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The Creative Brief: Your Blueprint for Great Package Design

When driving to an unfamiliar location, most people will pull out a map, consult an online route provider, or rely on a GPS to get them to their destination. Any successful plan of action begins with defining your starting point (Point A) and your destination (Point B).

So why do people think that they can meander their way through creating a successful business or completing a complicated project -- like package design -- without a plan? More often than not the reason is because they don’t quite know what point B is.

In other words, they don’t know where they’re going!

In the design world, the only way to end up with a truly effective package design is to begin with a creative brief. This important document serves as the blueprint for the whole project – a touchstone that everyone involved refers back to as the project progresses.

The creative brief gets you to think about the tough questions. But it also allows everyone involved in the project to quickly root out conflicting objectives and get on the same page. There are so many variables to package design that a detailed creative brief is a must for eliminating guesswork – all of the important criteria are defined and documented.

The format, layout, and exact scope of a creative brief can vary somewhat between companies, but there are certain key items that pretty much all of them include. A few questions that should be covered in a creative brief are:

Where are you now?
- Do you have an existing package to be overhauled?
- What is working and what isn’t working? Why?
- Is the product new?
- Any preconceived ideas?

Where do you want to be?
- Is your goal reasonable?
- What channel(s) will you use to get there?
- What is your target audience?
 
How do we know when we have arrived?
- What is your measurement for success?
- How long do you anticipate it taking to reach your goals?

Without a creative brief, objectives tend to be all over the place -- the design team will wander through design iterations that aren’t quite right. The more defined your packaging plan for the creative team, the faster and more effective the project will be.

Think of the creative brief as clicking the “shortest route” option on your GPS.

For more information on creative briefs, see XO Create!'s comprehensive guide on how to write a creative brief and why you need to.The file is only 220k, and it’s a great plan for building a truly effective creative brief for your package design project.

Laura Donnelly is the Strategy Director for XO Create! which provides expertise in packaging experiences by transforming consumer brands through compelling branding and packaging innovations.

To contact Laura call 678.319.4242 
www.xocreate.com

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