what is a brief in graphic design

What is a Brief in the Graphic Design World?

November 7, 2022
Versa Creative
You outlined your business plan, prepared your speech, and are ready to pitch your business to a potential partner or investor. Launching a business plan is nerve-wracking, and standing out from the crowd is key to gaining the attention and engagement you’re seeking. Before you shout to the world that you are open for business, you’ll want to ensure that all the wow factors about your business are fully displayed. Creating a creative brief before your launch is crucial to defining your business apart from the competition, and working with a graphic designer to highlight the important aspects of your business will make you shine!

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

A creative brief is a document that outlines the full scope of a business. The breakdown of the document includes information about the company  itself, the service or products it provides, its objectives and goals, expenses, general brand determinants, and more. In most situations, the creative brief is used between clients and designers to outline the overall direction for the business to potential design partners in hopes of creating marketing material, such as logos, websites, billboards, and more. A creative brief is also extremely helpful when searching for potential investors, partners, or clients.

How does a creative brief relate to graphic design projects?

A style guide highlights the key messaging and general consistency of your brand across all mediums, and is similar to a creative brief. The latter is a document that highlights the essential aspects of your business’s foundation, look, feel, and overall aesthetic. Not only does it give your business a solid foundation to stand on, but it also showcases the projected revenue or success of your business in the future. Facts and numbers are the backbones of this document, but conveying this compiled information properly and in the most appealing way takes much more than just statistics.

A creative brief’s design aspects make the most impact at first glance. Before anyone can read the information listed, they are greeted with color, typography, layout, and eye-catching design. These aspects are crucial in creating the right impression for potential partners or investors, so we suggest ensuring that the design process when creating your business’s creative brief is thorough and concise and creates a highly  impressionable effect. 

Working with a graphic designer to produce assets to include inside of your creative brief will allow the person viewing it to understand the overall concept and provide their wholehearted support. 

graphic design briefs include company overviews

What are the 7 Parts of a Creative Brief?

A creative brief is generally composed of at least seven parts – a company overview, the target audience, potential competitors, business goals, brand voice and tone, vision, and timeline. Properly dissecting these aspects of your business in a way that is not overwhelming but visually attractive and precise will undoubtedly stir excitement. Before we dissect the seven essential parts of a creative brief, let’s go over some general tips to make each section impactful. 

First, keep it short and sweet. It’s important to remember that some viewers may only have a limited time to view your brief, so be sure to include as much information as possible while still keeping reading time under five minutes. Secondly, be sure to give enough context about your product or service so that someone who is a novice to the information can understand it easily. Lastly, be as organized as possible! We suggest creating a glossary at the beginning of your creative brief so that the viewer can skip to the section that most interests them. Make sure the flow of information makes the most sense for understanding.
Now that you have a few tips for success, let’s go over the essential parts of your brief.

The Company Overview

A company overview explains what exactly your business offers. What products or services do you sell, and what problem does it solve for the consumer? Another important part of the company overview is the discussion of the business’s core values. This allows the reader to understand the “Why” behind the function of your business.

The Target Audience

The target audience section of a design brief gives context to the people you hope to appeal to as a business. In the section, you’ll want to include gender, age, and activities they enjoy. If you want to go into more detail, some business owners even lay out their target audiences’ lifestyle values and professions. Contrary to common belief, the more narrow this information, the better!

The Competition

Although it is wiser in some instances to have tunnel vision and not worry about what everyone else is doing, understanding your competitors is crucial, and equally as crucial is conveying your knowledge of this to potential investors or partners in your creative brief. You should include the impact that your competitors have in the marketplace and how they differ or are similar to you. Although it may seem like a disadvantage, it’s better to lay the details out on the table to understand how you can get a leg up!

Your Vision

In this section, you will explain where you plan to  take your business and how you plan to get there. It is important to include various important stats and explain how the assistance of partners or investors will elevate this plan. Be sure to be thorough! It is also appropriate to include visual representations of what you envision your business to look like in the future. The more information you provide, the better.

Your Goals

The goals of your business expound more on your “why.” You created this amazing product or service, but why? How will your business make a difference or provide convenience in your target audience’s lives? Stand tall and convey this information with the most confidence possible.

Brand Voice and Tone

Formulating a distinct voice and tone for a business is crucial to compel a target audience to believe in what it is selling. Speaking to a younger crowd as if they are in their forties will not garner much success. Conduct extensive research on the ideal form of communication for your target audience, and from there, you’ll be able to decide if you need to be formal, progressive, informative, etc. The possibilities for voice and tone are endless!


When presenting your creative brief to potential partners or investors, you must include a section for content or services that you are working on but have yet to be completed. Assets like a potential logo, copy, advertising plans, website deliverables, and more. You can check out this article to get more context on various deliverables in your brief.


This section will provide a detailed outline of the various stages or projects of your business and if any ongoing projects will need to be tracked or completed. This information is essential being that potential partners or investors will want to know that they can trust your business’s trajectory because of your brief’s transparency.

A Little Design Brief Magic Makes the Biggest Difference

Overall, a creative brief is extremely important when presenting your business to potential partners, investors, clients, and more. A huge advantage is working closely with a talented graphic designer to ensure your creative brief’s layout and appeal are as captivating as possible. It conveys your professionalism as a business owner and showcases what your business brings to the table.

Versa Creative has completed many creative briefs for our clients that set the tone for any viewer that reads them. We’ve also created templates so that multiple pitches or presentations can be made without having to start building from scratch each time you present. We specialize in results, and a customized creative brief will bring you exactly that.

Contact our team of creatives for the perfect creative brief for your business!

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