the client. This documents can also be used at various points throughout the project to ensure both the designs and any decisions made are on brief. All too often a clients personal opinion or preference falls into the equation and as the designer it’s my job to ensure a level of objectivity is maintained. Armed with a well written brief it’s a much easier task to pull the project back on course and focus everyone’s attention to the task in hand.
Over the years I’ve written and read many briefs. Here is a condensed outline of one that has worked well for me:
A short synopsis of the company/organisation/client detailing key aspects including:
• Outline history (where it started, where it is now and where it’s intending to go)
• What is it they do
• Any unique selling points (USPs) that differentiate them from competitors
What it is the project needs to achieve? For example:
• Create a new logo, visual identity, brand
• Reposition an existing brand within a specific market
• Engage with a new target audience
Who are you competing against and what can be learnt from them?
Who are we aiming at, including:
• Other brands/products/services they may use/buy
Detailing key stages of the project and those responsible for delivery, approval, etc.
Exactly what is expected and what will be delivered.
And of course the all important element of how much all of this will cost.
Some projects require the shortest of briefs other times it can be a vital element of the creative process in defining exactly what needs to be achieved.