[Office-of-research] Presentation on font use in proposals: 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 27

Mitch Boretz mitch at engr.ucr.edu
Mon May 5 09:56:24 PDT 2008

Dear friends: You are invited to a presentation on typography in proposals
at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, in Room 205-206 Engineering II. All faculty,
staff, and students are welcome.
We will be welcoming Colleen Jolly from The 24 Hour Company, a consulting
business in Washington, DC, that specializes in graphics for proposals.
Colleen and I will be making a presentation on this topic the following
Thursday at the 19th Annual Conference of the Association of Proposal
Management Professionals. The conference is in Rancho Mirage this year, and
Colleen agreed to come here the day before it begins so we can practice
together on a live audience. An abstract of the talk is below. No RSVPs are
If You Can Read This, I Must Have Used a Legible Font
Mitch Boretz, University of California, Riverside
Colleen Jolly, The 24 Hour Company
What typefaces do you use when you write a proposal? And why? In 2007, I was
forced to examine these questions when the National Science Foundation
issued new guidelines for proposal submission that, among other things,
banned the use of my best friend, Times New Roman. Four months later, NSF
issued yet another set of guidelines restoring Times New Roman and
simplifying many other formatting requirements. My search for best practices
on fonts revealed that much of the received wisdom about typography on the
printed page may be obsolete in a world on-screen reviews and aging,
squinting reviewers. Even worse, most of the resources are more concerned
with appearance than functionality. What did I learn, what fonts did we
switch to, did we switch back, and was there any impact on win rates? The
answers are not all black and white.
* * * * *
Mitch Boretz
Bourns College of Engineering
(951) 827-7069
mitch at engr.ucr.edu
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