What Makes a Good Project Brief?

When I did creative work for a multinational food and beverage brand, I was delivering creative for several marketing team members concurrently. It became essential to keep very clear project briefs so that we could track creative and timing expectations.

A good project brief gets to your desired outcome, faster. By being very clear about your project goals and parameters, both you and your creative team can create a deliverable that meets your expectations more efficiently.

Your Project Brief Should Have:

  1. Project Name

This seems straightforward, but establishing a project name gets you and your creative team on the same page. This is especially helpful if you’re working on several projects concurrently so that you’re both referring to the same thing.

  1. Project Lead & Contact Person + Additional Project Contact Person

Having one person take lead helps to streamline feedback and keep up project momentum. If possible, it’s also great to have another project stakeholder that can be cc’d in the event someone else has to pick up the baton.

  1. Requested deadline

This is one of the first big parameters your creative team needs to know so they can plan accordingly.

  1. Project Goal & Background

Here is where you share the context and target audience your deliverable is for. For example, is this an internal piece for your company? Or an external piece for your customers? Is this for a one-time event, or is this meant to be evergreen material? All of these details make a big difference in the approach and outcome of the project. These details can even help your creative team make additional suggestions for other tools that can help you achieve your desired outcome.

  1. Creative Deliverable

What is the final THING(s) we need to complete and deliver for your audience? (Examples: A sell sheet. A banner ad. A booth design.)

  1. What is the message hierarchy?

What is the main takeaway the audience needs? (Examples: “They need to know where to find our product.” Or, “They need to know what our new service offering is.”)

  1. Copy

If you have very specific copy that your creative team needs to use, let them know. This is also an opportunity to be open to suggestions and collaboration to leverage copy that works best within your chosen medium.

  1. Creative Mandatories

If there are any assets that your creative them definitely needs to include, let them know. (Examples: Logo, Tagline, Legalese, your website URL)

  1. Specs/Dielines

Include measurements, sizing, dimensions, etc. of the final deliverable(s). This is especially necessary if the project is a magazine ad, banner, or a packaging project.

  1. Assets

If you already have assets your creative team can use, be sure to send those. This includes your brand logos, photography, fonts, icons, brand guideline, etc.

BONUS TIP: If you also have a specific printer in mind, let your creative team know so they can connect directly with them to make sure they’re providing final files that meets your printer’s specs.

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