One of the hard parts of my work is filling out a solid creative brief. It seems with a lot of questions I have asked in the past, the client is unsure of where the company is even going. I have found through a bit of trial and error, different ways to get helpful information from the client.
This summer I had the pleasure of working with a hair salon. I wanted to ask for a budget and also find out an asthetic for the brand. Normally I would go about this by asking "what is your budget" or " what the feeling they would want to convey with their company?"
These questions are hard for new businesses and I have found it is our job to help them find the answers to these questions. So what exactly do you ask them? That's kind of the hard part. I have found that every new business I work with should have custom questions that fit the need of that company. This probably isn't the answer you wanted but I believe it is the most effective.
Here is an example. When I ask the client, "What type of hair product do you use" or what brand of scissors do you use. And then follow that question with why?
When your client answers this to the bed of there abilities it will tell you a lot about the person and the business they want to build. If they buy the best hair product and use the nicest scissors you can bet they will probably appreciate a professional, well done logo as well. You can look into these brands used by your client and asses there asthetic.
If the client says They use "Paul Mitchel" hair products it is a huge starting point for me. Then they tell you why. This is meant to inform you on that persons intentions with the business. Whether they say "because I am used to it" or "because I want to use the best product to provide the best product for my client" You can get a great deal of information about the future owner of that business.
The problem with the first set of questions is that the client has to know their business to answer those questions. And in most cases, if you are building a brand, the client hasn't figured that out yet.
Questions to figure out a clients budget are very difficult for me. The equipment they use is a decent in indicator on where they want to be, but not every client values a logo as much as their equipment. In this case I have started asking questions such as: Where will your business be located? How many employees will you have? What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
These questions seem accessive, but I believe they are further indicators on the quality the client is expecting and should be worked into the budget accordingly.
A business building and a logo couldn't be much further from each other physically. But I always look into the place of business as a huge indicator on where this business is and where it is going. For how different they are physically, a logo and the building it is on should have a lot in common.
There are so many questions I have when it comes to asking my clients questions. Learning to communicate more efficiently has been one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of my work.
I assure you I will find more examples in the future. I hope this was helpful. Email me if you have any questions, I'd love to try to help.
Designer & Illustrator