2.1 Writing a brief


The brief was to write a creative brief for an illustrator I admire.

Keywords include:

  • Identify a piece of work
  • Write the brief for the illustration you’ve chosen
  • Direct the illustrator


The illustrator I selected was Olivier Kugler (from the first exercise, The history of illustration), and an image he created for Brussels Airlines magazine.

Olivier Kugler – Brussels Flea Market. http://www.olivierkugler.com

You can see a full sized version of this illustration here

Fictitious Brief – Brussels Flea Market for Brussels Airlines magazine

Client overview

Brussels Airlines is the flag carrier of Belgium and part of the Lufthansa Group. It is the largest Belgian airline, operating to more than 50 destinations in nearly 20 European countries and 19 destinations in Africa as well as 2 destinations in the United States. Ink [this is the real name of the agency] produces two magazines for the airline, and also produces and sells advertising on other media such as boarding passes. It is one of the most targeted and effective ways to reach the Belgian market.

b.there! is a 108-page glossy which covers people, ideas, culture, society, fashion, food, travel and business in the context of the airline’s destinations across Europe. The magazine focuses on the European network and is published in English, French and Dutch.



The brief

The brief is to create two illustrations that will support a 2,000 word editorial piece that introduces readers to the Brussels flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle. The article will provide an overview of the market, it’s general location, the special atmosphere and the merchants and characters that live and work in the area, and most importantly the wide range of antiques and knick-knacks that it’s famous for selling.

About the market

The flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle, also known as the “Old Market” (the “Vieux Marché” in French), is located in the heart of the Marolles district in Brussels, and is certainly the most famous flea market in Belgium’s capital city: 450 merchants work there every day of the year from 6 am to 2 pm – this flea market is for professional sellers only – and on the weekends from 6 am to 3 pm.

Built in 1853, along with the nearby rue Blaes, the Place du Jeu de Balle or “Old Market” was originally intended to serve as a playing field for “balle pelote” players (a former version of tennis), a highly prized game in Brussels in the nineteenth century.

What content should be included

The purpose of the illustrations is to inform and educate readers by enhancing the editorial text through providing visual reference that captures the ‘essence’ of the market in an interesting and engaging way.

Subjects that should be covered in the illustration include (but are not limited to):

  • Merchants/sellers
  • The range of antiques and knick-knacks on sale
  • The mix of customers from all different backgrounds and nationalities
  • The opening and closing times
  • The location/atmosphere

Any text used as part of the illustration will need to be provided in English, French and Dutch – note that we can provide support in translating from English if this is required.

Use of colour – We would like the illustrator to choose the most appropriate colour pallet to compliment the chosen subject matter. For guidance, please refer to previous editions of the magazine.

Tone of voice – The tone is sharp, smart, sophisticated and cultured, and the content is always entertaining and informative.

Target audience – a detailed breakdown of our target audience can be found in the b.there! Media pack http://www.ink-live.com/contentFiles/file/mediakit/b-there-media-pack-2014-v1.pdf

Output size and format – We require final A4 (per page) artwork to be provided as layered PSD files.

Timeline and key delivery dates

  • Initial ideas (we require a minimum of three initial ideas/approaches) – 15th March XXXX
  • First draft visuals – 29th March XXXX
  • Second draft visuals – 5th April XXXX
  • Artwork deadline – finished artwork in the correct format is required by 15th April XXXX

What I learned from the exercise

What went well

  • I was able to find the b.there! media pack on the Internet which contains a lot of helpful information.

What I would do differently/better

  • I scanned through back issues of the magazine but was unable to find how the illustration was actually used. It would have been nice to see the actual context in which the illustration was used.


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