If you're like me, you like to design, but you hate it when your designs miss the mark. And if you're like me, you want to spend your time designing – not churning out a bunch of marketing-speak. A creative brief (also called a design brief) should quickly describe what's needed to make your design project a success. It should be quick and easy to write, and super quick to read. It should make your life easier.

Is a Creative Brief REALLY Necessary?

Have you ever had a stakeholder or a client who couldn't make up their mind? What about someone who couldn't explain what they were looking for? A design brief helps in these situations by clearly describing all the crucial components of your design project. If you have multiple stakeholders, a well-written brief will help get everyone on the same page, with the same understanding of the goals. Then, when designs are being reviewed, they can be judged against the stated goals.

What Makes a Good Creative Brief?

The best design briefs have three things:

  1. THEY CONTAIN THE NECESSARY INFO: WHAT you're designing, WHEN it's needed, WHO it's for, HOW it's going to get done, and WHY you're doing it (what do you hope to accomplish).
  2. THEY ARE NOT FILLED WITH MARKETING CRAP. The best creative briefs get to the point, they don't waste your time, and they actually inspire the creative team to step up and solve the design challenge.
  3. THEY DON'T HOLD UP THE PROJECT. The best creative briefs are quick and easy to write. They follow a format, and they say it like it is. You shouldn't have projects that are waiting to get started because you're waiting for the creative brief to get finished.

Why use a Template?

Life's too short to spend it writing brief after brief. Get yourself a template, fill in the blanks, and get on with your life, already!

The 10 Things Every Creative Brief Needs

EVERY creative brief, really? Be serious! All projects are different, and every creative brief will be different too. While you should definitely describe the goals of the project, who it's targeted to, and when it needs to get done, some design briefs will be a little looser than others. If you specify that this project will result in an 8-page brochure, you've already shut down a large part of the creative process. What if a small-format booklet is more appealing to your audience? Or a poster? The point is, you're trying to inspire your creative team to do their best work - not simply to churn out another boring piece of marketing. Of course, some projects require a certain format, but not EVERY project. Sheez!

Get on with it, already!

Start with a template, use it to help guide your thinking, but don't get locked into a rigid format if it doesn't serve the project or inspire your team. Stick to the necessary info, and get it done. Good luck, my penguins!

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Grab this seriously bomb-ass creative brief template and use it to unleash kick ass awesomeness on your next project. "But I'm designing a website. Does it work for websites too?" Yep! That's the other good news! It doesn't matter if it's for a website, a logo design, print design, or whatever - these Creative Brief Templates will make other creative briefs look like they came from Ross Dress for Less, if you know what I'm saying.

You pick: interactive PDF, which is stuffed with nifty and helpful tool tips to guide you through the process, or a Microsoft Word Doc which means you get to add your own questions, or copy & paste just the good bits (they're ALL good bits, yo) into your own creative brief. Which will be super awesome.


ONE LAST THING: If you need a Creative Brief Template for a winery, which addresses the specific challenges faced by wineries in today's saturated market, you can grab the WINERY CREATIVE BRIEF TEMPLATE HERE.

Say, want some help with that project?

We ramp up quickly, gaining a rapid understanding of the complete picture – objectives, needs, audience, and brand – and we work hard to take the load off your team, providing the talent required to bring your materials up to a level of excellence. Give us a call at (510) 206-5478 and we'll put together a custom proposal to fit your budget and timeline.