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How to write a creative brief (with PDF template)

James Chambers
James Chambers, Boords Founder

Creative briefs are used everywhere from film to web design, animation to photography. The specifics vary depending on the discipline, but they all share some specific goals. Learn the elements of a creative brief in our comprehensive guide.

Free Creative Brief Template

Perfect for any kind of creative project


Elements of a good creative brief

An effective creative brief provides constraints, outlines top-level project objectives, and guides the design process. Although a brief may feel limiting, constraints actually make the creative process easier. They give you something to work against. Here are the key elements to a great creative brief:

1. What are the final deliverables?

Is it a short film, an explainer, a TV ad? Consider the wider context in which the deliverable will be used; is it part of a social media or marketing campaign?

2. Who is the target audience?

Be as specific as possible. If your film is for a company, who are their customers? If possible, try and pick one individual (real or imaginary) who represents your target audience. You can refer back to this person during the creative process. Would they like it? No? Get rid of it!

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3. What's the goal of this piece?

Does your piece need to sell something? Raise awareness for a cause? Decide on the key messages your piece must communicate. They will be your lode star.

4. What's the deadline?

This will often be decided for you on client projects or festival submissions, but personal projects benefit from a roadmap, too. Without one, projects can run on indefinitely. Define your due dates and if possible, commit to them publicly. Social accountability is a powerful thing.

5. Who's on the creative team?

We'll assume you'll be on the team, but larger projects often include many other team members. Project managers, copywriters, and marketing teams all need to be accounted for, not to mention the client! Document your key team members together with their contact information.

6. Requirements & References

Are there any specific references or starting points to bear in mind? A style guide to adhere to? Gather as much background information at the outset as you can, and document it here.

Free Creative Brief Template

Perfect for any kind of creative project


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