My fun little side project: Briefbox.me

I’m on a mission, after toying with the idea of sooooo many side projects, I think I might have one that I‘ll actually follow through with!!

Here’s the story:

I run a small design agency in the UK called The Orca Design co, and after 4 years we have seen literally hundreds of creative briefs come through the door. Some fun ones, some boring ones, some weird ones, and some awful ones!! But, what they all have in common, is that they are creative projects that need a creative solution, and that have lead me to practice my design skills and improve over time.

So it got me thinking, hang on… some of these briefs and creative projects for such a wide range of industries could definitely help get aspiring designers creative juices flowing.

www.briefbox.me was born!!

For many designers, espeically when your starting out, the devil that is the creative block can rise at any time and not just when your looking for style inspiration but also for where to even start. Something along the lines of… Damn!! I’m feeling creative, but.. Damn!! What the hell shall I work on??

When I started out as a freelancer in 2004, I remember making up loads of my own fun little test projects and fake briefs to keep me busy, fill out my portfolio and learn some new skills. Struggling to find somewhere to get ideas for projects, me and my buddy used to make up briefs for each other and give each other feedback on our designs.

Now, 10 years later, after 6 years freelancing and 4 years running the agency I’m the co founder of a small design agency, I have seen loads of briefs come through the door and am on a mission to put some of this knowledge to good use!!

For me, a side project needs to be two things: firstly it needs to get me excited, I need to wake up in the morning and look forward to working on it. Secondly, it needs to be something that either helps people in someway, or simply makes people happy. With Briefbox, I think this may be happening.

I setup the site a week ago, and within 5 days, Jessica Hische, The Speckyboy blog and the Just creative blog had tweeted about it, with some great feedback being thrown back by budding designers, students and all round creatives!!

I wrote the first 40 briefs in the last week and built out the site in wordpress with my basic hackin’ skills. Right now, I’m going to write a few briefs, check in to see what my followers have been upto and hopefully inspire a few more designers each day.

This is my fun little side project, what’s yours?

Joel Alexander

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