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Your ultimate guide to briefing designers and creatives

Why are creative briefs important?

We’ve all been there; you’re either an account manager who finds yourself sending back designs or copy that doesn’t quite hit the mark, or you’re a creative who’s not quite sure what the client wants. 

 

There are two sides to every story, but chances are that the brief – or lack of – is likely to be the issue and causing everyone major headaches. Regardless of who you are, your time is precious and you don’t want to spend it writing or reading lots of unnecessary information. 

 

 

Making that brief count is vital for saving time, money and stress. We’re going to outline the briefs we use here in the FINALLY studio and if you follow these steps, you’ll improve the request process and avoid confusing your creative team. The outcome will be work that hits the mark quicker and needs minimal feedback, all delivered in very good time. 

 

For more information about the way FINALLY works and our inbound marketing mantra, get in touch today.

 

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What is a creative brief?

Lynda.com describes a creative brief as a framework or foundation for your creative approach. You’ll typically give them to designers or copywriters when you want them to do something for you. However, you could use FINALLY’s template to brief anyone in your team, including developers, your salesforce and service team. You can do it quickly and clearly by following this briefing format…  

 

1. Overview

Your opening statement: here you highlight the challenge and indicate the opportunity to  fix it. You’ll want to consider and spell out how the work will help the business grow and anything you’ll need to overcome.

 

Example:

Our clients have asked us about how we make creative briefs for our designers. The client feels that they’re not getting the most from their in-house team and that outputs require several rounds of feedback before getting it right. 

 

2. The task 

Specify exactly what it is you need in one or two short sentences. Get straight to the point, making sure that you indicate what the creative’s role will be. 

 

Example:

FINALLY’s copywriter needs to produce a blog for its website that outlines the importance of the creative briefing process, highlighting that clear and precise instructions save time and money. Fewer amends mean that the task is created correctly early on and meets the client’s requests. 

 

3. The offer

The offer is what the work will focus on. This part of the brief highlights the single most important thing that you’re shouting about. It could be anything from:

  • A sales discount.
  • Some groundbreaking news or industry insight.
  • The focus of a PR stunt.
  • Or creating and rolling out a new logo on a website and more. 

Your creative team will love you for including any additional materials, like existing offer pages or previous examples for reference. It’ll help to steer them in the right direction and carry out yours or your colleague’s vision. 

 

Example:

FINALLY will be sharing a version of its own creative briefs, with outlines and descriptions to help its clients and readers understand what goes into a good brief. This document is usually business confidential but it’s important to help our clients, which is why we’ve decided to share it with the public.

 

4. What's needed?

Use this section of your brief to stipulate exactly what’s needed from the creative. Short bullet points work really well here, especially when they’re precise. In this section, include the following:

  • Calls to action – this will include the language and links.
  • Word count guides.
  • Keywords you want to target.
  • Resources for background research.
  • Brand and style guides.
  • Examples and inspiration.
  • Technical data, like image sizes.
  • An overview of the platforms it will be featured on.
  • Whether the design or copy will be needed for print or digital.

 

Example:

Write a detailed guide for https://www.finally.agency/blog that will need to appeal to Google through good SEO. This article will feature in our email newsletter and be part of the larger inbound marketing campaign we’re running in December for social.

  • 600 – 1200 words

  • Lynda.com features a helpful video about creative briefs that may be useful.

  • Keywords are attached but the main focus should be: 

    • “guide to briefing designers and creatives” 

    • “why are creative briefs important?”

  • Copywriter will need to liaise with a designer for the banner image and any necessary graphics you’ll need for the article. 

  • CTA needs to prompt the reader to contact us at https://www.finally.agency/contact-us.  

 

5. Audience

Who are you talking to and what matters to them? If you have identified your buyer personas, mention which ones you want to speak to. When briefing copywriters, remind them of the brand personality and tone of voice, including the look and feel of your company or how formal to be. Also, which words you do and don’t use, the level of humour and age of voice can all be helpful. 

For briefing designers, remind them of useful guidelines and stylistic points that will need to come across in the work. Links to branding documents are useful if you have them.

 

Example:

We’re talking to Our Industry Peers, Google SERPs and FINALLY’s Typical Client. The article should be clear and interesting, speaking to people with a variety of industry knowledge and expertise. FINALLY is never patronising and offers contextual links to help the reader get a better understanding of the topic. Avoid clichés and sprinkle humour lightly.  

 

Additional information

This part isn’t vital to your creative brief but will give your team some context that could influence their final output for the better. If there’s any background information that you think they’ll want to know, like insights to what they do, these should definitely be fed in here.

 

Example:

FINALLY is Kent’s inbound marketing agency and uses HubSpot to integrate its services by attracting customers through the inbound methodology.

 

Summary of why are creative briefs important

A good creative brief for designers and copywriters is simple and concise. It only features the most necessary parts and always seeks to make starting work quick and easy. Your sentences and instructions will be short and easy to read. It’s also a good idea to invite your creatives to a face-to-face briefing so that they can ask questions or make suggestions. And that’s it. Good luck briefing your creatives!

 

Contact FINALLY

If you liked what you read and think FINALLY could help you and your business, we’d love to hear from and discuss the opportunity work together over a coffee. We’ll introduce you to our partner, HubSpot and the inbound methodology.

 

Get in touch with us