Free Creative Brief Template (PDF)

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Free Creative Brief Template (PDF)

Fully editable with custom branding and pre-written services. Send and get read receipts.


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First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.
First Name
Last Name
Acme LLC.
First Name
Last Name
Corporation Corp.

Free Creative Brief Template (PDF)

Fully editable with custom branding and pre-written services. Send and get read receipts.

Free Creative Brief Template (PDF)

Fully editable with custom branding and pre-written services. Send and get read receipts.

Bonsai has helped create 1,023,928 documents and counting.

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Date: March 8th 2023



Acme LLC.

Corporation Corp.

This Contract is between Client (the "Client") and Acme LLC, a California limited liability company (the "Coach").

The Contract is dated January 23, 2023.


1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Coach to develop a coaching relationship between the Client and Coach in order to cultivate the Client's personal, professional, or business goals and create a plan to achieve those goals through stimulating and creative interactions with the ultimate result of maximizing the Client's personal or professional potential.

1.2 Schedule. The Coach will begin work on February 1, 2023 and will continue until the work is completed. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Coach at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 4, Term and Termination.

The Coach and Client will meet by video conference, 4 days per month for 2 hours.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Coach an hourly rate of $150. Of this, the Client will pay the Coach $500.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Coach's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Coach will invoice the Client in accordance with the milestones in Section 1.3. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 1.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Coach will not be available by telephone, or email in between scheduled sessions.


- A coaching relationship is a partnership between two or more individuals or entities, like a teacher-student or coach-athlete relationship. Both the Client and Coach must uphold their obligations for the relationship to be successful.

- The Coach agrees to maintain the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

- The Client acknowledges and agrees that coaching is a comprehensive process that may explore different areas of the Client's life, including work, finances, health, and relationships.

- The Client is responsible for implementing the insights and techniques learned from the Coach.


3.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

3.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

3.3 Coach Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Coach promises that it owns the work product, that the Coach is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Coach uses employees or subcontractors, the Coach also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Coach giving the Coach any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Coach's background IP and work product.

3.4 Coach Will Comply With Laws. The Coach promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

3.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Coach promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights, that the Coach has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Coach has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

3.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Coach with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else's intellectual property rights.


This Contract is ongoing until it expires or the work is completed. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 9.4. The Coach must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice unless the notice says otherwise.

If either party ends this Contract before the Contract automatically ends, the Client will pay the Contractor for the work done up until when the Contract ends. The following sections don't end even after the Contract ends: 3 (Representations); 6 (Confidential Information); 7 (Limitation of Liability); 8 (Indemnity); and 9 (General).


The Client is hiring the Coach as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Coach will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.

- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Coach is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.

- The Client will not provide the Coach with any training.

- The Client and the Coach do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.

- The Coach cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.

- The Coach is not entitled to the Client's benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).

- The Coach is responsible for its own taxes.

- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Coach or any of the Coach's employees or subcontractors.


6.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Coach must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

6.2 The Client's Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Coach may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Coach promises to treat this information as if it is the Coach's own confidential information. The Coach may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Coach use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Coach cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Coach written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Coach may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Coach must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Coach promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Coach written permission first. The Coach must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Coach's responsibilities only stop if the Coach can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Coach came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Coach came across it, but not because of anything the Coach did or didn't do; (iii) the Coach already knew the information when the Coach came across it and the Coach didn't have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Coach with the information without requiring that the Coach keep it a secret; or (v) the Coach created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

6.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It's possible the Client and the Coach each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Coach each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Coach is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.


Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.


8.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Coach or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Coach did, then the Coach may promise to come to the Client's defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

8.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Coach agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Coach has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Coach of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Coach of the promises it is making in Section 3 (Representations).

8.3 Coach Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Coach (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.


9.1 Assignment​. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Coach. Neither the Client nor the Coach can assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the other's written permission.

9.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

9.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Coach must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

9.4. Noticies.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party's address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

9.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that's the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

9.6 Signatures. The Client and the Coach must sign this document using Bonsai's e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

9.7 Governing Law. The validity, interpretation, construction and performance of this document shall be governed by the laws of the United States of America.

9.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties' final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.



Acme LLC.

Corporation Corp.
Table of contents

What is a Creative Brief?

A creative brief is a document that creative freelancers and contractors use to outline and define a project for a client. It provides guidelines for what specific goals of the deliverable should be. 

For example, your creative brief should include a budget and objective for the project as well as a description of what you will provide, such as print design materials, marketing copy, product photography, or social media posts. 

Creative briefs are typically created after a proposal has been accepted and a contract signed. 

Note: Our creative brief template takes the best elements from over 100+ self-employed briefs. Use our client-winning brief template here for free.

Who Should Use a Creative Brief?

