"A brief is basically a set of instructions that set out what you want your designers to do, along with the objectives and parameters of the design project.
It should make clear what falls within - and outside - the scope of the work. This will help everybody refer back to where they started and make sure that the design work is developing according to your objectives.
It will also help you determine how successful the project has been when you reach the end. ...
Unfortunately, all too often briefs are agreed verbally - but a well-considered brief can act as a general grounding document if the project appears to be heading in the wrong direction, so it's well worth putting something in writing.
And remember, the brief isn't carved in stone; it can be adapted as you go along, as long as it's done in collaboration with everyone involved and the new version is also written down."
(Design Council, UK)
"The KaosPilots was founded in 1991 in Århus, Denmark. It grew out of a youth organization called the Front Runners, a truly novel initiative, who worked with cultural and social projects.
The KaosPilots is a self-governing institution comprised of two parts: the school and a consultancy. The purpose of the KaosPilots is 'positive social change through personal growth'.
The consultancy offers the same capabilities that are offered to the students to companies, NGO’s and public organizations, but adapted to suit their specific need. For examples of clients please click here.
The program is a three-year long education where the focus lies upon learning by doing through client assignments, from entrepreneurs, consultants, leaders and thought leaders.
The program consists of the disciplines Creative Enterprising Design, Creative Project Design, Creative Process Design and Creative Leadership Design and the education is designed around and operates according to the values Streetwise, Risk-taking, Balance, Compassion, Real World and Playful.
Based on the written application approximately 70 individuals are invited to attend a unique three-day workshop in the spring every year. Through a variety of assignments the applicant provides information to the staff and students who in the end will select a diverse team of about 35 aspiring KaosPilots to begin the program in the fall.
According to a comprehensive survey conducted in 2005 approximately 30% of the graduated KaosPilots work as an entrepreneur.
A KaosPilot is an enterprising leader who creates value for themselves and others."
"We have created this free guide to explain the process of finding and working with a designer - focusing on your needs and ensuring you get the most out of the project."
(UK Design Council)
Fig.1 "Briefing a Design Team" [http://www.bigstockphoto.com]
"Butcher's Hook is a design studio in London's Portobello formed by soon-to-be graduates of Kingston University and LCC in response to a D&AD brief in which students are encouraged to Make Their Mark.
It was featured on Creative Review's blog this morning.
By providing 'design for the local community' with a pledge to spend at least 10% of their time working on community projects, the students have started their own design agency and they haven't even left college yet.
Whilst Creative Review seem impressed by the students' ambitious move away from the computer screen to find their own work, it is clear these graduates haven't ventured into industry yet. Whilst I am happy to celebrate the initiative and drive that these students clearly have and I do not deny their talent and bravery, I am rather cynical of its potential. With 6 months experience, I am struggling to find a job in London and, like many graduates, have considered setting out on my own. What has prevented me from doing anything more than mildly pondering over the thought, is my lack of knowledge and experience.
Working on your own, or in a small team requires flawless Mac [computer] skills, impeccable design skills and not to mention bravery and confidence. It is also worth considering that client liaison skills can not be forged over night and the time and attention this occupies should not be underestimated. I once worked with an agency that was not much more than a year old and I didn't see them design anything all week. The agency was made up of just the two of them, and whilst their work is impressive and their client list respectable, they spent almost the entire day liaising with clients, organising the next week's schedule and discussing production. Whilst I have nothing good in terms of design to show from that placement, I can't deny I came out much more knowledgeable and more certain that I wasn't ready for that yet. The two of them had at least 8 years experience from a top London design agency, which not only prepared them for production and project management alongside design, but no doubt aided their client list too.
For me, The Butcher's Hook epitomises what is wrong with graduates. University teaches ideas, a little in the way of typographic principle and basic Adobe operation skills. Most importantly, university teaches arrogance. It wasn't until I started my first placement, I realised how little I actually knew. Idealistic tutors cherish the students' naivete and love for design, and keep from them what the reality is like. My biggest fear about starting out on my own would be the lack of good projects, which is something well-established agencies can provide you with. On your own, a new and unreliable studio, you lack the knowledge and experience that can get you good clients with impressive budgets. Low budget work can be dull to design and the project management and client liaison can become stressful. Designing on a budget is harder. Students only design ideas and don't often have to worry about the production costs and client needs. I would be interested to see what local community work these graduates get at Butcher's Hook, and whether they have the stamina and love for design to keep it going. I wish them good luck, but wouldn't encourage other graduates to do the same. Never underestimate how much you have left to learn."
(anonymous, 5 April 2012)
"The need for establishing clear project objectives cannot be overstated. An objective or goal lacks clarity if, when shown to five people, it is interpreted in multiple ways. Ideally, if an objective is clear, you can show it to five people who, after reviewing it, hold a single view about its meaning. The best way to make an objective clear is to state it such a way that it can be verified. Building in measures can do this. It is important to provide quantifiable definitions to qualitative terms."
(Merrie Barron and Andrew Barron, Connexions Consortium)