Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Client Versus the Creative Brief

This post continues the discussion about the usefulness of graphic design creative briefs and their limitations. In this post we examine what happens when you've prepared a great creative brief, and even have the client's signature and approval on the design direction. But, for some reason the client ignores the creative brief in search of another solution that you never discussed with them before. What do you do?

To be honest, this happens from time to time. But first, we need to see things from the client's perspective. There a number of reasons this happens — apart from a mistake by the designer, as we discussed last time. Here are a few of the most common reasons:
  1. The client forgot to show the brief to someone up the chain, who now has a say in the outcome.
  2. The client forgot a key detail, and figures it will work itself out in the design phase.
  3. The client formulated a set of new, more specific, criteria after seeing the initial design solutions.
  4. The client misunderstood the brief.
The solution is to redo the creative brief before doing more needless work. Hone that puppy down! Spend the time to do this, for the client's benefit, and your sanity. Otherwise, you would've been better off without a creative brief in the first place, since you are working blind and off wrong assumptions.

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