A contractual brief is where what the client wants is clearly written down, and the
producers need to sign to agree that they will fulfil these requirements. The producers
are given a specific time period to complete the task, and for a set fee.
The advantages of a contractual brief are that everything is drawn up in writing, so
everything is clear and there should be no confusion. This is also legally binding so if
either side breaches the contract then the contract enables the victims to take the
other party to court and get justice.
Some contracts can be long winded and this may put people off reading all of it and signing
it regardless of what is in it. This could cause some confusion and misunderstanding
between the client and the producer, and someone may end up agreeing to something
that they are unaware of. The contract may not have been written out correctly. There
may be contradictions, so if one were to take the other to court there could be
complications making them unable to prosecute.
A client produces and gives a media company a brief that tells the company exactly what the client
wants from the company and what they want them to do. The brief contains all the essential
information for the company to produce the product how the client wants it. Other negotiations
and additional information is notified and agreed by the client and company later on.
There is more flexibility and room for changes when a formal brief has been drawn up. There is also
more input from the producer, with their experience they can put their own experience into
practice by giving ideas to the client that they can decline or accept. Though there is more
flexibility, everything is written down clearly so that there is no confusion.
The main disadvantage with this formal brief is that it may not always be legally binding and clients may
be able to get away with tricking the producer. The producer may not end up getting paid and there
is nothing that they can do about it. If there are some parts written and some parts not then the
producer or the client may forget some aspects of the project they agreed on that weren’t written
This is a verbal agreement between a client and company, nothing is written down and no
documents are signed. The client and company discuss and agree on the project and
the tasks in hand, but there may not be a deadline set for the producers or there might
not be a set fee.
It is more flexible, the company may be able to choose the way they want to run the project
and what goes on and what comes of the end product. A informal brief allows the
producer creative freedom which is beneficial for them and the client, the producers
would stick to what they know best and the quality of the product at the end would be
There is no written formal agreement, so there may be misunderstandings that haven’t
been cleared or by either party so the end product may come out incorrect according to
the client. It is also not legally binding and there is no evidence. A case couldn’t be
taken to court and the client could get away with not paying the company or the
producer may not provide the products that they were asked for.
This is where 2 or more companies are hired by the client to work together on one specific
project. They have to come together and work everything out collectively to complete
the brief. It could involve a photographer collaborating with a graphic designer.
There are more people working on it so there will be more ideas and more perspectives on
the project. This will be beneficial to the product. As well as more people working on
the project helping idea generation, it may also mean the project is completed faster.
The two companies may have very different visions and ideas on how the project should be
run and how it should turn out, and if the companies can’t agree then an appease has
to be submitted to each company. This can be time consuming and delays the project
being completed. Both companies will be fighting over ideas, which could cause conflict
between the companies which could prolong the production time or stop it all together.
This is where two or more media companies are working on a project but there are conflicting ideas and
they don’t agree on the end result. So the negotiation would happen to the brief and the end result
would be changed in order to appease the client and the companies working on the brief. The
changes that could happen involve visual style, changing content, or changing the product so that it
stays within the boundaries of legal obligation.
This ensures that all parties in the project are happy with what they have to do and what they are
involved in. The brief will be written out clearly so neither producer will be confused about what
they are doing. This means the product will turn out much better as their ideas will not be
Both parties actually have to agree and be happy with the changes and negotiations before the project
can continue and it may take time for parties to decide so there may be delay in the project. They
may not be able to agree so this could stop the project all together. The negotiated brief may not
allow the producers to work to their strengths, so this could be detrimental to the end product.
This is where a large company hires a smaller, independent to create a specific part of the product for
them. This could be a someone like a photographer. The brief is negotiated with the two different
companies rather than the client being involved. The product made by the smaller company is then
used in the final product. The larger company pay the smaller company as necessary and
potentially they are also a part of the final profit that the larger company makes.
Smaller businesses get profit and funding for bigger projects, which keeps people in jobs. Because the
small company is providing their skills to the larger company where the large company lacks them,
this means the product comes out much better. The large company can focus on their skills and the
small company can focus on theirs. Both their strengths combined will make the product the best it
Larger companies could under pay the small companies. The small company is still providing the client
with something, and so should in the end get a share of the profit. The small company and the large
company could end up having creative differences. This could mean that the large company doesn’t
end up with what they wanted, and could mean a delay in making the product.
This is where a client publishes what they need made for them. Lots of production
companies send in their briefs to the client. The client will then choose which company
they want to work with.
This is good for the client, meaning they get a lot of opportunity to be able to view all of the
talent and different companies, looking at their skills and styles, being able to compare
different companies. The product will end up being best suited for them. Because
companies are competing against each other they will try much harder to impress the
client so they get the job and get paid, which will mean a better outcome.
If the client is not very well known, if the client didn’t advertise enough or just people
didn’t see the advertisement then not many companies will apply. This could mean that
the project is left up to someone who the client didn’t necessarily think was best suited
to them, but they had to go with them anyway. Also the client may have no experience
with a certain company so they don’t know whether the company produces quality
work or the exact outcome they want.
A brief is put out to companies to participate in like a competition, then each company
completes the brief and then each finished product is judged by the client and the one
the client likes the best is awarded to have that product published. These briefs are
usually free to enter competitions, and the client have to pay the winning company.
The advantages of this is that there will be quite a lot of different companies competing and
sending in their product so their will be a lot of different variety and differences in
styles that will range across each companies product. It is better than just a normal
brief as the client gets to pick their favourite product rather than favourite brief which
may not live up to the standards that they were expecting.
