At its most basic level, the brief is an understanding between a client and a creative professional, outlining the objectives of a project, its audience, and a strategy for reaching that audience within certain parameters and with certain goals.
But for all the ways in which creatives are able to reach and engage audiences have changed and evolved over the years, the brief has remained largely unchanged. This intrigued Tom Bassett, founder of Bassett & Partners, enough to want to find out more about how some of the world’s most consistently exceptional creative talents thought about and used the brief.
On September 30, Bassett will launch the short doc Briefly free online, which talks to Frank Gehry, Fuseproject’s Yves Behar, 72andSunny co-founder John Boiler, the Rockwell Group’s David Rockwell, illustrator Maira Kalman, and John Jay of Wieden+Kennedy, on the role the brief plays in their work and relationships with clients.
Bassett says the goal for the film was to help young creatives and clients see that there is much more potential in this document. “On one end you’ve got very traditional companies who probably see the brief as a rigid, static, almost contractual document that creative people are just supposed to go execute upon without questioning it,” says Bassett. “It’s like a legal contract. What I hope the film shows people is that a good brief is a flexible document, something fluid and in search of, as David Rockwell eloquently put it, the engine that is going to drive that project forward emotionally. Like Frank Gehry and the Eisenhower Memorial, and how he boiled it down to the boy from Abilene. The hope is people will take these philosophies or approaches to help them achieve their own great creative results.”