Design from a creative brief.

Designer and client must work towards the same, agreed goal.

The creative brief is the blueprint for the project. It’s a collaboration of designer and client. It includes project overview, goals, messages, audience description, budget, schedule and so on. The act of writing all of this down means that everyone has talked through and agreed on what the design is to embody.


When I meet my clients, my most important tools are my ears, and I routinely record briefing meetings and shoot photos on site when it is apt in order to help formulate the design brief. As we talk about the goals for the design, which is different from what the design should look like. I develop the creative brief. I keep it short. I use clear headlines and bulleted lists.

  • Project description
  • Audience
  • Messages
  • Approaches

Good design and good client/designer communication go hand in hand. The brief may need to be refined and reformulated to remove any ambiguities from the communications process.

Design is a visual expression of reality

When it comes to design for a business, the reason I design is to portray what the client really is in images and type. Images can literally “speak”, as well as through visual information they can speak through emotion, sensation, metaphor and abstraction.

The first step towards portraying the reality of a client’s business is to describe it.

  • What is their business? Its name and area of operations?
  • What are their goals?
  • Who is their audience/market?
  • What are the firm’s strengths?
  • What do the audience know about their business now?
  • What does the client want them to know as a result of the visual communications project?
  • Why will they believe you?

Deriving a short keyword list of a few words helps set the design goals and guide the design development in the right creative direction and avoid getting side-tracked.