MIG sat down with Digital Lab/Desktop Publishing Manager Shannon Bass to talk about what she thinks makes a winning proposal.
MIG: Tell us a little bit about what you do.
SHANNON: I design, layout, prep and print art files. Well, that’s the tactical definition of what I do. Really what I do is figure out the best solutions for responses for RFP’s for proposals. Usually the creative team will come to me with a vision or a concept. My job is to figure out how to turn their vision into a tangible reality. And more often than not, that solution is not a flat book with wire binding. It’s a lot like arts and crafts and I love it.
MIG: Do you think clients enjoy reading proposals any more?
SHANNON: Yes, but I think the proposals that get read first and that make it to the stand-up pitch are the ones that inspire interaction versus passivity. We have to remember that the purpose of the RFP is not to select good agencies but to eliminate agencies. It’s an exclusion device. You are in. You are out. At the same time, there will also be a clear winner. So I don’t hold anything back at the RFP stage. Essentially, the more senses my proposals tap, the better!
MIG: And if they don’t?
MIG: Do you think technology is to blame for this ever-increasing need of proposals to be experiential versus just interesting to read?
SHANNON: It’s totally to blame. But in a good way as it forces agencies like MIG to view proposals differently. I certainly don’t see them as “just” proposals. To me, it’s high art.
MIG: What are some recent proposals you’ve done that defy the norm?
SHANNON: My hands down favorite one was an interactive craft book. This was a book that with every page flip, the reader had to participate in its content. For example, one page contained an envelope they had to open, where another page had a matchbox car they had to move across the page in order to read the copy underneath it. Another page had peel-away stickers and fabric swatches. It was 2Dish made to look and feel 3Dish. That client could do everything with it but taste it. It really was that interactive. Another one I recently worked on used augmented reality to take the reader on a virtual tour of a stage design.
MIG: Did MIG win the job?
SHANNON: Yes. I really enjoy working with such talented creative minds that make me strive to be a better artist myself; all the artists at MIG are completely different and completely amazing.
MIG: Is it safe to say that emerging technology inspires you?
SHANNON: Most definitely. I mean, they kind of go hand-in-hand now, don’t you think? Look at 3D printing… that was a complete game-changer because now we can go up and out instead of flat. Technology is allowing us to present our creative ideas in 3D. That’s thrilling!
MIG: The world isn’t flat. Nor should a proposal be!
MIG: Does this mean you get less paper cuts?
SHANNON: Unfortunately, I still get chunks taken off now and then. But hey, what’s art without pain?