Creative Pioneers: Jim Sutherland on what makes a good brief

Our Creative Pioneers series looks at key aspects of the creative process. Here Jim Sutherland explains what makes a good (and bad) brief and relives his best and worst pitching experiences

CR’s first online training programme, Mastering Creativity, will help unlock your creative potential, whether you are a professional creative, designer or commissioner of creative work. Additional expert insight for the course is provided by our five Creative Pioneers – Sir John Hegarty, Caroline Pay, Jim Sutherland, Zia Zareem-Slade and Michael Johnson. Video interviews with each of them are available as part of the course material but in this series of articles we are giving you a taste of that content.

Here, we talk to Jim Sutherland of Studio Sutherl&, the most awarded design studio at D&AD this year, about what makes for a great brief (and a bad one), when unnecessary jargon gets in the way and how refusing to pitch for free pays dividends in the long run.


Wandsworth, London


102 Petty France, London


Brighton, East Sussex