How To: The Creative Brief
April 19, 2019
Yellowbox Creative

Creativity fosters better leadership, problem solving and promotes teamwork.

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Our short-term memory can’t handle everything that you throw at it. Writing things down keeps you from losing ideas forever.

One element that all healthy creative processes include is a Creative Brief. If executed correctly, the brief serves as a true north — a clear target your creative team can aim for, and execute on.


Creative briefs help keep projects running smoothly and prevent misunderstandings and delays. They act as a home base for all key information on a project.

(1) Building team continuity.
(2) Aligning expectations.
(3) Defining clear, measurable tasks.

Too often in local church creative planning conversations, we end up in ill-planned, blue-sky meetings with no clear agenda or process to follow. Failed and discouraged, we leave the post-it note filled room with no clear path forward to help bring our visions to life.

Enter the Creative Brief…

Using this process, pastors can clearly communicate their vision, where they see the series or event heading, and what mood it may have. Essentially, if done correctly, leadership approves a creative brief before design work begins. Design work that follows a well-planned brief accurately should come very close to hitting the mark as opposed to a design created without this information.

In the cases where a brief is followed but the mark is still missed, it usually has to do with…
(1) The skill set of the designer.
(2) Lack of proper input from necessary parties.
(3) Failure to adopt a healthy creative process (ie, I’ll know it when I see it).

So, we’ve discussed what a Creative Brief is, let’s talk about when they make sense.


Creative briefs should be activated when the concept your team is working to create requires conceptual design from the ground floor.

Examples where a creative brief comes in handy could include, a new series, event, campaign, or merch line.

On the flip side, you likely won’t need to execute a creative brief for a deliverable update based around your brand. This is because, in this case, the concept is already defined by way of the brand itself.

But what is a concept?

Think of a concept as a foundation that a big idea can be built upon, and revolve around. In most cases, your church will be designing collateral elements around either your brand, or around a series, event, or campaign concept. Any design elements that deviate from this rule will likely only serve to disconnect and degrade the brand equity of your organization.


Creative Director
Creative Pastor
Executive Decision Makers
Vision Casters

Involving the right people in the process, as we mentioned earlier, is key to making it work.

If you aren’t asking for input from those in the position to override a decision, you may be shooting yourself and your process in the foot.

Leadership carries the vision but may be unable creatively to bring that vision creatively to life. That’s not a bad thing per say, after all,  we’re all wired to form parts of a body, not all be the same part. A healthy creative process can account for such scenarios and help everyone play to their strengths.

Capturing the vision that your leadership has may require a questionnaire, a separate meeting to discuss the series or event, or heavy involvement in the development of the creative brief itself.

Ready to get started on your creative brief? We have a starting place - click here.

The content of this article is featured in an episode of the Yellowbox Creative Podcast, currently available through the following outlets:

iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Buzzsprout