What is a creative brief?

A creative brief is a set of guidelines that will help your logo designer in deciding the creative direction of the logo design engagement. The creative brief would usually contain details like what your company does, who your target audience is, what design styles you prefer and other details that might help the logo designer better understand your requirements. A good logo designer should be able to provide you with a creative brief questionnaire that you can fill in or the logo designer could even interview you verbally.

The creative brief is a set of questions that the logo designer asks the client. These questions are asked to determine the foundations of the engagement before the start of the actual design process. The questions asked pertain to the background of the company or brand – mission, five year goals, set of values, what the company does, the industry it functions in, competitors, etc. The creative brief also seeks to answer questions related to the client’s design preferences. It aims to establish a persona for the brand, on the basis of which, the logo can then be designed.

An lot can be determined about the quality of work the logo designer is likely to deliver based on the quality, thoroughness and depth of questions in the creative brief.

A large part of a logo design engagement is non-design related. Background research into the company, the industry and competitors, by way of interviews or discussions with stakeholders, helps set the creative direction. I have had more than one instance where a client has visibly blanched at filling in the creative brief questionnaire. Some discomfort is expected while answering the more than two dozen questions but logo design isn’t just pretty graphics. It is pretty graphics AND a lot of background research before pencil touches paper. I ask my clients to treat that process and time as an investment they are making for the successful future of the company, product or brand.

Getting the creative brief right is about 80% of the work done. It sets the tone for the tangibles : the shapes, the typeface, the colors, which come together to create the logo. If taken in the right spirit, the logo design creative brief can also help establish a direction for your company’s branding initiative.

The more detailed your answers to the questions in the creative brief, the better are the chances of getting the logo right for your brand. Fill in the brief and sleep on it. Revisit and correct at least three times before finalizing.

If you are a freelancer, independent consultant or contractor, working alone – a one-person team, filling in the creative brief in detail will help you get one step closer to defining a strong personal brand. even if you. eventually, don’t hire a logo designer.

The time you spend filling in a detailed brief, now, will save three times that amount and a lot more grief and money later. If you can’t articulate it, how the heck do you expect a designer to create it?


GraphicDefine Magazine : Successful Creative Briefs
David Airey’s : How do you write a design brief?
Logo Critiques : Questions to ask before a logo design
David Airey’s : 10 tips for Writing Graphic Design Briefs
Just Creative Design : How to write an effective design brief
Jaymus : How to write a great creative brief
Mozilla : Creative Brief for the Firefox Icon
Creative Bits : Corporate Identity Client Questionnaire

I will be providing a link to the creative brief questionnaire that I use with my clients. It will be in PDF format and free for download.

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