5 Things We Learned About Creative Briefs From Briefly

by . October 17th, 2014

Every designer has had a problem dealing with a client’s requests. Some clients give too many details while others give too little to work with. Designers need guidelines to help them with their commissioned works. That’s why before a project starts, the client is asked to fill out a creative brief.

“Briefly”, a short film on creative briefs by Tom Bassett of Bassett & Partners, was launched online last September 30, 2014 and so far has been receiving great reviews. Creative talents are sure to love this 26-minute film about how the creative brief is constantly changing and necessary in the design process.

[pullquote]Every project starts with a brief[/pullquote]

Pritzker Prize–winning architect Frank Gehry (Gehry Partrners) talks about “designing from the inside”

Imagine going through a maze blindfolded — that’s how designers feel without a creative brief within reach. The creative brief is the basis of any project. It’s basically an organized list of how the project will be used, how it will look like, and who it is for. Without it, it will be unfair for both the client and the designer because the designer will not know where to start and the client will not get what he wants.

[pullquote]When you’re a student, the brief is God[/pullquote]


 Yves Behar talks about not believing in creative briefs

Filling out a creative brief may be tasking. But to established creatives in the advertising and design world, a creative brief is so much more than a waste of time — it is the whole point of the many hours you will be spending on a project. In design school, we are taught to take creative briefs seriously because we are made to believe that amazing work is bound to take place once a creative brief is set and followed to its last detail. But in some parts in the film, the existence of a creative brief is questioned and challenged. Take notes from Yves Behar.

[pullquote]The brief is only helpful when there’s a point of view[/pullquote]


John Jay differentiates a marketing from a creative brief

Briefly is packed with interviews from different creative practitioners, covering what a creative brief is to each one. This documentary shows how the creative brief is the “creative industry’s greatest tool.” As important as it is, Swiss designer Yves Behar started his interview by laying his cards down about not believing in creative briefs. In order to make use of the creative brief properly, the client and designer must agree on the path that they’re taking. Always remember to formulate a clear point of view and try to communicate your ideas as detailed as possible.

[pullquote]Just because you can Google it, doesn’t mean you have context for anything[/pullquote]

David Rockwell (Rockwell Group) talks about his architectural works

It’s hard to fully grasp a concept without a creative brief. If a client asks you to make a poster for a music festival, it’s easy to just search for “music festival posters” online and you’ll see all those colorful and graphic ones. But the question is, is that what the client wants? Browsing the internet will inspire you, but it will not answer your every design need. Stick to the creative brief because it has most of what you need to know about your project.

[pullquote]Whether it’s verbal or written, it’s our job to challenge it[/pullquote]

A quote from director Tom Bassett would be the best way to sum this up.

“The end goal of Briefly is to help inform and inspire future generations of collaborators to write better briefs and manage the briefing process differently in order to help lead to exceptional creative results. So while every project will still start with a brief, the dream is that more end products are exceptional because of how these creative titans re-shape the way we all think about briefs.”
-Tom Bassett

Understand the anatomy of a creative brief more through Briefly.

What do you think is the most important part of a creative brief?  Share your thoughts through the comments below.