A creative brief can be used by any freelance business owner or contractor working in a creative industry. You may need to use a creative brief if you work in: 

  • Writing or editing
  • Branding
  • Advertising
  • Digital marketing
  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Social media marketing
  • Culinary arts
  • Fashion
  • Photography or videography
  • Music
  • Crafts

You can use a creative brief whether you’re a full-time, part-time, or casual creative freelancer. 

When to Use a Creative Brief

You should use a creative brief any time you’re preparing to start a new project for a client. For example, use one when: 

  • You want to organize all of the information about an upcoming project for a client to review before you begin. 
  • A client approves your creative proposal and signs a contract and you want to take the next professional step. 
  • A client hasn’t been clear about what they want and you would like to clarify their expectations before you start a project. 
  • You want to document the specifics of a project to help inform your invoices down the road. 
  • You want to ensure you and a client are on the same page before you start your creative process. 

Since creative briefs help to keep projects on time, within budget, and stress-free, it’s good practice to create one not just for every client you work with, but for every individual project that you take on. 

Regardless of which creative industry you work in, they’re a major part of ensuring that the deliverable you provide to a client is right the first time around. 

How to Write a Creative Brief

Even though Bonsai’s creative brief works for a variety of industries, the steps you need to take to create yours are typically the same. Here’s how to make a good creative brief that benefits both you and your clients. 

Step 1: Meet with the client

If you haven’t met with or talked to the client about the project in detail, this is the first thing you need to do. In order to make an informative and useful creative brief, you’ll need to know exactly what the client is looking for. 

In your initial meetings with a client, ask questions related to: 

  • The company background and brand identity
  • The marketing campaign this project will be part of
  • Who the target audience is 
  • What the project objectives are
  • What will determine the success of the project

As you’ll see in the following steps, this information is key to developing your creative brief. The more that you know about the client and project before you begin, the more likely you are to develop an impressive deliverable that hits the mark. 

Step 2: Describe the project in detail

Once you have a solid understanding of what the client wants, add the information to your creative brief template. Be sure to include: 

  • The purpose of the project (for example, what is the problem and what is the solution)
  • Who the target audience is
  • What your responsibilities are (which services are you providing)
  • What the deliverables are (print materials, wireframes, written content, branding plan, etc.)
  • Requirements, such as key messages you have to use, the company name and logo, or a disclaimer
  • A description of the product or service the project is centered around

Here’s an example for a loungewear clothing brand: 

The purpose of this digital marketing campaign is to raise awareness about the company brand and to increase product demand. The target audience is made up of social media users between the ages of 18-35 of either gender who have a proven interest in high-quality loungewear clothing through their interests and interactions with other brands and advertisements. 

The freelance marketer will develop a digital marketing plan that includes a timeline, suggested distribution channels, and ad copy. 

The freelancer must use the company logo and product images provided by the internal creative team. 

Step 3: Include the timeline

Whether the project has a single deadline or it’s made up of a number of project milestones, you should outline any due dates here. 

This helps to keep client expectations in check and ensures that you have enough time to get the job done. 

You can also describe your creative process here if you want clients to understand what you’ll be doing behind the scenes. For example, researching customers through user testing, gathering background information about competitors, or meeting with project managers to develop a strategy. 

Just make sure to include due dates for each step, even if they’ll fluctuate based on the client’s input or responsibilities within the project. 

Step 4: Define the project budget

At this point in the process, you should already know what the client’s budget is and they should have already approved your hourly or per-project rate. While you don’t have to be as detailed about pricing as you would be in a formal creative quote, you should at least define the project cost in your brief. 

Depending on your industry and the project this could be a per word or hourly rate, per-project fee, exact amount, or a range. Regardless of how much detail you go into, including an approximate budget is one of the necessary details in making a creative brief template.

Step 5: List competitors

Next should come a list of potential competitors for you to review and analyze. This will show you what your client is up against and help you to create a deliverable better than what the competition has. 

Depending on the project and client, this could be a simple bullet list of company names or an entire section made up of key competitors and their company information. 

If this information isn’t relevant to your creative brief template, feel free to leave it out. 

Step 6: Provide a distribution plan

Your distribution plan will change based on what type of freelancer you are and which services you’re providing to a client. However, you should still outline your plan in your creative brief template. 

For example, if you’re a product photographer, will you be providing print or digital copies of the photos that you take, and which format and size will they be in? Asking these questions gives you a better understanding of what the client wants you to do. 

When both you and your clients have a clear picture of what’s expected of each party, it ensures that the project goes smoothly and that it will be a success. 

Step 7: Send your creative brief to the client

Once you’ve filled out all the relevant sections, you need to send your creative brief to the client for approval. This is a great opportunity for them to refine your creative brief even more by providing insight, ideas, and examples where relevant. 