The disadvantages of this is that the companies may not enter the competition especially if
there is an entry fee and difficult requirements to meet, or if the companies don’t think
the prize money is worth all the effort. It could be damaging for companies to apply,
have to pay and not end up winning the prize money as they could lose a lot of money
on materials for making the product for the client.
Which type of brief is being used in the recipe card project? Explain your response.
The type of brief we have been given for this project is a Formal brief. A Formal brief
means that the brief is written for the client including basic information about
what they would like done, though unlike a Contractual brief nothing is signed and
there is much more discussion between client and producer about what they
would like. I think that the brief for this project is Formal as nothing has been
signed, though a rough idea about what the client would like has been written
Reading the Brief
Why is important to thoroughly read your brief?
It is important to thoroughly read the brief to make sure that you are capable of completing the
project asked of you, and in the time scale required. By reading it thoroughly and checking
the brief for aspects that you may struggle with you can then either negotiate with the client
to come to a more suitable agreement, or back out of doing the project all together to avoid
wasting money on completing the project when the client may not be completely happy with
it and will not pay for it. If the brief is competition brief then reading the brief thoroughly
making sure that you are doing exactly what the client has asked, to give you the best chance
at beating the competition and getting your services paid for. If the brief is contractual
reading it thoroughly can prevent any chance of legal issues. It means that both the client
and the producer know exactly what they are getting into and they know when one side is
not living up to the agreement.
Reading the Brief
What is the nature of the Vegetarian Recipe Cards brief?
The client has asked us in the brief to create imaginative recipe cards for them. We are not
requited to come up with the recipes ourselves, and we also don’t need to take the pictures
ourselves but we can if we would like. Though all the images used need to be high quality.
What is the demand of the Vegetarian Recipe Cards brief?
The brief demands that we have 9 weeks to complete the project. We need to complete 8
different cards that have a theme so you can tell that they are a set. All the cards should have
a front and back. All recipes must be vegetarian, some vegan. Its ask us to use metric rather
than imperial measurements. We should also use measurement abbreviations, and put a
space between the number and the measurement. On our cards we have been asked to
include the serving number, preparation time, cooking time and vegan/vegetarian suitability
at the start of the recipe. Method points should be numbered but not the ingredients.
Negotiating a Brief
Why is it important to discuss the brief with your client prior to production?
It is important to discuss the brief with the client prior to starting the project to check with them
that you have understood the brief correctly. It may cost the company a lot to complete the
project and find out it was wrong all along. It is also important to raise any concerns you may
have about time or anything else, to see if the client can make any adjustments for you. It is
also important to get more detail on the brief if it is contractual or formal. Especially if it
contractual as understanding the brief fully could prevent legal action being taken against
you. By talking face to face with the client they are able to go into more detail on the things
asked in the brief so you can have a clearer understanding of what they would like.
Negotiating a Brief
What are the advantages and disadvantages of employing discretion with a brief?
Discretion means to do something slightly different from what the brief says, such as using a
different type of paper or using a different layout to what they wanted. An advantage of this
is that you may be able to cut corners to make the project cheaper for the company. It also
allows you some creative freedom, enabling you to add your own creative stamp onto the
product. If the producer decides to change some aspects of the product to fit in with their
strengths, it will improve the outcome of the product at the end.
Though a major disadvantage is that the client may no longer want to use your product, and then
the producer doesn’t get paid at all. If the producer ends up not getting paid for producing
the product they could lose a lot of money, and this could seriously damage the company. If
the brief was contractual then legal action may be taken against the producer for not sticking
to the brief that they had agreed to.
Negotiating a Brief
Are there any potential legal/ethical/regulatory issues with the Vegetarian Society brief’s
As all their products aim to be animal and environmentally friendly there should not be any
ethical cases. The card to print on must be 100% recycled, the ink must be vegetable ink and
all the food must be vegetarian and vegan. However one slight issue that could come up is
with laminating. They said they would prefer the laminate to be biodegradable though it is
expensive so that may not be possible. When using there logo I will have the clients full
permission so that I no copyright issues will come up. There are some laws that suggest
companies do not give out misleading information which may undermine the progress made
towards encouraging a healthy lifestyle to the public. These laws restrict companies from
advertising unhealthy food. We are able to avoid these laws by making sure we do not make
any claims about the health benefits of our recipes that are not true.
Negotiating a Brief
Amendments you have considered to;
For the finished product I think I will stick to all of the requirements given in the brief. The brief
allows us a lot of creative freedom and I do not feel like changing any of the requirements on
the product written in the brief would benefit me or the product in any way.
In the brief it suggests that the price of biodegradable laminate is very high, so it would be useful
if we could find an alternative or a solution to it to save money.
The main condition is that we get the product finished within a 9 week time scale. I would not
conceder changing that because I think that 9 weeks is very reasonable, and enough time to
get it finished.
What opportunities could this brief allow you to explore? Be specific with your responses. This
brief is quite different to others you have come across and offers lots of new experiences. Check
the unit overview to help you with this.
I will learn much more about team work and communication skills from working on this project. It will help me to gain confidence
in my abilities as a graphic designer or a photographer.
Learning new skills
I will learn how to use software on the computer that I have never used before. I may learn some more about cooking if I decide
to cook the food myself to take pictures of it. I will also be able to develop my skills in photography further.
In previous project we have only focused on one area such as photography or graphic design. During this project we will look at all
kinds of areas, including cooking, photography, graphic design and writing. Me and my partner will split up the
responsibilities between us allowing us to experience as many things as possible.
Contributing to a brief
I will have the opportunity to contribute my ideas to the project as well as working with the clients needs. This projects allows me
some creative freedom. We will be able to choose the recipes, the theme and any other aspects of the cards.