The Creative brief: a straightforward guide

In today’s fast-paced marketing environment, we’re all looking for ways to get more done in less time and that can include cutting corners when briefing your creative agency.

You may have a long-established relationship with your creative team and assume they’ll know exactly what you want. Or it may be a lack of understanding about the value of a well-written brief.

As a creative director, it’s essential that I brief my design team thoroughly, but concisely, so that we work effectively to solve a design brief. To do that, I need all the relevant information from my client.

A well-written creative brief should define the aims, expectations, and deliverables of a project, including everyone’s role within it. It ensures the project team are all on the same page and can work effectively together to achieve the project goal/s.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking some projects are too small to need briefing in but even small tasks will run more efficiently with a creative brief in place. For example, when creating regular content for social media, having a standardised briefing document will save time and ensure consistency.

Creative briefs may include:

  • Introductory background information
  • The aim, or purpose, of the creative output
  • Any USPs
  • Key objectives
  • Target audiences
  • Specifications for the deliverables
  • The budget expectations
  • Brand and/or tone of voice guidelines
  • A schedule and realistic deadlines
  • An introduction to the project team, both internal and external

A creative brief should – pardon the pun – be brief! Make sure the content is concise and pertinent. Use bullet lists to aid readability and a separate paragraph for each facet of the brief.

At Brand Remedy, working from a well written creative brief allows us to be accountable to ourselves and our clients. It helps us to avoid wasting time, and therefore budget, on additional rounds of amendments or misunderstood objectives. It can also be useful when measuring the success of a project post-delivery.

When you submit a creative brief ask for feedback from the key stakeholders and use this to refine the briefing process for next time.

As a creative agency we have a duty of care to our clients, and this sometimes includes challenging whether what has been briefed truly meets a client’s objectives. In bringing our expertise and experience to the table we strive to exceed expectations and to provide effective solutions.

We’ve put together a simple creative brief guide which is available to download here.


  • Be clear
  • Be brief
  • Ask for feedback

If you’d like to talk through any of your creative needs, please feel free to get in touch with me.

Richard is Creative Director and owner of Brand Remedy and one of the pioneers of branding in professional services. His sector experience includes legal, accountancy, wealth management, financial services, real estate and public sector.