If you are not viewed as more expert than your competition, then you will be viewed as one in a sea of many, and you will have little power in your relationships with your clients and prospects.

Design is a profession at crossed roads. On the one hand design is seen as one of the ultimate differentiator between a company’s product and it’s competition. On the other hand, the outputs of graphic design have never been more commoditized than as they are right now.

Interrogating clients is an essential part of being a designer. If we don’t learn to ask questions, we run the risk of never getting to the heart of what good design can be. No question is ever too dumb to ask, and if we are frightened of exposing our ignorance we will never understand anything.

Always finish with a conclusion. This must be short (no more than 100 words) and should be an at-a-glance overview of the proposal. It allows those who can’t be bothered to read your entire document to have it all in one hit. It is always advisable to add a copyright line to any proposal. And a cheerful ‘thank you’.

A badly designed portfolio sends out a message: bad designer.