Graphics have a powerful role in proposals and should never be overlooked. The use of a well-executed graphic can provide a quick visual representation of what you are trying to convey in an easy to digest manner, which is often more effective than the written word. Graphics also have the benefit of breaking up large sections of copy, making the document more visually appealing and increasing reader interest.
Before graphics are considered, it is important to check whether they are permitted and, if so, do the words contribute to the overall word count? Any graphics included must be relevant, have a purpose and be easy to understand. If a graphic needs to be explained, then it hasn’t done its job effectively. Just as important, is it legible? If a graphic is so complex or the text is so small it can’t be read, there is no point in it taking up space.
Consistency is key when creating graphics so it is essential to establish a style at the outset to ensure this. In some cases there may be client brand guidelines to consider, if so, this will be the starting point for development.
The level of thought that goes into devising the graphic style at the beginning is an important step and will set a precedent. Some of the elements that are considered when establishing a style include: typeface; typeface size (minimum and maximum); colour palette and colour use hierarchy; colour style (flat or gradient); line weights; shape and size of key elements; shape effects; use of white space; how key terms are presented; text case to be used.
Existing graphics from previous bids or partner organisations can be reinterpreted to give a common look and feel within the document. Inserting them without aligning them to the overall look can make them stand out and appear jarring.
Managing any graphics produced is also a task in its own right. In some cases, tenders can include hundreds of graphics, with multiple versions of each. Having disciplined processes in place for things like numbering convention and version control is imperative to guarantee a seamless workflow.
The impact of seeing the finished proposal with graphics all following a common look can be truly impressive. Not only does it look extremely professional, it sets you apart from the competition, it gives the impression you have made an effort, it shows that you care, it is clear you are bidding to win.
BiD Masters have a team of highly experienced graphic designers who specialise in bid graphic production. They work alongside the bid writing team to evolve concepts and produce powerful, winning graphics.