Updated: Mar 22, 2019
If there's one thing to be said about being a freelancer, it's the constant excitement of working with new clients on ever-changing projects. However, with this comes the need to start from scratch and gather the basics of every brief.
1. What You Do
"I'm happy with your quote. I need this by tomorrow, so here's the brief and I look forward to seeing what you come up with." WOAH. Let's go back a few steps. Imagine trying to sell a product without knowing what it does? Doesn't make sense right? If just a few minutes can be spared to share some background info you're likely to get the results you want in a shorter time, and over less drafts!
2. What You Need and For What
A flyer, poster and a brochure are not all the same thing. We want to get it RIGHT for you, we just need the tools to do so! What size is it? What type of document? Is it digital, or is it print? And for all this, how much do you have to spend? We need a fair, realistic and (if possible) flexible budget. Clarity is key. Too much detail is NEVER too much detail.
3. What You Have
Also take a moment to consider what you already have. As a freelancer completely detached from your business, nothing is more useful than seeing similar examples of collateral you've had before. Even if it's not what you want! Eliminating ideas is just as useful as creating them. Do you have any branding guidelines, logos or images in mind? And who's writing the content? Making sure all these things are agreed from the start will stop the design turning left when you need to be going right...
4. What It's For
So you've decided you want a four page brochure, great! Now let's talk about it's purpose - this can really help to direct the design. Is it to sell? Is it informative? Is it an internal or external customer-facing document? These things all affect the tone, layout and overall look of a piece.
4. When You Need It By (Really)
If there's one thing design freelancers come across more often than not, I'm willing to bet it's inaccurate deadlines. Time and time again the 'within the next 24 hours' deadline comes around. And, if that's when you really need it for, you'll be sure we can get it done by then. But, if you really need it for next week, then give yourself and us the time to allow creativity to fly. The more time we have, the more options you have.