Example illustration project brief

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The key to getting the illustration you want is to make sure you give your freelancer a fantastic project brief. That way they can meet your needs exactly. Creative freelancers can only thrive if you give them the right information. If you miss out vital information from your illustration project brief, you may end up receiving a sub-standard illustration.

It can be hard to know what information to give your creative when you’re planning your project. You have no idea how they work, so how are you supposed to know what they need from you? Luckily, we’ve provided an example of the perfect brief for an illustration project. It has all the information the freelancer needs to get started on your project.

Each section we’ve included is important and provides the freelancer with vital information about your project and your company. If you’re struggling to get off the starting block with your brief, take a look through our example brief for some inspiration:

Example illustration project brief:

Project name: Illustrations for a children’s picture book

Your freelancer is probably working on lots of different freelance projects, so give yours a name to distinguish it. It’ll help you keep organised too.

About the author and book: I’m a self published author, about to publish my third children’s picture book. My previous titles were bestsellers in their category. The book is aimed at the 3 – 5 year old market. It will be 20 pages long, and each page needs to be fully illustrated.

The book will be printed at 11 x 11 inches. This book will be the first in my jungle series centred on a friendly tiger. In this story (titled Who’s There?), tiger encounters a series of jungle animals and discovers their identity and distinguishing features. It’s an exploration of jungle animals, but also teaches children basic colours and shapes (eg leopard’s spots are black and circles). I have a full storyboard which will be made available to the chosen candidate.

Why does the freelancer need to know about you and your company? Giving them the whole picture helps the freelancer create the most appropriate illustrations for you. A family-run business may want a very different illustration style to a huge corporation. Tell your freelancer what you do and how you do it.

Vision for the project: I want the illustrations in this book to be big, bold and bright. I’m less keen on the traditional styles of illustration – I’d rather explore some more modern techniques including collage and mixing traditional media with digital. Open to ideas and suggestions from the illustrator too.

If you already have an idea of how you want your illustrations to look, write it down in your project brief. This will help the freelancer hit the ground running and could shorten the delivery time. You and your freelancer can develop the concepts together. Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want yet – mention this to your freelancer and you can talk through ideas together.

Example styles I like: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-cow-that-laid-an-egg/andy-cutbill/russell-ayto/9780007179688

Sometimes it’s hard to describe a style you like, so show your freelancer the type of thing you like. Include images, links to other illustrations you’ve seen, colour pallets, fonts – anything that will help your freelancer get a good idea of what you want your finished illustrations to look like.

Target audience: 3 – 5 year olds. The book will be English language and initially published in the UK.

Your target audience is a vital piece of information that your freelancer should know. It’ll help them design illustrations that engage and resonate with that section of the market.

Skills I’m looking for: Ideally, the illustrator will have worked on children’s picture books previously and have examples in their portfolio. Illustrations are the most important thing about a children’s picture book, so I need someone with a keen eye for detail who understands the target market. The illustrator must be able to make the story immersive and bring the characters to life in a way that has not been done previously.

Illustration is a very technical skill, and depending on the type of project, you may require different skills from your freelancer. For example, this type of project requires someone with a lot of imagination.

The published book: The finished book will be published in the UK at first, and will be sold in several independent local bookstores, as well as ‘Hattakers’ which is a nationwide chain.

Where will the finished project end up? Is it global? Is it more local? Who will have access to it? All of these details help the freelancer to build up a bigger picture of the project.

Deadline: I’m aiming to have this book published by August 2017.

When do you need your project to be completed by? Don’t forget this crucial detail.

Budget: $5000

How much will you pay for the project? If you have a budget in mind, include it in your project brief. If you have no idea, you can discuss costs with your freelancer.

Point of contact: You’ll be dealing directly with me, Alison Tweedy, the author.

Who will your freelancer be dealing with? Make it easier for remote workers to communicate with you by making it clear who their point of contact is during the project. There will be extra questions and work that needs signed off, so make sure your freelancer gets straight through to the right person.

When you post a project brief on Twine, you can add a fully comprehensive project description. This will help you find the right creative and ultimately get the project you want:

Example illustration brief on Twine
Example illustration brief on Twine

For more information on project briefs, check out our other blog posts:

Find out what makes a good project brief.

How to write the perfect project brief.

11 tips for writing great project briefs.




After studying English Literature at university, Vicky decided she didn’t want to be either a teacher or whoever it is that writes those interminable mash-up novels about Jane Austen and pirates, so sensibly moved into graphic design.

She worked freelance for some time on various projects before starting at Twine and giving the site its unique, colourful look.

Despite having studied in Manchester and spent some years in Cheshire, she’s originally from Cumbria and stubbornly refuses to pick up a Mancunian accent. A keen hiker, Vicky also shows her geographic preferences by preferring the Cumbrian landscape to anything more local.