Important FAQs:

1. Design Process and Roadmap?

a. The Design Brief [1 Week]: If a client has clarity with regard to their business, market position, positioning and communication task, a clear design brief saves everyone time and it helps focus attention on the details that best cater to the target audience, and in as timely a manner as possible. Our design brief, includes the following mandatory information:

Corporate profile [A summary of the business and a brief history]

Market position [A realistic evaluation of the company’s service / products relative to what the competition is doing]

Current situation [An explanation of what’s happening to bring about the need for this project e.g., a new product launch]

Communication background [This includes both previous and present communication activity, such as research, advertising, direct mail, graphic design, public relations etc.]

Communication task [What’s the specific message and the context of the message in relation to the business plan? Where possible, include information to be shown in the designed item e.g. taglines, body text / copy, imagery, etc.]

Target market [Demographics – the age, gender, income, employment, geography, lifestyle of those the client wants to reach.]

Objectives [What does the client want to achieve? Make the objectives specific and the results measurable.]

Schedule and deadline [Broken down into consultation, creation, production and delivery with sufficient leeway for surprises]

Budget [How serious is a client about what they want to achieve. It is imperative clients indicate their budget so as to not waste both theirs and our time.]

b. Research & Brainstorming [2 – 4 Weeks]

There are often times when our clients may not be able to provide the above information. In such situations, Marque Advisors will be able to help study your business, summarise a corporate profile, evaluate your market position, determine your target market and help develop your positioning. With that information we can develop and define a clear brief as to the tasks required and at hand. This process can take anywhere between 4 – 8 weeks.

After we have a clear design brief in hand, we spend time reviewing client information before beginning the research and brainstorming stage. We take into account competitors, market trends, product / service differentiators, the history of the business, the future, the current brand, and the one aspired toward.

c. Sketching [2 Weeks]

Sketching helps generate a strong set of possible directions. A mouse and computer adds an extra level that hinders the process. Most sketches will eventually be made redundant, but the point of this exercise is to explore every possible direction before choosing the most effective idea.

d. Rendering [1 Week]

We normally narrow the design focus until we have one or two strong options for computer generation and conceptualizing. The rendering stage involves transferring these options to either Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw and finally to Adobe Acrobat for presentation.

e. Presentation [1 – 2 Weeks]

The design presentation is supplied as a Adobe Acrobat PDF file, which each concept shown in context, using digital-mock-ups. Now it’s over to the client to consider the designs and prepare feedback based upon how the ideas fulfil the design brief.

f. Finishing Touches [1 – 2 Weeks]

Following the client review, we would then either finalize the project, or make revisions that have been agreed upon. Our main aim is to create a design that works for the respective business and for many years to come. There’s always flexibility in the process.

g. Artwork Supply [1 Week]

On receipt of the remaining 50% due to us from the project cost, the final artwork is supplied via email and / or made available for download. Where a logo is concerned, files can be scaled to any size without loss of quality.

While the logos we create are used for a wide variety of purposes – websites, corporate stationary, vehicle wraps, billboard advertising etc., additional marketing collateral is certainly an option.

h. Customer Service [Up to 3 Months]

The relationship between The Brand Syndicate and our clients does not come to an end once our client pays the final instalment due to us. Should any design-related questions crop up, we are on hand to answer them or to offer our opinion on how a new design has been applied. We can also help with print procurement and offer design assistance in whatever way possible.

2. Standard terms and conditions?

Prior commencement, we require 50% of the project cost up-front, deposited via bank transfer, wire transfer or check in favour of “The Brand Syndicate”. We would require the remaining 50% prior delivery of the final artworks.

3. Registration / Tax / Bank Details?

Government Registrations:
Service Tax Number: AHZPK3369CSD001
Import Export Code: 0716907810
KVAT / CST / PT TIN: 29861344638
TAN: BLRP18248G

Bank Information:
Account Holder: The Brand Syndicate
Account Type: Current
Account Number: 9111253411
Bank: Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited
IFSC: KKBK0008042

Manifesto?

