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3.7 How to 'Map Out' Your Proposal

Mapping out the structure of your proposal is a time-saving technique which allows you to know where content will be placed before you begin formatting. In this lesson, you'll learn how to create and thread text frames and designate places for images and shapes. You'll build up to creating 'template' layouts, which can be copied across easily to other pages in your document.

3.7 How to 'Map Out' Your Proposal

Proposals can be lengthy. If you're working to a tight deadline, mapping out your proposal will help you to save time. And it will also help your proposals look more consistent, and professional as well. In the same way that master pages can help you to repeat content across a number of pages. Working out a sort of model template for how you're going to arrange elements on your pages will mean that you can repeat this. Here I'm gonna show you what I mean, so already you've created a cover for your proposal, and a contents page. So now it's time to start thinking about how you want to structure the design of the inside pages of your proposal. So let's say you might want to have a particular layout style for the opening page of a chapter or section, and a different sort of layout for a page which contains more text. You might also want a page that looks a bit different so that it can accommodate say an infographic, or statistics, or a table. Once you have the structure of these few types of pages in place, you can repeat them across the whole document. It's a really quick way to populate your proposal quickly, and it means you won't be approaching each spread of your document completely fresh. So let's do some mapping on our proposal in progress document. So scroll down to page four of your document. On the left page, we're going to map out a page for the start of a new chapter. And on the right page we're going to map out a page that would be suitable for having text on it. Let's start with the background of our opening chapter page. So lock the Text layer and unlock the background Layer. Select the rectangle tool which is M on your keyboard, and create a shape across the whole of the left page, taking the edges of the bleed and the spine on the right side. Let's set the fill of this to your blue swatch which is cyan 75. We're going to continue the theme of this sort of quartered look that we've established on the cover. So let's mark out the page into quarters. Pull out a guide from the left ruler to where the second column meets the third, dividing the margin area into two. And then bring a guide down from the top ruler to 5.5 inches which is the horizontal center point of the design. Then use the rectangle tool to create a shape that fills the top left quarter of the page. Bring it down and across to meet those guides, and set the fill of this to 90% block. Copy and paste that rectangle, and move it to the bottom-right section of the page. Just reduce that with a bit to get rid of the bleed excess. Okay, that's the background mapped out. Let's add some text. So lock the background Layer and unlock the top Text layer Create a large text frame across the bottom of the grey rectangle, and type in the chapter number, which here is going to be 03. And we can come back to the styles that we created earlier for this. So go to the paragraph styles panel, and click on the chapter number style, awesome. Right, and a text frame across the bottom of the page for the heading. Type in the title, here it's going to be Project Specifications. And apply the Chapter Heading style to that, okay, great. So this is now a basic template for an opening chapter page, and you can repeat this across other chapter pages. So to demonstrate, let's unlock the background Layer and have the Text layer unlocked too. And select everything on that page and Edit, Copy it. Scroll up to the previous spread which starts on page two, your document, and Edit, and Paste in Place. And you can just tweak this slightly to give the page a little bit of difference while keeping that same consistent layout. Let's get rid of the shape on the bottom right. And change the fill of the large rectangle at the back to red which is Cyan 7. And lighten up the color of the top left shape to your pale gray swatch Cyan 38. Let's Edit the Text, so this is going to be chapter 2, 02. And the title for this chapter is going to be, Meet the team. This part is going to be a bit quirky, and use circles as part of the design. So let's lock both the Background and Text layers, and unlock the Shapes layer. Scroll up to the front cover page and select the red circle shape over here on the right side, and Edit, Copy it. Back down to our chapter two page, and Edit, Paste that circle onto the Page. And position over the top right corner of the left-hand page, just lining it up with the horizontal center guide, and letting it overlap just slightly onto the right-hand page. Awesome! We're going to come back to this spread in a later lesson, and take look at how best we can present the team photos. But for now, head on back down to the chapter three spread. Now there are going to be a lot of pages in your proposal that will need to contain Text. These might not be the most exciting pages to design, but it's still important that these have a professional, attractive look. So we can use the grid we established for the left hand page, so unlock the Background layer and select the two guides crossing the page. And Copy and Paste them. Okay, shuffle them over so the vertical guide is in the center of the four columns on the right-hand page. Then select the two dark grey rectangles on the left-hand page, and Copy and Paste them. We need to flip these to make them fit just right, so right-click and transform, and flip horizontal. I move this over into position just like that. Okay, so let's change the fill of the top right shape to blue to match the main accent color of the left page. Okay, looking good! So let's say for consistency, and just to make your life easier, you'll always going to want these two top sections, the right hand page to be filled with body Text. And you'll always fill this bottom right section with either a pull clothes, or statistics, or something like that. Let's create a couple of text frames for this right hand page. So working on the Text layer, take the Type tool and create Text frame over the top left corner using the margins as a guide. And then create a second frame over the top right corner. Let's link these two frames by clicking on the small square at the bottom right of the first frame, and clicking once onto the second frame. And you can check these frames are linked by going to View > Extras > Show Text Threads. Let's input some sample text, and set these as styles too. So type in subheading which is going to be our solutions, and then a paragraph break, and for now head up to Type, and Fill with Placeholder Text. Let's set the font of everything here to Glenn Sans bold, size 9 points, and up the leading to 15 points, the tracking to 20. Let's change the font color to 90% black. Let's make the subheading bigger at 17 points, and make it a bit bolder too, let's go for extra bold, okay, now for the styles. So for the heading, let's choose New Paragraph Style from the Styles panel. And name this one Title, okay? We've already got the body Text style saved, so we can just apply that by clicking on it. You can add little adjustments to the text to improve readability. So for example, we can highlight just the text over in this Text frame. And give that a white font color to improve contrast. And we can leave the space on the bottom right for more custom content such as statistics, and things like that. So as we did with the left on page, you can use this simple layout that you've established as a sort of template for creating other pages. You can copy the background color and the text frames, and paste them in place on other right facing pages. And now you have this grid you can switch up little elements to create variety, while keeping the general layout consistent. So you might want to change the color of the background shapes, or the text, or swap in an image here. What I hope this lesson is showing you is how by mapping out the grid for a couple of pages in your document without spending too much time on bringing in specific content like copy or images. You've now got a template you can copy over to other pages. So is a really great time-saving solution, and is also going to give your proposal a consistent and professional look. Make sure to keep saving your progress, So you've really starting to build up a great design for our proposal. In the next lesson, we will keep working on this spread and have a look at how you can adopt some of the shapes that we've already created. Presenting facts and statistics in a more interesting way.

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