Skip navigation

Tag Archives: michelangelo

Here is a great example of the importance the role the client plays in the outcome of a design.   This example is taken from an online book by the famous advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather called Ogilvy on Recession

Consider Michelangelo’s painting for the Sistine Chapel:

What was he exactly asked to do by his client?

“Cardinal Alidosi needed to brief Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.  How did he do it?

He might have said  “Please paint the ceiling”.  This is a bad brief.  It gives Michelangelo no idea as to what the solution might be.”   

He might have said “Please paint the ceiling using red, green and yellow paint.”   This is worse.  It still does not tell Michelangelo what to paint, and it also gives him a number of restrictions.

The actual brief was this:  “Please paint our ceiling for the greater glory of God and as an inspiration and lesson to His people.  Paint frescoes which portray the creation of the world, the Fall, mankind’s degradation by sin, the divine wrath by deluge, and the preservation of Noah and his family.”

This brief helped produce one of the great creative works of all time.”