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Six steps to a winning proposal

Have you just been asked to submit a design proposal against a tight deadline? Are you looking for a user-friendly format for a design proposal because you are just starting your own business? Do you think it’s time for a more professional and streamlined reflection of your brand after having worked in the design field for some time? Are you tired of re-inventing your offer in emails repeating the same message? Perhaps it’s high time to consider using a professional template, so you can demonstrate your capabilities and present your own brand in a way that will not only impress potential clients but actually convince them to choose you as a design partner.

A template has the potential to reduce both hustle and hassle. Not only will it save you precious time, it can also remove the pressure of thinking about contents and style every time you present your ideas for a potential project. For those who are looking for a quick solution, there’s a PDF template included in this article. For those who want to take a little time creating their own branded template, we can offer some useful advice.

Six steps that will turn your proposal into a winner.

Cover Page

Don’t miss an opportunity to present your brand! Rather than jumping straight to the particulars and the cost of your services why not show your sense of style and your creativity right from the start?

Cover Page Must-Haves:

· your logo + company name

· a title for the proposal

· the name of the client

· the name of the project

· Your contact details including a link to your website

If you want your offer to come across as unique and exciting it is important to incorporate your personal style right from the beginning As a designer you have the advantage being familiar with programmes like InDesign or Photoshop. In order to get ahead in the game, use these skills when creating documents rather than rely on MS Word or PPT.

Short Bio

You don’t need to go overboard with your bio. One paragraph should be sufficient to introduce your company and explain why you are best-placed to deliver this project. You could add the full range of your services at the end of your proposal but remember: Be you, be authentic, be honest.

Examples of your Work

It’s always good to include a few pictures of your previous projects to highlight your style, your standards and your expertise. It is no secret that many potential clients are budget-driven in their search for a design partner. Still, we should not underestimate the seductive power of beautiful images. Here you have a real chance to impress not only with your offer-related ideas but also with your portfolio.

Just remember to keep the images relevant and make sure you select pictures from similar projects.

Your Process of Work

Here you should give a brief description of your initial approach to the project so your clients can get an insight into the way you work. Potentially, you could include a section called ’Standard Stages’ where you list the general steps during the development of any project as long as you point out that these are subject to change depending on individual requirements.

This section should be brief. You would need a preliminary meeting to discuss the scope of work before you can lay out the process in more detail.


After you introduced yourself, showcased your experience, presented the way you work, in short, impressed your client, it is time to address the project cost.

If you already have detailed project information you could include relatively detailed information on standard pricing as well as information regarding payment terms. Alternatively, you could wrap some of your services into ‘design packages’ and indicate what these include as well as an indication of the cost If you prefer custom pricing, make sure that everybody is totally clear on how the price will be calculated and how and when the cost will be charged to the client.


The final page could contain an expression of your excitement about the project and your commitment to help your client to fulfil their design dreams. – Your up-to-date contact information should be there again, making it easy for the recipient of the proposal to get in touch with you.

If you would like to have a PDF template, please click here.

Learn more about this template and how you can use it in this short video.


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