They may also provide other details, like additional competitors, more information about their customers, details about what has or hasn’t worked for them in the past, branding goals, and more. 

After they’re reviewed your creative brief and offered any feedback, you can get to work on the actual project. 

Why Should I Use a Creative Brief?

Using a creative brief has a variety of benefits, from fostering effective communication between you and your clients to keeping your pricing in check. Here’s why you should use a creative brief for your next creative project: 

1. They encourage good communication

The more you know about a project, the easier it will be to complete. While a creative brief may seem like a lot of work upfront, it actually saves you from having to deal with a lot of back and forth with clients while the project is in the works. 

The less time you spend responding to emails and phone calls, the more time you have to dig in and focus on the work. 

And, the more polished the end product, the happier the client will be with your services, making them more likely to hire you again in the future. 

2. They keep your client paperwork organized

If you’re trying to juggle more than one client at a time, you know that keeping track of who asked for what and when can be challenging. Creative briefs are actually a great way to organize your paperwork and keep track of projects, which works to inform your contracts, invoices, and quotes down the road. 

For example, if you start a project for a client and define the cost in your creative brief, you can use it to create an invoice once the project is finished. If there was extra, unanticipated work involved, simply review what was included in your brief and add the additional costs on top. 

Then, when you go to do a similar project for another client in the future, you can look back on previous creative briefs to get a feel for pricing and what you can expect in terms of the workload. 

3. They keep project scopes in check

One of the hardest things about freelancing is trying to avoid scope creep so that you don’t end up doing extra work for free. A creative brief is an ideal way to keep project objectives and scopes in check because it outlines exactly what you are being hired to do and for how much. 

If the client requires any additional work outside of the brief, you’re well within your rights to charge extra. Just make sure to let them know beforehand so they can decide whether what they’re asking for is within budget or if they want to hold off for now. 

4. They’re part of a professional creative process

If you’re a professional freelancer, you know that it’s a good idea to have an organized and polished process for any new project you take on. Creative briefs keep you from having to fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to approaching a new project. And they’re a great way to showcase your professionalism to clients.

5. They save you time and money

A good creative brief saves you time and money by cutting down on back and forth, revisions, and waiting for clients to get back to you. Instead of waiting around to hear back from a client or having to provide multiple iterations of a project, using a creative brief increases your chances of getting the work right the first time. 

If you charge a project fee, this means that you make the most amount of money in the least amount of time. And, if you charge hourly, it means you don’t spend too many unpaid hours responding to emails or asking clients simple questions. 

Making a Creative Brief Template is Simple With Bonsai

Customizing your own creative brief is easy with Bonsai. Using our free creative brief template, you can: 

  • Add your own logo and brand colors
  • Include client- and project-specific information, like specific goals, target audience, project objectives, pricing, timeline, and more
  • Save it as a creative brief template PDF
  • Send digital copies straight from your Bonsai account to clients for approval

Bonsai helps you to make professional creative briefs that keep your projects on track, impress clients, and stay organized. Sign up now to start making your creative brief template today. 

Creative Brief FAQs

What format should I use for my creative brief template?

You can send a creative brief in a variety of formats, from a Microsoft Word Document to a Google Document. However, it’s recommended that you use a creative brief template PDF instead since it’s the best option for maintaining formatting and ensuring that your content isn’t changed after it’s been sent to a client. 

Use Bonsai to create and send a creative brief in PDF format to keep your design crisp and clean. 

How long should a creative brief be?

The length of your creative brief depends on the project, but you should typically aim for 1-2 pages. If the client’s project managers request more detail, you can always add more information, but do your best to keep it straightforward and easy to understand. The point of a creative brief is to make the actual work easier, not more complicated. 

What are deliverables in a creative brief?

Deliverables are what you’re expected to provide to the client once the project is complete. Depending on your industry and the project, these could be physical materials like printed flyers or brochures, or digital assets, like an advertising schedule or written ad copy. 

Related Documents

  • Creative Proposal: This template is used before a creative brief and describes a potential project to a client. Use this document if you’re pitching a project to a new client. 
  • Creative Quote: Use this template when providing a formal quote for a creative project to a potential client. 
  • Copywriter Contract: Use this template to create a contract for copywriting jobs. 
  • Photographer Contract: Use this template to create a contract for photography jobs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.

How do I create a creative brief template?

Just sign up with Bonsai and try our pre-made brief templates for creatives. It has all the necessary info like project objective, target audience breakdown, customer brief, timeline, and goals.

What is a creative brief PDF?

A creative brief is a short document that guides the development of social and behavior change (SBC) activities and materials and is based on an SBC strategy.

How do you structure a brief?

Breakdown the project background, motivations, objectives, competitors, audience, challenges, and goals. Bonsai's free brief templates are easy to edit/customize according to your business and send off.