Terms of reference and brief for the creation of the corporate identity of the company
A customer who is well versed in the intricacies of development, knows special terms and professional slang, is familiar with modern design trends, understands how, why and for what a corporate identity and logo are created, is as rare as pink ponies. That is, in theory there are such people, but in practice no one has seen them.
However, entrepreneurs are not required to understand design. They must set a task and pay for the work of specialists. Everything else is the responsibility of the branding agency. But how can developers understand customer requirements? To do this, there are briefs for corporate identity, logo, naming and other works.
What is a brief and why is it needed? How is it different from TK? What blocks does the document contain? Who should fill it out? We answer!
What is a brief and TOR for development?
It often happens that customers confuse technical specifications and brief for corporate identity and logo. To be honest, even developers often say one thing and mean another. Therefore, before proceeding to the purpose and composition of the working documentation, it is necessary to understand the terminology.
Brief. The name of the document comes from the English “brief”, which means “briefly”, “summary”, “summary”. In fact, this is a short 2-3-page reference that provides introductory information about the company and product, as well as about the preferences of the customer. It does not take much time to prepare a document, so it is better not to neglect its preparation. Depending on the task, there are briefs for creating a logo and corporate identity, briefs for naming, briefs for copywriting, etc.
TK (technical task)
A voluminous document describing specific tasks, ways to solve them, as well as the stages of project implementation. For example, the TOR for the development of a corporate identity or logo describes in detail each stage of creating an identity and contains working information. It is intended exclusively for specialists who are involved in the project.
The brief is filled in by the customer. He, like no one else, knows the features of the company, product or service, as well as his own wishes regarding colors, fonts and other identity elements. A sample brief for the development of corporate identity can be downloaded online, but it is better to request it from the agency that will work with the project. The fact is that different companies require different amounts of introductory information. So that in the future you do not have to waste time re-filling the document, immediately ask the contractor to send a brief.
The terms of reference for the development of a corporate identity or logo, as well as for naming or any other work, are prepared by the contractor. As a rule, the document contains several tens of pages. It describes in detail each element, its purpose and tasks, as well as the procedure for implementing the project. Theoretically, a sample of the terms of reference for the development of a logo can be found on the Internet. But there is no particular point in this, since each performer works according to his own TOR. So, the example will not give you anything. However, finished TK can be provided to the customer for review and approval. If you are used to controlling the situation as much as possible, ask the developer for a document.
Why create a brief and why is it worth spending time filling it out?
A completed logo design or corporate identity brief solves several tasks at the same time, including:
- The document saves the customer’s time at the stage of selecting the contractor. If you have a ready-made brief for the development of a logo, it is enough to send it to all applicants. And you do not need to conduct a long correspondence and explain what you want to receive.
- The brief simplifies the interaction between the customer and the contractor. The first immediately indicates his requirements, the second understands what result the client is counting on. As a result, the number of improvements and edits is reduced.
- The document helps to shorten the preparatory phase. If the contractor has a completed brief at his disposal, he will prepare a TOR for developing a corporate identity or creating a logo and proceed to solve the task without a long clarification of information.
In addition, the brief simplifies the coordination of terms and costs of work. If you ask a developer “How much does a logo cost and how long will it take you to develop it”, you will most likely get an answer in the “from and to” format. Moreover, the range can be very wide. If you provide a brief and ask for an estimate of the time and cost, you will get exact numbers.
What information does the brief provide? Main blocks and their content
Unlike the terms of reference, a brief for the development of a logo, corporate identity or name contains general information about the project. However, this does not mean that its filling can be treated carelessly. The more detailed and accurate you answer the questions, the less edits await you in the future.
Block No. 1. General information about the company
Here you need to specify the name of the company, field of activity, a brief description of goods or services, price category. It will not be superfluous to link to the site, if you have one.
Do not worry that this information will reach competitors. Firstly, this information is most often publicly available, and secondly, branding agencies value their reputation, so they do not distribute confidential data.
Block number 2. Target audience
Who is your customer, what are their needs, what benefits will they get from purchasing the product? Describe in as much detail as possible who you work for. This is necessary in order for the performer to get into the target audience. For example, the brand produces clothes for newborns. In this case, the target audience will be young women who have recently given birth or are about to become mothers. The logo can use soft fonts, pastel shades, images of babies, etc. Now imagine a brand that also produces clothes, but for high school students. Here the target audience will not be parents, but teenagers themselves. And of course, they will like a completely different corporate identity and logo.
Block number 3. Information about competitors
Tell us about competing organizations. Try to honestly describe how their offer is better than yours, and how it is worse. Don’t forget about design – what do you like about their identity and what is unacceptable for you. It is desirable to indicate at least two or three competitors. You can also provide links to their websites. Don’t worry about the artist copying the design. On the contrary, having this information, the developer will be able to effectively build up from brands operating in the same market niche as you.
Block No. 4. Order details
If you are preparing a task for creating a logo, then simply describe your wishes. But in the case of corporate identity, you need to list what brand visualization elements you want to receive. For example, a unique font, corporate colors, slogan, corporate character, etc. Describe all the ingredients in a few sentences. How do you see them? What media will they be on? Sample description: “Our clients are conservative. We want a classic font. Quite rounded. No serifs.
Block number 5. Information that will help the contractor better understand the task
Tell us why you order corporate identity and what goals you plan to achieve with it. If you already have a corporate identity, be sure to indicate why you decided to rebrand and whether it should be cardinal or light. Explain how you envision the updated design. For example, familiar to the target audience, provocative, with an emphasis on environmental friendliness, etc. Give some positive and negative examples of corporate identity or its individual elements. This will make it easier for designers to understand your tastes.
Block number 6. Personal wishes of the customer
When drafting a task for the development of a logo or corporate identity, be sure to list the general wishes for their design. The requirements may vary. Someone asks not to use red (blue, yellow or any other color). And someone wants the design at the associative level to be associated with respectability, nature or something else. Important! Try not only to list your wishes, but also to justify them.
And one moment. Your opinion is by far the most valuable to you. But it may happen that the design created on its basis will be contrary to the preferences of the target audience or go against modern trends. Before categorically insisting on your own, listen to the developer. Perhaps you decide to step back and make a choice in favor of the proposed option.
Block number 7. Additional information
So, you have almost filled out the brief for creating a corporate identity and company logo. Left just a little bit. Enter in this block any information that is related to your brand, but was not indicated in the previous paragraphs. For example, you plan to expand the range of corporate identity media in the future. Be sure to include it in this block. Or you have hand-drawn logo sketches. Attach them to the brief or give a link to the electronic version. Write in this block everything that you think is necessary and important.