Chapter 11

Making Your Proposals Look Good


Capturing attention with design

Understanding the basic principles of design

Making your solution memorable with graphics and charts

Personal computers have made everyone a desktop publisher. Whether you use bundled word processors, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or even high-end publishing packages like Adobe Creative Suite, you have the power to create proposals with magazine-quality design and layout. This is both a blessing and a curse. Though many have the software to create professional-looking documents, fewer know the principles and techniques for designing documents to meet professional standards. Moreover, nothing screams “unprofessional” like a proposal with a cluttered, unbalanced layout and cheesy clip art.

Because you’re reading this book, we assume that you don’t have in-house graphics and publishing resources. But if you have a PC or even a tablet, you have the power to incorporate textual elements, photos, graphics, tables, and word diagrams that bring a higher level of professionalism to your proposals. All you need is a set of principles and guidelines, which is what this chapter is all about.

Designing Eye-Catching, Accessible Documents

Most businesspeople understand that the overall design and layout of your proposal helps to make a positive early impression on decision makers and evaluators (if the proposal looks good, the solution’s probably good, too). But did you know that good design is essential ...

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