Before diving into a creative project for your client or agency, you must have clear direction and expectations. Our graphic designer, Tori, shares five reasons why developing a creative brief before starting a design project will benefit you in the end.

Strategic planning

You can never do enough of this when it comes to producing creative content from scratch. Your brief should include questions to help gauge client expectations, including establishing the tone and identifying target audiences. Review previous projects and ask what inspired those ideas. Knowing all of these details in the beginning helps to strategically plan for the assets, tech and time you’ll need for production. The brief can also help you prepare for what you don’t know, giving you as the designer time to research.


The creative briefing period is an important time to make sure you understand the project. It is a BAD idea to design something without knowing the history of the client, the purpose of the project, the culture of the industry, etc. There is nothing worse than missing the mark on a creative production simply because you did not take the time to research and ask questions! Cut down on the number of revisions and allow for more creative time by getting most of this part done on the front end.

Creating a vision

Clients can sometimes have general, big-picture ideas of what they want an end product to look like, but may not know which content or resources to use in order to make it happen. This is where designers can shine! For example, the client may know they want a brochure to be fun and energetic, but may not have a clear understanding of appropriate colors to use with their brand standard. Designers think outside of the box, but also know what is actually possible – you can bring the visuals to life when presenting creative options to the client, while staying within brand standard.

Staying on track

Once a project is in the production stages, the client AND designer can sometimes get lost in the weeds of tiny details that may carve into the time allotted for printing, presentations, etc. In the initial creative brief, you should outline a clear and digestible timeline that describes each stage of production, including time for progress reports and revisions. Having a timeline (with a target end date) will set expectations and prevent a project from becoming never-ending.

Measuring success

Before production starts, plan how you will measure success of the end product. Design serves a purpose and is a problem-solving tool, so you should be able to connect your objectives to the results. While we want to make sure a product is attractive and within brand standard, it’s important that we are achieving a goal, answering a question or calling to an action with the design.