Working to a Brief

This exercise was all about reading and analysing design briefs. I was asked to look at three separate briefs and think about what the designer was being asked to do, what would be considered a successful outcome and what were the descriptive keywords which would help develop an understanding of what the client was looking for.

Before focussing on the three briefs individually I did some research and looked at what makes a successful brief. This helped me to establish some ideas and questions that I felt were useful in asking myself when I was analysing a brief.

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Jacob Cass’s description on just creative.com offered a good summary of a successful design brief

A design brief should focus primarily on the results and outcomes of the design and the business objectives of the design project

Brief One

Brief one is asking for a creative design solution to a problem – the company are concerned that young women find the idea of the product bland and unappealing. You, as the designer, are being asked to create packaging that appeals to young women who are looking for a healthy snack that is also tasty and feels like a treat. The packaging almost wants to exude the feeling of indulgence while within the framework of a bigger picture of purity and health-conscious lifestyle attitudes. The new design packaging for the product will have to work within an existing brand.

Keywords:

“new” “young women” “delicious” “healthy” “snack” “treats” “goodness” “bland” “unappealing” “love/hate”

Additional questions I would ask the client:

  1. What are the current established brand guidelines – are there any corporate colours and logos or design preferences they want to include?
  2. What is the size and shape of the packaging and where will it be sold?
  3. Are there any colour pallattes they would like?
  4. Are there any pictures, photos or diagrams that need including?
  5. What have been the previous designs used?
  6. What is the deadline and budget?

The client will judge a successful outcome if the design has a modern, fresh feel and incorporates images that young women connect to and identify with. The design would need to be eye-catching and vibrant against similar products. The product would need to tempt women to buy it with visual symbols that relate to health, vitality and dynamism.

Brief Two

It is difficult to identify expectations from Brief two and as it is quite vague it could be interpreted broadly. You are being asked to visually represent a metaphorical journey on the theme of connections. It seems that the exploration of themes and the use of imaginative imagery is important yet the overall sense of ‘connectedness’ is central to the message being communicated.

Keywords:

“dramatic” “contrast” “changing” “dynamic” “metaphorical journey” “theme” “juxtaposition” “connectedness” “people” “events” “philosophies” “theories” “objects” “movements” “inventions” “history” “literature”

Additional questions I would ask the client:

  1. What generated the need for the project? What do you want to achieve?
  2. Who is the target audience? Can I choose?
  3. What type of design am I producing? What materials, media and medium can I use and how will it be distributed?
  4. What is the budget and timeline?
  5. When will people see it?

I think a successful outcome would be a design where the client is able to identify journey and see how the themes of the elements explored visually all connect. A successful design would reflect high-quality and extensive research and will be inspirational in tone and have creative uniqueness and identity

Brief Three

Brief three is looking for creative designs to target young people aged 13 to 16 and encourage them to engage with the message of a wider campaign aimed at raising awareness of the risks of underage drinking. You are being asked to think about and develop ideas regarding the type of media that might appeal to teenagers and how to communicate a serious concept in an innovative, modern and engaging way.

Keywords:

 “awareness” “risks” “underage drinking” “change” “attitudes” “alcohol” “children” “young people” “vulnerable” “talk” “happy” “healthy”

Additional questions I would ask the client

  1. Are there any restrictions on the type of media format that can be used?
  2. What is the budget and timescale?

A successful outcome for this brief would be an engaging and informative design that reflects the campaigns message that ‘alcohol leaves you vulnerable’ and their identity ‘Why let drink decide’. It will compliment the message being given to parents and will encourage a sense of unity and community togetherness. Basically it will have an overall feeling of youthfulness and a modern style.

 

Overall, having analysed all the briefs, I think I would most like to tackle Brief three. I think that it offers the best combination of a well constructed and clear brief while allowing for creative freedom and exploration. The brief answers almost all of the ‘W’ (Who, What, Where, When, Why) questions but would leave me to suggest and research the ‘how’ of the delivery. This would challenge me intellectually and would give me the opportunity to work in format I hadn’t previously experienced. I also think it would stimulate my creative thinking and expand my skills in research as I’m not a member of or familiar with the target audience.

My imagination was stimulated by Brief two but I felt that it was just too open to interpretation for me to feel confident that I could deliver a successful outcome. I think that if I were to attempt it it would really develop my skills at refining my ideas and developing themes and unity and visual consistency in my work. I wouldn’t be confident enough at present in my technical abilities to adequately create designs that best reflected the death of my imagination and show juxtaposition.

Brief one felt somewhat restricted to me as it is creating a design within an existing brand identity. Having said this, it would be good experience to design within a framework and try to deliver a new and fresh image that also complements and seeks unity with Quakers other products. The brief offers the opportunity to work on packaging designs with potentially unusual shapes which would test creative boundaries and require reflections on spacing, priority information and manipulation of graphics. My main reason however for not choosing this design was that it didn’t inspire me and I found a brief restricting.

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