Make an Inspired Creative Brief Nick Bowersox | October 20th, 2016
We’ve heard it before. We’ve probably said it before. It’s an all too common and not at all helpful framework for evaluating design:
“I don’t know what I like until I see it.”
Many entrepreneurs feel this way when writing a creative brief for a creative project. For most, it’s difficult to express your visual preferences in words, and even harder when you don’t know what those visual preferences are.
Rather than waiting for the first round of designs to hone in on what you do and don’t like, save valuable time on projects by gathering inspiration from these design showcase websites. With a collection of inspiration and a little guidance, your creative brief will be more dialed in and both you and the designer will be speaking the common language of design.
Here are some great inspiration resources for a variety of design projects:
Graphic Design Project: Dribbble
Dribbble calls itself “show and tell for designers” and their community of over 450,000 designers does that on a daily basis.
Check the “Popular” section for trending designs or get more specific with Dribbble’s search or extensive “Tags” section. To get a better idea of how successful brands utilize design, browse the “Team” section which features designs from Google, Spotify, Mailchimp, and other top companies.
Landing Page Design Project: Lapa
Lapa launched a year ago and has quickly become a favorite destination for landing page design inspiration. Unlike Dribble, Lapa’s team curates each submission so the focus is on quality more than quantity.
You can sort the landing pages by category, but with a little over 300 landing pages currently featured on the site, it doesn’t hurt to browse through the entire collection. You never know what may speak to you when it comes to looking for design inspiration.
Email Design Project: ReallyGoodEmails
Really Good Emails is just that: a collection of really good emails submitted by designers and customers and reviewed by RGE’s team. Though the team claims they are “quite picky” with the emails they feature, the site has been around for almost 3 years so there is quite a bit of material for drawing inspiration.
Scroll through the new entries for a bit before viewing some of their top categories (we recommend “Welcome” “Transactional” and “Announcement”). If you’re feeling academic, RGE’s blog is a great resource for getting better at sending emails.
Make the inspiration work for you
Once you have collected your inspiration, it’s important to look for some commonalities between the designs you like. Be on the lookout for the following elements of design so that you and the designer are on the same page during the creative process.
It’s a lot easier for a designer to hone in on your preferences when you point out exactly what you like about each design rather than expecting them to decipher it for you:
Why it’s important: Different colors say different things about your brand. Researchers in a widely-cited study titled The Impact of Color on Marketing found that 90% of snap decisions people make about products could be based on color alone. With that in mind, it is key that you have input on the color chosen for your design.
Questions to consider: Are you selecting inspiration with a lot of bright colors or more subdued ones? Are most of the designs you like entirely black and white? Do you find yourself selecting designs with the same color over and over again?
Why it’s important: Your brand’s values are communicated visually through the style selected for a design. When selecting inspiration, make sure that the design expresses values that are core to your brand. Helping designers connect your brand values with visual examples eliminates any confusion during the creative process.
Questions to consider: Does this design “feel” like something your company would create? Are these designs more classic or modern? Feminine or masculine? Do the designs convey a playful tone or a serious one? Are the messages in your favorite designs normally abstract or literal?
You’re on your way
The more rounded out your creative brief, the better the submissions will be. Be sure to include your newly-found inspiration and preferences in the “Any other info” section of your creative brief to help creatives understand your style before they start working on your project. With the right input including inspiration and an understanding of your preferences, creatives can focus all their time developing a standout design for your business.
Now that you are ready to rock your creative brief, start a Design Project to enlist the help of thousands of designers that can help convey your brand’s message. Design projects get 110+ entries on average, making it easy to compare your options and choose the perfect design to help your brand stand out.