A good foundation is what every designer needs. And that foundation is starting with a good creative brief.
Here's some helpful pointers to get you started:
- Listen. The client often doesn't know how to design. That's why they are coming to you. But what they do know is valuable to you as a designer. They know their audience, they know what they want to tell them, and they know what their audience should do. Make sure you understand that too.
And find out what the limitations are. Are their disclaimers, color restrictions, approvers, or other items that may derail the process. Find that out now.
- Offer insight. While listening to the client, make sure you consider alternatives to the design project they are asking you for. Perhaps there is a better way to achieve their goal than a mere logo. Help them to increase their project effectiveness by suggesting a broader branding campaign instead.
- Research. After listening to the client, and you understand their goals and their audience, find out as much as you can about the whole market. See not only where you client fits in, but where they can shine.
- Give feedback. Before developing your creative brief or agreeing to their brief, make sure you specify what you understand the final deliverables are suppose to be, and what would be considered success. And prepare a strategy for tackling the design problem. Relay this information back to the client to make sure you are both on the same page.
- Be in agreement. After all the information-gathering and writing is done, be sure you and the client are both in agreement, because this document will be the basis of discussion, during the design process.
Photo courtesy Michal Marcol of freedigitalphotos.net