When I first started at ZWA the fee proposals that went out were dense documents formatted in Microsoft word. For the most part, they really only worked for winning programmatic work.
When I was tasked with putting the proposal together for the Equinox project, my first thought was our typical proposal would kill our chance with this design focused client. What we showed them had to be concise, well designed, and graphic. I decided that the time was right to test a new format.
I enlisted Matt Rose, a co-worker and graphic designer turned interior designer, to help create a new proposal format. I told him how the information should be laid out and let him do his thing. The idea was to keep each piece of information separate and distinct from the others, and most importantly, as short as possible. Selling would happen on one page, the project understanding and the fee on other separate sheets. Staff resumés and project sheets were limited to one page each. No more than three projects, illustrated with high quality engaging photos, would be allowed to be included.
When we won the job, and a half million dollar fee, our experiment became the new format for all proposals. Shown here are excerpts from the Equinox proposal and an example of the old proposal style. The new format has evolved over time, but still adheres to the original core ideas of brevity, clean design, and graphic impact.
Project Information and Credits:
Firm: Zimmerman Weintraub Associates
ZWA Project Team: Richard Avery, concept & editorial design; Matt Rose, graphic design