How should a professional business plan look like?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Hi,

How should a professional business plan look like?

My teacher just gave me this sample business plan. Now, the content is alright, but what about the typography? I'm not sure, I'm not really a designer, but I do get the feeling it's not as beautiful as it could be. I take it a business plan should appear serious and controlled, almost conservative, as to show investors that you won't do anything stupid with their money. Also, I remember reading somewhere that the best typography is the kind of typography that goes by unnoticed (e.g. nothing fancy) as to not divert the reader's attention from the actual content.

I don't know, what do you guys say?

Thanks!

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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I just hate it when a link automatically starts downloading an attachment of any kind.  That's unforgivable. 

These forums have safer ways of embedding images in your posts or including them as attachments that are virus-scanned before being released.

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Well, that is a serious, conservative layout, sure. I'm assuming the red text is instructions/suggestions from the teacher, and gets replaced by black text. Is that right?


Is the purpose of the business plan to attract investors or convince a bank or something? If it was, I'd probably change the typeface selection so that it wasn't all in Times. Nothing radical, but maybe a slightly more flavorful sans serif for headings, and a serif body typeface with a tiny bit more character. Could be for example Frutiger and Baskerville. Still pretty restrained, just not identical to most of the business plans they see.


But then again, I'm the guy who jailbroke his iPhone primarily to change the UI typeface, and asked the forum admins to change the default typeface here as well. So maybe I'm a little obsessive on this sort of thing.


Cheers,


T

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Any advice to step away from Times is sound advice. 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Ramón G Castañeda wrote:

Any advice to step away from Times is sound advice. 

Yeah, but still, there's something about this font that just oozes authority. Here in Norway it's used by the government, the police, the military and all sorts of institutions. I guess it is to serifs what Helvetica is to sanserifs.

Edit: http://typophile.com/node/54614

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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reddvinylene wrote:

Yeah, but still, there's something about this font that just oozes authority.

Times oozes cluelessness, ignorance and lack of imagination.

It's a newspaper font specifically designed to look good in narrow newspaper columns, not in full-width lines of text.

It also screams "PeeCee!", as in Windows, which is probably what your local gendarmes and other institutional bureaucrats use. 

apple_icon_gray_small.jpg

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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reddvinylene wrote:

Ramón G Castañeda wrote:

Any advice to step away from Times is sound advice. 

I guess it is to serifs what Helvetica is to sanserifs.

Another hated font.  This is like comparing the relative benefits of two types of enemas.   

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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You're not really being helpful here

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Contributor ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Herb,

Your post is totally blank—like most posts made through email in these new forums.

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Contributor ,
May 01, 2009 May 01, 2009

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This one shouldn't be blank.

---[Edited]   But it  is … except for the first line. Reposted via website.

Message was edited by: HerbVB

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Just hoping to get you to reflect upon the error of your ways, maybe to read up on typefaces, look up some decent books on good design, pick up a few pointers.

The ugliest typeface ever designed, from my point of view, is Courier.  It was meant for typewriters and its main criterion was not to cut through the paper when the key struck it, and to minimize the gunking up with ink in the bowels of the o, e, a, p, d, b, etc.  More so than Times and Helvetica, it has no place in modern digital typography.

As I said before, Times works best in narrow newspaper columns.  Helvetica is excellent in signage and in catalogs.

You asked for advice and I'm giving you my two cents.  It's obvious to me now that you are in dire need of help.  Or you'll just end up drowning in mediocrity. Do what you want, of course.  It won't affect me in the least.

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Contributor ,
May 01, 2009 May 01, 2009

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reddvinylene wrote:

"You're not really being helpful .."

In fact, he is. Regardless of whether or not your audience members are  even aware of your material's typography, it WILL have a subconscious  effect.

And the effect of Times or other misused or overused fonts, when seen  on your material would be that it will appear bland and ordinary - and  lend that blandness to your content. A different typeface helps to  differentiate the content of your material! The difference doesn't  have to be radical; it's amazing what subtleties the human mind can  recognize.

- Herb

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Community Beginner ,
May 02, 2009 May 02, 2009

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HerbVB wrote:

reddvinylene wrote:

"You're not really being helpful .."

In fact, he is. Regardless of whether or not your audience members are  even aware of your material's typography, it WILL have a subconscious  effect.

And the effect of Times or other misused or overused fonts, when seen  on your material would be that it will appear bland and ordinary - and  lend that blandness to your content. A different typeface helps to  differentiate the content of your material! The difference doesn't  have to be radical; it's amazing what subtleties the human mind can  recognize.

- Herb

Well, absolutely. I find it very interesting how design affects the subconscious without us even knowing it. It was just a joke to him dissing the typefaces

But, you could also argue the opposite. I'm not, but if I were I'd probably say that using Times or Helvetica shows that I'm just like everybody else and not some large multinational corporation who takes things perhaps a bit too seriously.

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Guide ,
May 02, 2009 May 02, 2009

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reddvinylene wrote:

But, you could also argue the opposite. I'm not, but if I were I'd probably say that using Times or Helvetica shows that I'm just like everybody else and not some large multinational corporation who takes things perhaps a bit too seriously.

My mistake, I thought you were preparing this project as part of your studies in typography and/or design.  That "argument" would cause you to flunk in any school worth its salt, and would lead you to starvation as a professional in the field. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2009 May 03, 2009

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Well, that's what you say. I say that some people don't need design as a reason to use a product or a service, because they simply don't know any better. Instead, they feel at ease with crappy design, going like "Hey, even I could do that" and "Sweet, they're just like me". It is also common that these people see design as merely a way for one person to show how much better he is than everybody else.

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Guide ,
May 03, 2009 May 03, 2009

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reddvinylene wrote:

Well, that's what you say.

No, that's not "what I say".  It's what this forum is all about.

I have no idea why you posted here in the first place, if that's your attitude. 

You seem to have a chip on your shoulder.  That's a problem that cannot be addressed here.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Thomas Phinney wrote:

Well, that is a serious, conservative layout, sure. I'm assuming the red text is instructions/suggestions from the teacher, and gets replaced by black text. Is that right?


Is the purpose of the business plan to attract investors or convince a bank or something? If it was, I'd probably change the typeface selection so that it wasn't all in Times. Nothing radical, but maybe a slightly more flavorful sans serif for headings, and a serif body typeface with a tiny bit more character. Could be for example Frutiger and Baskerville. Still pretty restrained, just not identical to most of the business plans they see.


But then again, I'm the guy who jailbroke his iPhone primarily to change the UI typeface, and asked the forum admins to change the default typeface here as well. So maybe I'm a little obsessive on this sort of thing.


Cheers,


T

Oh yes indeed, it's for investors who go through hundreds of Times-based business plans every day. I really like the way you worded things there, "still restrained, just not identical to most of the business plans they see".

Frutiger and Baskerville is a great suggestion! I'm open to more before I go ahead and buy myself a new pair of fonts though.

Much obliged!

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Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2009 May 03, 2009

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For what it's worth though, I decided to go with Minion Pro, Memoir and LaTeX.

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