1. The Brand Syndicate conducts itself and its business appropriately in a professional manner

2. We provide responsible branding services which are backed diligently by thorough knowledge, experience and research

3. The Brand Syndicate propagates ethical business for a better tomorrow by conducting its business in a transparent and ethical manner

4. We are creative in our work and in how we secure brand positioning in the already populated minds of our contemporaries

5. At The Brand Syndicate, we believe in building brand equity for our clients over time

6. The Brand Syndicate is steadfast in our values and belief structure as well as those of our client brands

7. The Brand Syndicate will not lie for our clients nor do we lie to ourselves

8. We do not devalue our work in any manner and therefore will not negotiate our terms or undertake speculative work

9. We will not compromise on our work, how it is produced or how it is managed by our clients

10. The Brand Syndicate believes in securing long term relationships with our clients by proving ourselves to be trustworthy partners in the brand building process over due course of time as well as sticking to our manifesto

Pitch or engage in “Speculative Work”?

The Brand Syndicate strongly discourages the prevalent practice of requesting that design work be produced and submitted on a speculative basis in order to be considered for acceptance on a project.

We feel such an approach compromises the quality of work you are entitled to and also violates a tacit, long-standing ethical standard in the communication design profession worldwide.

Our two main reasons for this position are as follow:

1. To assure the client receives the most appropriate and responsive work. Successful design work results from a collaborative process between a client and the designer with the intention of developing a clear sense of the client’s objectives, competitive situation and needs. Speculative design competitions or processes result in a superficial assessment of the project at hand that is not grounded in a client’s business dynamics. Design creates value for clients as a result of the strategic approach designers take in addressing the problems or needs of the client and only at the end of that process is a “design” created. Speculative or open competitions for work based on a perfunctory problem statement will not result in the best design solution for the client.

2. Requesting work for free demonstrates a lack of respect for the designer and the design process. Requesting work for free reflects a lack of understanding and respect for the value of effective design as well as the time of the professionals who are asked to provide it. This approach, therefore, reflects on your personal practices and standards and may be harmful to the professional reputation of both you and your business.

There are few professions where all possible candidates are asked to do the work first, allowing the buyer to choose which one to compensate for their efforts. (Just consider the response if you were to ask a dozen lawyers to write a brief for you from which you would then choose which one to pay!) We realize that there are some creative professions with a different set of standards, such as advertising and architecture, for which billings are substantial and continuous after you select a firm of record. In those cases, you are not receiving the final outcome (the advertising campaign or the building) for free as you would be in receiving a communication design solution.

There is an appropriate way to explore the work of various designers. A more effective and ethical approach to requesting speculative work is to ask designers to submit examples of their work from previous assignments as well as a statement of how they would approach your project. You can then judge the quality of the designer’s previous work and his or her way of thinking about your business. The designer you select can then begin to work on your project by designing strategic solutions to your criteria while under contract to you, without having to work on speculation up front.

If you would like to work with our firm in developing a process that will benefit you most and maintain the high business standards we expect from you, please do not hesitate to give us a call. There are many local and national designers who can provide you with solutions that will far exceed your expectations, with respect for an appropriate budget and schedule. In the end, this approach ensures a more effective, professional and profitable process for everyone involved.

Your consideration of these professional design issues is greatly appreciated.

Principles & Responsibilities?

The Brand Syndicate adheres to principles of integrity that demonstrate respect for the profession we have chosen, for colleagues, for clients, for audiences or consumers, and for society as a whole.

Responsibility to clients:

1. We shall acquaint ourselves with a client’s business and design standards and shall act in the client’s best interest within the limits of professional responsibility.

2. We shall not work simultaneously on assignments that create a conflict of interest without agreement of the clients or employers concerned, except in specific cases where it is the convention of a particular trade for a designer to work at the same time for various competitors.

