Many times I was asked what is the first thing that I usually do at the beginning of a design project and the answer is always doing my creative brief with the client. The creative brief is probably the most important thing in my creative process as it is the road map and guideline for me to do the design. My creative brief begins with a set of questions of which I refer to as "The 5 W's" (Figure 1). These questions can be sent ahead to the client or given out at the initial meeting to get spontaneous answers. Although the latter method may bring some good candid feedback, I prefer to have the client fill out the questions ahead of time before our meeting so the answers are more thorough and accurate. That way also gives me opportunities to clarify some answers that were not clear to me or to ask more questions if needed.
Creative brief can be a time-consuming process but I believe the more time you spend on it, the better result you'll get from it. However, time is precious in today's business and corporate environment so I have to assess each client or project individually with regards to available time that can be spent in doing the creative brief versus other tasks such as designing and revisions