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One of the easiest methods for gathering critical client and project-specific information is by using what is called a Creative Brief. It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be a simple document that asks thoughtful questions in order to get your client to think or see themselves and their product, or most importantly their audience from a new perspective. Some questions you might ask are: What are your objectives? Where do you want to go with your business? How would you like to see your business grow? What is your desired results and vision? How would you like your business to be perceived by those experiencing it on a daily basis? Who is your Target audience? What market makes up your primary demographic? How do you see your business engaging them? It's important to design your questions, so they elicit and encourage your clients to dive deep into their own thinking.
Doing so, will help you get meaningful content and return that goes beyond the surface information available to anyone. A Creative Brief will also help you gauge and define client expectations and perceptions regarding their own business, their clients, and your creative work. Having this type of open and honest communication helps to avoid pitfalls in the overall creative process, and builds trust between you and your clients, as you both get to know each other better.
You can use Creative Briefs on any type of project, be it to logo, a character design, a brand graphic, a T-shirt design, or even copy writing. Once you've harvested this type of core client information, you're far better positioned to move forward successfully with your design. After a client fills out a creative brief I like to read through it, digests their input and follow it up with additional questions. Once I have these questions answered, I'm ready to rock 'n roll.
If you're not using Creative Briefs, I highly recommend that you develop one to use with your own clients. To help you get started checkout the Exercise Files to review the simple Creative Brief I use with my own small business clients.
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