Insights   |  Best Practices   |  Getting the brief right

Getting the brief correct

Why it's important to be
clear from the very outset.

Jason explains why it's important to get the briefing of a project correct...

It sounds obvious, but you will be surprised how many people can not, or do not brief the supplier correctly,
then, wonder why they are not getting what they think they asked for. The amount of times I come across this is actually quite scary. You walk into a clients offices & are introduced to a member of staff who has been given the task of briefing you on what is required, when its required for, & in what format it's required in. You then go about producing the work experiencing issues throughout the process only to find yourself being addressed as though you are an incompetent by that same member of staff that briefed the job in the first place. All because you are having to keep asking them questions about the issues that are constantly arising. You then find out, as you had started to suspect anyway that that individual was a bit green & had actually got it completely wrong & briefed you incorrectly in the first place. You find that all the issues you were facing were due to the bad
brief & poor understanding of the final output. 

Now I can't complain too much it's not always the fault of the individual, sometimes the client's client does not know what they want or have not fed back the information correctly or in a timely manner, or simply change their minds last minute as is often the case. However, there is definitely a lack of knowledge that stems from positions that have very little or no training of the procedures it takes to create certain elements within the design studio. That in itself is to be expected, everyone can not be expected to know what everyone's role consists of or know every detail of everything that would, of course, be silly. That said, there are a few things that all account handlers, studio managers, traffic managers & production managers should know & confirm prior to briefing a supplier in order to speed things along & avoid work having to be done over due to bad information
& this is where we can help.

You should always be ascertaining what the final output & uses are going to be i.e is the powerpoint presentation going to be viewed on a large screen or a projector or simply on a laptop?. Why would you ask this? because if it were going to be viewed on a large screen we would use a higher resolution image not to mention the page size would be adjusted to accommodate. We could try to explain every aspect of artworking but it would be too detailed an undertaking, therefore, we have given you a list of questions you should ask as a matter of course in order to help the supplier undertake your project with a certain level of reassurance that he/she will get the job out first time correctly for what you need in terms of deliverable.

Things you should ask
before briefing your supplier

Printed or On Screen output
Litho or Digital print
CMYK or Spot colours or a mix (obtain Pantone™ refs if applicable)
RGB or HEX referenced
Embossed | Debossed | Spot Varnished | Foiled
What is the final size A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 Other
How much bleed does the printer require 3mm | Other
Has there been a cutter guide supplied (if not one will be produced for you)
What stock has been specified 
Are there any finishing requirements (i.e perfect binding or saddle stitching)
Are there any production specifications that need adhering too
Has the job been proof read 
Has the design been signed off 
Has the budget been signed off
Are the image licences correct
Does the client wish to print a handout of the presentation
Landscape or portrait
Does the client require a kit of parts (guideline work only)
What is the timeline for completion 

It is becoming increasingly common that these sort of questions are NOT asked so we have our own checklist
to ensure we at least, have a procedure to make sure our artworks are created efficiently & correctly.
Getting the brief correct first time out also helps you stay on budget as work does not have to be redone
due to the poor briefing.


If you are in need of a little extra help in achieving your creative goals,
need some advice or simply need to offload a project you have no
internal resource for then get in contact today.