This blog post from Bridged Design caught my attention after having spent some serious time driving over the last few days. As always they deliver their advice interestingly, and effectively. From Bridged Design..
“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Sorry, Doc, but your time traveling sentiment doesn’t apply to proposal design. We absolutely need roads.
Previously we discussed the importance of simplicity in proposal writing and, more recently, the importance in choosing color. Think of these elements — simplicity and color — as vehicles. They are solid in their own right, and are essential to crafting a masterpiece proposal, but all vehicles need a road to facilitate movement. The potential is already there, but if the idea they’re pushing doesn’t get where it needs to go (into the audience’s comprehension), it’s got about as much potential as a car stuck in the mud.
Your proposal design needs to clearly communicate your objectives, procedures and pricing. Phew. Those last three terms make my head hurt just reading them: objectives, procedures, pricing. You may as well be trying to get your kids to listen by throwing around words like “clean,” “room” and “quiet.” This is where the vehicles of simplicity and color come into play.
Consider Your Passengers
Put yourself in the shoes of the person who has to go through these objectives, procedures and pricing of dozens of firms, then you should realize the one thing she doesn’t have is a lot of time. Comprehension is key. The eye wants to be drawn to the point your vehicles are driving at. If your proposal fails to connect immediately, the trash bin is where you can find it. Reconsidering the value of roads now, Doc?
You can’t waste time if you want to win. For that reason, the driving force behind your proposal is visual design. Movement is a potent force. It guides the eye along invisible lines that, if done correctly, create excitement. Quite the opposite of being “blah’d” to death by objectives, procedures, and pri…zzZZzz. An ideal design encourages the eye along a particular path, with deliberate variations in size, shape, color, light, and, yes, negative space, wink wink. The flow of movement can create rhythm through repetition, or connection through circular elements. To achieve flow, your design needs lines that the eye can follow naturally from start to end, with text that goes with the flow.
Visual movement, or flow, is the road your vehicles travel on to help your audience better understand your proposal. It guides your audience in the correct direction so that they are looking at everything in the order that best makes sense for comprehension. The last thing you want is for someone to take a look at your proposal and have their eyes stop. Cold. You want movement? You need roads.
Source: Bridged Design