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Where can I find free, thorough design briefs to widen my portfolio?

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  • Where can I find free, thorough design briefs to widen my portfolio?

    Hi there,

    I'm a full-time graphic designer currently looking for a new position. At the moment I illustrate/design diaries, calendars and stationery packaging therefore my portfolio is a little limited. I really want to put in some more layout based design - leaflets, brochures, magazine spreads, etc. Where could I find somewhere that provides free briefs for things like this? Everywhere I have looked only have briefs for things like branding or are very vague with projects such as 'create a campaign'. I'm not a student and it's not my first design job so I don't want a wide, open brief like this - I'm after something a lot more realistic with possibly supplied body text and client requirements etc.

    I hope someone can help!!

    Thank you,

  • #2
    It's not likely you will supplied body copy without actually being contracted for a job.
    Why not write your own brief and research body copy and imagery? That is part of a full-time design job anyway...


    • #3
      Hi Jessica and welcome to GDF.

      We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
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      • #4
        I rarely get a supplied body of text when designing brochures, tri-folds, etc. for my company.

        Usually a competitor's brochure comes across my desk and I'm told "We need one of these!"


        • KitchWitch
          KitchWitch commented
          Editing a comment
          Ditto. My ''briefs'' usually go like this - ''I need a brochure... maybe a flyer... for [topic]. Grab some photos from wherever and use the text from these other three pieces we've done in the past. Or look online and write something. I like blue. I told [VP] I could show him something today. You're not busy, are you?''

      • #5
        I definitely don't want briefs coming from clients. Clients hire me because they're looking for help in addressing communication and design problems. I certainly don't want clients coming to me with their solutions, and, then, just hiring me as a pair of hands to put it all together.

        Briefs are what, in my opinion, are negotiated with clients. In other words, "Here's the problem you've come to me with, and here's how we've mutually decided to proceed in solving that problem."

        Another kind of in-house brief might be one the creative director writes and hands off to the creative staff outlining the work that needs to be done.

        As for copy, again, clients generally don't write their own copy, and when they do, it's almost always a mess. Writing, like design, is a creative skill, and that's what clients expect us to help them with.


        • #6
          Maybe (maybe) you could take an existing PDF or local restaurants menus, posters, etc. Take a picture and show how you would redesign a local company's brand, promo materials, etc.
          I like to beat up pacifists, because they don't fight back ...

          N.A.N.K.A. "We Kick Because We Care."


          • #7
            Originally posted by Craig B View Post
            Maybe (maybe) you could take an existing PDF or local restaurants menus, posters, etc. Take a picture and show how you would redesign a local company's brand, promo materials, etc.
            This is what I currently do / am doing. I target small boutique shops and recreate the design work they've been doing. Then I contact the owners and offer them (in my case branding) for a deeply discounted rate.

            Why work for free? :-) I also let my loyal clients that aren't big $$$ know that I am working on my portfolio. Sometimes, depending on the relationship, we can help each other out. For instance in exchange for branding and ad design I am getting free clothing for the spring. Obviously I prefer cash but in this case if works out. I get clothing and an updated portfolio and they get new design.

            Alternatively 99designs is a good place. Even if you don't want to do the competitions just use the briefs the clients post.

            Best of luck,






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