We all want our proposals to look as good as possible but it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some little tricks.
Getting your proposal looking good doesn’t take much but it does take something. One of the best things about Better Proposals is how little you need to think of. We’ve done everything.
We’ve come up with 3 essentials and 5 ideas to improve the look of your proposals in just a couple of minutes.
Priority 1: Get a Colour Scheme
Just because your logo is yellow doesn’t mean you have enough colours to make an interesting proposal. You need a supporting cast and a foil – something for your main colour to play off.
There’s a free tool called coolors.co – you just put your starting point colour in and it’ll give you 4 more that go with it. Just keep hitting spacebar until you find something you like. You can tweak it if you want to get advanced but just having a set of 5 colours you can use will help you make things look really interesting in your proposals.
Priority 2: Choose Quality Fonts
Font pairing is one the deep arts of design but fortunately, we’ve already pre-selected fonts that work really well together in Better Proposals. You’ll find it in Settings > Proposal Branding > Fonts. From there you can choose from a bunch of different fonts to vary how your proposal looks.
It’s worth giving some serious thought to the fonts you use because they say a lot about your business. If you use a smart looking serif font, that’s likely to come across up-market. A thin sans-serif font, again, up-market.
Have a play and see what suits your brand and the kind of vibe you’re looking to give off.
Priority 3: Make Your Covers Look Incredible
There are many ways to design a cover for a proposal but the best way to do it with Better Proposals is by keeping it simple. Our recommendation is simple – go to unsplash.com and find a cool, abstract photo relating to what you do, or your client’s business and use that as your cover.
You almost always want to use white text and a square button – it just looks cooler. The other thing you want to be doing is making sure your logo is transparent (not in a white square) and equipped to be on a dark background. Generally, this means making the logo white regardless of what colour it usually is. It’s more important to make the cover look amazing than having your logo look exactly as it was designed. Companies adapt their logos all the time for a variety of different reasons.
Look at our website, we have the colour version of our logo which is what we use on a white background but it just looks much better all in white on top of a photo or a darker background.
Now those are 3 things which are vital to having a great looking proposal. That’s the foundation covered – a great looking cover, appropriate typography and a colour scheme. Great start!
Now here’s a bunch of little things you can do within the different pages of your proposal to make the pages look a little more interesting and vary it up a bit.
Using Feature Blocks
Feature Blocks are a super versatile feature that really brings your proposals to life. You can use them as just page headers or you can use them for almost any part of your proposal. Here are 5 ways you can use Feature Blocks.
Idea 1: Stacking Feature Blocks
This isn’t something you’d know unless you stumbled across it but if you stack feature blocks on top of each other it removes the normal white spacing between each element. Coupled with your new colour scheme, this can look really really smart.
It’s great when you need to lay out a process, or a step-by-step but could equally work for many things. Here’s an example:
Idea 2: Feature Block Filters
Each feature block can have its own filters – these are little patterns that go with the colour of your feature block to give it a little personality.
Maybe it’s a gradient making your chosen colour slightly darker, perhaps there are some light shapes in the background or some stripes, having a little pattern to break up a large amount of colour can make the difference. Here’s a couple of examples:
Idea 3: Feature Block Trims
Built into the area where you choose the pattern for your feature block are some different trims which change the bottom of the feature block to have a shape or a unique edge to it.
We add more all the time but there’s a slant, a centred arrow (great for using just above where you want them to sign) and spikes.
Use them to vary up your proposals and make each page different. It makes it far more interesting to read. Would you read a magazine if every single page was formatted exactly the same? Some consistency where it matters like typography and colours but beyond that – go nuts.
Idea 4: Full Height Feature Blocks
A little-known trick with feature blocks – if you don’t have anything else on the page, it will make the colour go full height like this:
This is great for really making pages stand out or even using Better Proposals more as an online brochure platform. You’ll want to use your new-found colour scheme for the background colours of these feature blocks, keep it consistent.
Idea 5: Break up content
Massive walls of text can are boring and uninspiring. The copy can be as interesting as it likes but it has to look engaging. Apple and Tesla have taught us that great design matters and causes people to want to read and learn more.
Breaking up your copy with bullet points is a great way to start. Another way is to use a quote block to make some text stand out.
It could be a testimonial or simply a statement you want to call attention to. Magazines do this all the time, take an engaging or important sentence and put it as a quote further up the page to encourage the reader to “find it” later on.
Another amazing way of breaking up your text is by using full-width images, try not to make them too tall so you can achieve an effect like this:
There are 3 essentials and 5 simple ideas you can employ right now to not only give your proposals some life but give them that feeling of a professionally designed proposal that presents you as a serious business and in many ways, the only logical choice for the job.