John Cowen

John Cowen

User Experience • Design • Creativity



Every project starts with a brief.

But very few projects end up with exceptional results. Why?

As a disruptive brand and design strategy firm that creates briefs across multiple creative disciplines including Advertising, Design, and Innovation, Tom Bassett, CEO of Bassett & Partners (and founder of MindSwarms), was curious to understand how some of the world’s most consistently exceptional creative talents thought about – and used – the brief.

Briefly from Bassett & Partners on Vimeo.

I watched this video last week. It's a teriffic series of interviews with top creatives explaining how they work (or don't) with creative briefs.

Top takeaway quotes for me came really early in the film:

We're not designers of shapes.
We're designers of ideas.

I don't believe in briefs.
I believe in relationships.

Anyone who has done creative work will find plenty to relate to and be inspired by in the film.

Above all it reinforces the fact that overly prescriptive briefs don't work well as part of a creative process. Designers aren't asking for complete free reign, we're just asking for the freedom necessary to actually be creative. It does require mutual trust between designer and the client - the ability to have a good working relationship and to start out with an almost blank slate on a project. The brief will still get written - but progressively, and together.

You made it to the bottom! Thanks for reading.

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