Five Tips for Annual Report Design

May 29, 2012

It’s vital that an annual report accurately reflect an organisation’s identity and vision.

Annual report design should harness the report’s full marketing potential and offer shareholders insight into your vision for the future.
There are many considerations when designing an annual report: the choice of cover, the paper type, the binding, what the charts and graphs look like and use of typography. All are important factors that together form the basis of a successful annual report.
For this reason it’s a good idea to bring the designer and copywriter in early. A good graphic designer and copywriter can be the outside voice that help cut through any alienating industry talk and jargon.
Designers can offer ideas to overcome challenges, after all they are problem solvers by training. Getting a good copywriter on board from day one can inform the design and make the whole piece stronger.

From a design perspective I believe there are several key factors to consider when designing an annual report. Below I have listed my top five design considerations for an annual report.

1) Engaging graphs and graphics

A well designed annual report will utilise charts and illustrations to quickly communicate. It’s important these graphics have a consistent look and are simple yet eye catching.

2) Convey your message quickly

Using minimal text with powerful images can make a strong statement; quickly. Most readers will only spend a few minutes reading your report. Therefore your copy needs to be succinct while presenting your organ­i­sa­tion in a pro­fes­sional man­ner. A well designed report will accurately reflect how your organisation stands in the busi­ness and invest­ment community.

3) Illustrate your vision

Readers of annual reports value insight into the the vision of an organisation. The design of the report should help to reflect that vision. Shareholders want to know where the organisation is heading. Intelligent design can help com­mu­ni­cate where you’re head­ing and illustrate the chal­lenges you will face and how will you overcome them.

4) Measuring and growth

Clearly iden­tify the key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors for your organ­i­sa­tion. Using tables and charts to identify and compare previous years indicators and market indicators can quickly illustrate growth and progress.

5) Use compelling photography

Try and find dynamic ways to tell your story. Photos don’t have to be literal. This is an opportunity to build on your brand and it’s identity. By investing in great photography you can convey your message quicker than you can in words.

No matter what your budget or how many copies you print, you can design an attractive report that suits your needs. Contact Sean Walsh Graphic Design today to get a free quote on the design of your next annual report.

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