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Rules for a Graphic Design Proposal

Posted by Ilise Benun on

You don’t have to be a writer to write a strong graphic or web design proposal that will get you the job.

You do have to know which ones to do and what to put in it.

I recently interviewed Allison Manley from Chicago-based design firm, Rogue Element, about their graphic design proposal template which has won 67% of the jobs they pursued in 2011. Allison shared with me the guidelines she uses to decide which graphic or web design proposals and Requests for Proposal (RFP) to answer.

“We will do a proposal or RFP,” says Allison, “if we understand the goals and constraints very specifically and if it’s clear that the prospect has a very clear idea of what they’re looking for." For example:

  • Do they understand what they’re buying? “Good RFPs make it clear the prospect understands they’re buying the process, not just the product,” says Allison.
  • Are they fishing or buying? “They must understand what they’re buying and not just be fishing.”
  • Are their needs clear? Sometimes the prospect isn’t specific about the goals. They say, “We need print” but what does that mean? Brochures or postcards? An annual report and if so, what size?

Listen to our 15-minute interview here.

Need a sample proposal? Want to see exactly what's in Rogue Element’s proposal? Find it in the Designer’s Proposal Bundle, along with 10 other actual sample proposals for a wide variety of industries and project types.

Patricia Childers of P Childers Design used the Designer's Proposal Bundle and wrote this about it recently: “I have found it to be a great investment. It gives enough different points-of-view to allow one to cull a personalized proposal for each project. I refer to it often.”


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