Top Tips for a Great Creative Brief

So you’ve completed the Pre Production phase of developing your new website. All the functionality is locked in, everyone understands the technical requirements of what your site will do, but before anything gets built you will need to utilise the talents of the creative team at your agency to create a visually appealing design.

The typical design phase following on from a wrap up of Pre Production has a few key components;

  1. Creative Brief:- This is when you will meet with the Creative Director, Art Director or a Senior Designer to discuss your likes/dislikes from a design point of view, and where a number of questions will be asked by the designer that will allow them to get started on a design.

  2. Concept Design: - The second component of the design phase is the initial concept (or homepage) design. You will typically receive two concepts, one which is very close to the creative brief obtained, and one which steers slightly away from it – where the designer will come up with a design which is more “outside the square”.

  3. Internal Page Concept:- When the homepage design is approved, the designer will then create a key internal page which will begin to set the style for the remainder of the subpages. A great example of a key internal page concept could be a Product Detail page on an ecommerce website, or a News page on a marketing website.

  4. Subpage Designs: - When the key internal page is approved, this is when the design team will put their heads down and really get into the subpages. This stage is when the remainder of the key templates which had been prototyped during Pre Production will have their design, or “skin” created.

Before the design team can get started on the concept design (Stage 2 above), they will need to conduct the Creative Brief (stage 1). This is usually attended by either your dedicated Account Manager, or Producer.

There are a few great tips to keep in mind when preparing yourself for your Creative Brief. If you follow these guidelines you’ll be able to steer the conceptualizing in the right direction and ensure that the designs you get back are on the mark, or very near to it.

Tip 1: Provide Examples (even of things you don’t like!)

Have you seen something else you liked? Or even something else you didn’t like?

Providing examples of websites that you like the colours, navigation and style of will form a basis for discussion during the creative briefing and will act as a launch pad, as opposed to starting with a blank canvas. (Creative freedom is fantastic, being inspired can be even better). Remember that these examples don’t necessarily have to be from competitors.

If you’ve also seen something on a website that you really did not like, show this to the designer. If they know to steer clear of a certain style you will be more likely to get something back that you love.

Tip 2: Branding and Guidelines

Have you just rebranded or had some online style guides created? Bring these with you. If we can know the “do’s and don’ts” of your brand we’ll be able to make sure we don’t break the rules.

Any colour palettes used on your other materials also help if you have them. Consistency across all elements of your brand is important for online brand recognition.

Tip 3: The Image is hero

If you have stock imagery or photos that have been taken professionally that we can use on the website let us know! Powerful imagery often triggers some amazing designs. If you’re website is selling holidays or products – a strong image library will take your designs to a whole other level.

Tip 4: Compile

Having all your briefing materials ready to go before the Creative Brief is key. Receiving brand guidelines or images after designs have already been started will mean backtracking for everybody concerned, and may mean an additional cost to redesign.

Bring everything, even if you think it isn’t important – the designers will know what to take on board and apply to your new website designs.