What is a creative brief?

2 January 2019

Knowledge is power. The most you know, the more you can control.

The design brief sets the scene for the entire project, make no mistake. Whilst you’ll no doubt want to get cracking, it’s fundamental to its success that you sweat the details at this early stage.

Here's a checklist to get your project started right.


Provide an introduction to your business, who you are, what you do, where you do it and how long you have been doing it for. Add any further information that would help the creative team get a feel for your business and how it operates.

Project background

Describe the project in detail. Why has the project been raised, what problem are we solving? What is it designed to do, where does it fit with other initiatives within the business?

Market background

Describe the market you are in; the current prevailing conditions; what you need to achieve in the market. Was the project based on changes within the market itself or are you looking to enter new markets?

Target audience, who are we talking to?

Try and paint a picture of the audience that the creative team can visualise, what do they think. Go beyond demographics and dig in to the psychographics. We’d recommend investing time into creating user personas.


What should the work make the audience think feel or do?

Work to date

Detail any work that you have carried out or completed to date that has an impact on the project.

Reasons to believe

List the rational and emotional reasons for consumers to believe what you say, to try the product, to buy the service. Include all major copy points and visual evidence listed in order of relative importance to the consumer.

What are we asking the agency to do

Detail what you need. It may be that you just want a brochure or alternatively it may be where you attach a specification for something much more technical.


What does success look like to you and how will you measure it? Take time to think about the objectives of the project and why you’re doing it.


This may involve working to design or brand guidelines or being asked to work alongside other designers.

Budget & timescales

Ensure you have a rough idea of what your budget is, it enables your agency to be transparent from the outset of what it can and can’t deliver.

Additional information

Here's where you can include consumer insights, memorable quotes, a description of the brand personality, positioning tag lines, creative thought starters, terms of the direct response offer, result expectations, and mandatory elements such as the logo and website address.

For more information on how we can help you engage with your customers more effectively, contact Jamie Gregory

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