The Art of Writing a Creative Brief That Gets You What You Want

25th April 2019

Posted By: Chantelle Mills

Lets start at the beginning, before you can start writing a creative brief you’ll need to know what one is. A creative brief also known as a design brief is a document that outlines all aspects of a creative project. It contains all the details your creative team must consider and what work needs to be produced throughout the project. Although these can be simple documents at times be sure to include all the specifics as a vague creative brief can send your creative team down the wrong path costing time and money, causing frustration from both the client and creative team.

And lets face it, frustration is the last thing you need to add to an ever-growing workload so we have come up with a few things to include in your brief to make sure your creative projects start off on the right foot.

Project Title

It’s always a good start for both parties to be able to identify the project your talking about so why not start with a project title to save confusion.

Background Information / Overview

Always assume your creative team knows nothing, especially if this is a new relationship. Provide information on your company and the project in hand to help the team get a better understanding of your business, products and services.

Objective / The Campaign

Educate your creative team by defining the purpose, highlighting any problems you face and stating the end goal. Here are a few questions to try and answer.

  1. What is the aim of this campaign?
  2. What action would you like the customer to take?
  3. What specific problem is the campaign trying to tackle?
  4. Where will you deliver the campaign?


Primary Message

Simply hit the nail on the head and let the creative team know exactly what message you want to get across. This is the driving statement of the campaign/ project.

Unique Selling Points

Is there anything that makes your product or service special or stand out from the crowd?

Project Summary

In short, summarise what it is you want. Let your team know what the project is and why you are doing it without waffling.

Brand Voice and Tone

This is very important to get right from the beginning, as it will influence the creative teams approach. Include words and/or feelings to describe your brand, tone and qualities you want the target audience to associate with. For example, the brand could be established, trustworthy, and reliable but the product you’re selling could be new, fun and cost effective.

Target Audience

Detail and prioritise the audience you are trying to reach. It’s often tempting to say everyone for everything.  Well, this isn’t the answer. To reach an audience you have to relate to them and speak their language. For example, you’ve got no chance of my grandma knowing what a hashtag is and if she saw the symbol she would think of the hash key on a telephone! Then there’s my sister, she speaks the language of hashtags in her everyday vocabulary! If you were to market something to these two individuals, you’d definitely go about it in two different ways even if it were the same product or service.

You can define your target audience in many ways, age, gender, job, hobbies, geographic etc.

Current and Recent Projects

Do you have brand guidelines? Is this project a part of a larger campaign? Are you trying to build upon a previous project? Be sure to share this information with your team to help consistency and growth.

Anything else that may help

Just as the title states mention anything that may help, i.e. competitors, inspiration.


What is it you want? A brochure, logo, pull up banners?  Include the file formats i.e. PDF, JPG, PNG, EPS.


“Budget?! If I tell you my budget I’ve exposed how much we have to spend and you’ll obviously tell me I’ll need to spend it all.” This simply isn’t true. A budget tells your creative team what they have to work with and this in turn helps them come up with realistic results. You can even task them to come up with two ideas, one being low budget.


It is essential you include a start date, any other milestones and an end date.

So, by now you may have come to the conclusion that briefing isn’t an off the cuff thing. We can’t stress enough how important it is to take the time to put together a good brief. It’s essential so your creativeteam can deliver great work, on time and on budget. If these three things are met then you’ve wrote a brief that got you what you wanted!