You can probably count on one hand the number of things you do without reading the instructions first – play a video game, set up a home theater, shampoo my hair, etc. Unless you’ve ever had to say to yourself, “Oooohhhh, I’m supposed to rinse first?” you can also probably handle a few things without any guidance. 99% percent of the time, however, we need to read all the details before trying to tackle something. And, yes, that fits the project management role at Porchlight quite nicely we must say.

Now whether we’re in the majority on this or not, we have no idea. Maybe most people enjoy trial by fire and would rather act first and think later. But in the world of design, we ask that you make sure to initially read and comprehend the creative brief. One thing we’ve learned in working with designers is that good ones appreciate solid creative direction, otherwise their work doesn’t relate to anything. The creative brief is this vital direction that helps rather than limits and goes a long way towards the overall success of the project.

Think of it like construction – you don’t start building a structure without a blueprint for what it should look like, right? It’s the same concept. Our brief, for instance, includes 11 straight-to-the-point questions such as “What would we like our target audience to think?” and “Are there any creative guidelines?” We then send it to the client for their review and tweak it as necessary until we finalize the creative objective. It’s a simple process, yet it’s so important.

So ask yourself – would you enjoy less hours wasted going in the wrong creative direction? What about knowing, right off the bat, the target audience for, say, the package you’re designing, as well as the most important messages to place on that package? With a proper creative brief, all of the details are laid out right in front of you. It’s up to you to figure out how to bring them to life and persuade the target audience.

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