Previously we posted about how to write good creative briefs. We asked some of our customers and creative experts to share with our readers what are the common issues they have to solve while briefing process.

What are the important issues about creative briefing?

Francesco Facchinetti, Project Manager
Francesco Facchinetti, Project Manager at Permasteelisa Group

I believe one of the major issues I faced was and still is the lack of technological and production knowledge. Production technologies and process always impose limits, especially if we want to boost efficiency and get a bit of margin. Mostly, these concepts are not considered in discussions with clients, and this is the reason why sometimes we do not switch to new ideas.

Nikky Starrett, designer, teacher and Founder of Pomp&Sass Design Studio
Nikky Starrett, Founder of Pomp&Sass Design StudioSheridan College Professor of Creative Studies

The problem arises when we assume our way of working is the only one. All too often clients become irritated because they use a set of specific parameters unique to them. By creating detailed briefs at the start, we can eliminate this altogether.


Leslie Araiza, Project Manager
Leslie Araiza, Project Manager at Publicis Groupe

I think one of the most common briefing issues is not thinking about the strategy from end to end. The strategy should start from the brief presentation, with the right usage of language and technicians for each client/industry, letting them know you have expertise in their field. Another common issue is that usually, clients dismiss disruptive proposals, since they may not be sure of their brand identity. They come back to the idea that the strategy should include every aspect, and try to solve core problems for the brand.

Laura Chan, Project Manager
Laura Chan, Project Manager at Pentagram

From my experience, the biggest problem with client briefs is that a lot of clients don’t know what they want until they see it.
Therefore, collaboratively trying to define what the brief is before design exploration starts can be difficult – as you may be unaware that you’re not on the same page until the client decides they don’t like what’s been developed.
We often find that outlining our process as clearly as possible still trips us up as there are things clients wanted to be included in the initial scope, but they weren’t. The solution is to have as thorough a conversation with the client before the project begins, so there should be as much clarity as possible at kick-off.

Tilman Solé, Design Director
Tilman Solé, Design Director (Partner) at Mucho

All the briefings are 90% the same. Each contains the same words: disruptive, contemporary/modern (but not too much), sustainable, new, simple… there are never emotional values. So, before working, the ideal way for us to proceed is to do a “Socratic dialogue” with the client. There we will have a collective intelligence. Asking the right questions, we will have the right answers… and we will have a proper brief.

Iván González Castro
Iván González Castro, Project Manager at CID Group (Prowell Group)

Incomplete information is the main problem. Clients often don’t know what they want or where to go. They want to rely only on creativity without planning or strategy because they think it gives a solution to all their problems.

Creative Director
Jack Dixon, Creative Director at

The biggest challenge our clients face during the briefing process is not aligning around a clear goal– why are you intending to do this, and what is the desired outcome? It is our job to make sure we extract this information each time and steer clients away from being overly prescriptive of the medium to achieve the desired goal.

Huston Keith, Principal and Founder of Keymark Associates

In client briefings, it’s often tricky to understand the information the clients need to help them move to the next stage in their marketing and product development process.

We hope this thought will help you to avoid fails. Wish all your design projects be approved & delivered on time 🙂

Matthew Roberts is a guy who loves reading and writing whatever he can get his hands on - from project management articles to spicy rock'n'roll guitar riffs. He's been working with Approval Studio since 2018 and continues to do so now, which is why you are currently reading this small clumsy text, obviously. With a solid experience in marketing, creative team management, translation, teaching, and occasional freelancing masochism, he decided that it was a high-time to settle down a bit and finally learn how to use a coffee machine. Approval Studio office happened to have one, so he stayed, learned, and soon enough started working from home. Big and bald.

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