The words ‘annual report’ can often conjure up images of encyclopaedic documents with page after page of uninspiring text and financial figures crammed from margin to margin.
But this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case.
Of course, when done poorly, annual reports can represent the heights (and depths) of the quintessentially boring ‘business report’. But, when done well, your annual report can be one of the most effective mediums for marketing your business to prospective investors, while inspiring the confidence of existing shareholders and employees.
So, how do you avoid the pitfalls of producing another underwhelming annual report? The most obvious difference between a good and bad annual report lies in its design. Putting a little extra thought into the design of the document can transform it from the financial reporting equivalent of War and Peace into an engaging and attractive piece of brand collateral.
'...annual reports are a balancing act of both form and function'
Like any design project, however, annual reports are a balancing act of both form and function. Good design should obviously be used to supplement an already well written report. While it’s true that too much text can make the report overwhelming and hard to digest, it’s equally true that too many bells and whistles can distract the reader from the true purpose of the report. After all, this is an annual report we’re producing, not a Chemist Warehouse catalogue.
To help guide our own design approach when we’re tackling a new annual report, we’ve developed a list of ten commandments to keep in mind.
When it comes to your annual report, the benefits of good design are many: increased readership and retention, strengthening of company branding and, perhaps most importantly, creating a genuine connection with your audience. And remember: it’s never too early to start thinking about your next annual report. If you’d like to find out what’s possible, drop us a line. We’d love to help tell your story.