When it comes to executing design projects exceptionally, communication between the client and the design team is always key. In most cases the design brief is where the conversation starts and depending on what the end goal is, can mean the difference between future collaborations or a disastrous stumble across the finish line…if it even gets that far.

But when your task is to disrupt the norm and develop innovative solutions, it can be difficult to find a ‘groove’ that both satisfies the client’s needs and drives the project in a worthwhile direction.

In ‘Briefly‘, Tom Bassett of Bassett & Partners–a brand and design strategy firm that creates briefs for multiple creative disciplines–explores what the design brief means to a range of creative professionals from different disciplines and how they approach it with the goal to disrupt.

Among others interviewed for the 25-minute film include architect Frank Gehry, industrial designer Yves Béhar and advertising legend John C. Jay. All have reputations for managing high-level relationships with their clients and delivering award-winning material like clockwork.

“The end goal of Briefly is to help inform and inspire future generations of collaborators to write better briefs and manage the briefing process differently in order to help lead to exceptional creative results. So while every project will still start with a brief, the dream is that more end products are exceptional because of how these creative titans re-shape the way we all think about briefs.”
-Tom Bassett

While the film won’t be available until Sept. 30th, below is a trailer that should give you a good idea of what to expect:

In case you haven’t seen it, another fascinating look at design briefs—‘The Brief’—is an interesting take on documenting the industrial design process and until recently was only available on DVD.

The nearly 45-minute film documents four industrial designers including Michael DiTullo and Spencer Nugent as they tackle a design brief involving a single-cup coffee maker. If you have a spare chunk of time today, it’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already:

Briefly will be available to watch for free on Sept. 30 over at Bassett.TV.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.