How to Write an Effective Creative Brief for Graphic Designers

Marketers and small business owners commonly find themselves in need of a creative brief for their graphic designers and other team members. Whether your graphic designers are internal or from an agency, clarifying your message, values, andobjectives in a creative brief helps to align all participants.

Another essential for businesses that sell products is having good product descriptions that draw attention and increase sales. Without the best-optimized descriptions, it is easy for products to miss out on their true potential in an online environment.

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What is a creative brief, and why is it important?

A creative brief is a document of around two pages that details the strategy of a creative project. It shows the purposes, objectives, and other important information relating to the project, as well as the people you are trying to connect with and how you will achieve this.

A creative brief is a guide that the creative team and individuals can work from. This personnel could include artists, graphic designers, or musicians who are working on projects in advertising, marketing, or other fields. Creative briefs are specifically made for the creative team to ensure everyone understands the goals, plans, and crucial aspects of the project.

In most cases, the creative brief is made by the account manager, who works closely with the client and best understands their needs. This person needs to interpret the client’s ideas for their brand or product and ensure they are encapsulated in the document. The creative team then uses the brief to express these ideas in their own forms of media.

Rather than creating a new creative brief for every project, organizations usually develop a template that can be applied to each new creative project.

What should a creative brief for graphic designers include?

When writing a creative brief, it is best to start with an outline to work from. You can develop a creative brief format that could include the following:

  1. Background: This should include two main elements. The first is the vital background context of the client or business that the creative brief is for. You need to understand the central aspects of the business and brand as this will impact the creative work. However, if you are working internally, then this part may not be needed. The other area that you will need to understand the background information on is the product or products that the campaign is focused on.
  2. Project: In this section, you can give details of the deliverables and what you are going to achieve in the project. At this stage, the creative team can find the particulars of the tasks each member will carry out, and they will probably need to ask or discuss points for further clarification.
  3. Audience: When appealing to a particular audience, it is important to understand as much as possible about this group of people. These are potential customers that the brand is attempting to engage. The target audience is typically defined in terms of the age group, average salary, and personal interests, among other attributes.
  4. Objectives: Here is where you can concentrate on the main reasons behind the project. Are you trying to find new customers or reinvent the brand and connect with a new demographic? These objectives will impact the creative process, so they should be in the creative brief.
  5. Voice: This can be seen as a style guide that will let the creative understand more about the right tone, style, and communicative approach that you will be using with the audience. There may also be particular words and phrases that you will try to use.
  6. Competition: You may not need to include this in your creative brief, but the competition you are working against could be relevant to the project. In this section, you could highlight other brands or campaigns that impact the campaign.
  7. Details: Here you can include any extra details that are important to the project, such as the team members and decision-makers, the roadmap and deadlines, and the publication date.

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Examples of great creative briefs

Before creating your own, it is a good idea to find a suitable creative brief example that has similar ideas, objectives, and processes to the one you are planning. Here are some examples of creative briefs that have been successful for brands.


This example from Reebok works because it is simple and straight to the point. It does not include a great deal of content, but for people who need to work quickly and not get caught up in the details, this is a perfect choice. The text is bold and clear, so you can directly select the information you need.

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From PayPal, this is an appealing creative brief that clearly divides the different aspects of the project and gives ample information for each of them. The brief has an attractive design and incorporates visualization of the key processes related to the project.


This is a much more detailed example of a creative brief from the shoe company, Toms. This extra information is needed to explain the larger context of charitable donations made and the way a customer can be involved. Thus, extra details on the company, its objective, and target customers are needed in the brief.

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This is another aesthetically pleasing creative brief that will address to graphic designers, graphic design services and illustrators in particular. It clearly divides into the project’s key components and provides all the information needed for each area. It highlights statistics relevant to the project and uses fonts and icons that set the right tone for the giant in sportswear and equipment.

These examples show that the approaches to creative briefs can be quite varied. The account management team and creative team should devise a creative brief template that will contain all of the essential information and be easy for creatives to work with. Graphic designers work in visual communication, so this should be considered when designing a visually appealing creative brief.


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Nikolaus Oosterhof

Nikolaus holds a degree in software development and has a strong passion for all things tech-related, especially gadgets with screens. Though he is nostalgic for older phone models, he's a retired gamer and continues to enjoy programming in open-source environments. Additionally, Nikolaus enjoys writing about Linux, macOS and Windows and has experience designing web pages.

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