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Chapter 17. Visual elements and editing > Visual element guidelines

Visual element guidelines

There are several guidelines that you should follow when using visual elements:

  • Use visuals only when appropriate. You need to make sure that every visual serves a purpose. Do not waste the client’s time by making them look at visuals that do not help them understand an idea or concept in the proposal.

  • Place the visual where it is needed. The visual is most effective when placed near the text that it supports. You want to avoid making the client flip through the pages of the proposal to find the visual when they want to reference it. The one exception to this rule is when you include items in the appendix, these items are usually too large to include within the body of the proposal without seeming to be awkward.

  • Introduce all visuals. Every visual that you use in the proposal should be introduced to establish the relationship between the visual and the supporting information. The client might not naturally make the connection between the visual and the text, so make sure that you state this relationship for them.

  • Keep the visual simple. Do not try to convey an excessive amount of information through a single visual. Complicated visuals, especially drawings or charts, often look cluttered, which defeats the purpose of using them in the first place. If you need to communicate a complex or highly technical idea or a concept, consider illustrating it by using more than one visual. For example, consider using three photographs of a product, each with different types of features highlighted on the images.

  • Make sure visuals are printed clearly. Obviously, you want all the visuals to be printed clearly so that the client can easily read and understand them. In particular, pay close attention to the drawings or photographs that are photocopies. Try to use laser printers for duplicating such images. The replication quality of laser printers is higher than the replication quality of ordinary printers.



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