3. We shall treat all work in progress prior to the completion of a project and all knowledge of a client’s intentions, production methods and business organization as confidential and shall not divulge such information in any manner whatsoever without the consent of the client. It is our responsibility to ensure that all staff members act accordingly.

4. We will not accept instructions from a client or employer that involve violation of our ethical standards and will either correct said instructions or refuse the assignment.

Responsibility to other designers:

1. In our pursuit of business opportunities, we support fair and open competition.

2. We shall not knowingly accept any professional assignment on which another firm has been or is working without notifying the other firm or until he or she is satisfied that any previous appointments have been properly terminated and that all materials relevant to the continuation of the project are the clear property of the client.

3. We will not attempt, directly or indirectly, to supplant or compete with another firm by means of unethical inducements.

4. We shall be objective and balanced in criticizing another firm’s work and shall not denigrate the work or reputation of a fellow competitor.

5. We shall not accept instructions from a client that involve infringement of another person’s property rights without permission, or consciously act in any manner involving any such infringement.

6. While working in a country other than ours, we own shall observe the relevant Code of Conduct of the national society concerned.

Fees:

1. We shall work only for a fee, a royalty, salary or other agreed-upon form of compensation. We shall not retain any kickbacks, hidden discounts, commission, allowances or payment in kind from contractors or suppliers. Clients will be made aware of mark-ups.

2. A reasonable handling and administration charge may be added, with the knowledge and understanding of the client, as a percentage to all reimbursable items, billable to a client, that pass through our account.

3. If we have a financial interest in any suppliers who may benefit from a recommendation made by us in the course of a project, we will inform the client or employer of this fact in advance of the recommendation.

4. If we are asked to advise on the selection of designers or the consultants, we shall not base such advice in the receipt of payment from the designer or consultants recommended.

Publicity:

1. Any self-promotion, advertising or publicity must not contain deliberate misstatements of competence, experience or professional capabilities. It must be fair both to clients and other designers.

2. We may allow a client to use our name for the promotion of work designed or services provided in a manner that is appropriate to the status of the profession.

Authorship:

1. We shall not claim sole credit for a design on which other designers have collaborated.

2. When not the sole author of a design, it is incumbent upon us to clearly identify our specific responsibilities or involvement with the design. Examples of such work may not be used for publicity, display or portfolio samples without clear identification of precise areas of authorship.

Responsibility to the public:

1. We shall avoid projects that will result in harm to the public.

2. We shall communicate the truth in all situations and at all times; our work shall not make false claims nor knowingly misinform. We shall represent messages in a clear manner in all forms of communication design and avoid false, misleading and deceptive promotion.

3. We shall respect the dignity of all audiences and shall value individual differences even as they avoid depicting or stereotyping people or groups of people in a negative or dehumanizing way. We shall strive to be sensitive to cultural values and beliefs and engages in fair and balanced communication design that fosters and encourages mutual understanding.

Responsibility to society and the environment

1. The Brand Syndicate, while engaged in the practice or instruction of design, shall not knowingly do or fail to do anything that constitutes a deliberate or reckless disregard for the health and safety of the communities in which we reside and practice or the privacy of the individuals and businesses therein. We shall take a responsible role in the visual portrayal of people, the consumption of natural resources, and the protection of animals and the environment.

2. We strive to contribute five percent of our time to projects in the public good-projects that serve society and improve the human experience.

3. We shall consider environmental, economic, social and cultural implications of his or her work and minimize the adverse impacts.

4. We shall not knowingly accept instructions from a client or employer that involve infringement of another person’s or group’s human rights or property rights without permission of such other person or group, or consciously act in any manner involving any such infringement.

5. We shall not knowingly make use of goods or services offered by manufacturers, suppliers or contractors that are accompanied by an obligation that is substantively detrimental to the best interests of our client, society or the environment.

6. We shall refuse to engage in or countenance discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.

7. We shall strive to understand and support the principles of free speech, freedom of assembly, and access to an open marketplace of ideas and shall act accordingly.