Annual reports have developed into comprehensive marketing tools that celebrates the culture and success of a company. It is much more than a series of financial figures with some legal reports. It is therefore increasingly important that the design and structure of your company’s annual report reflect the personality and vision of your brand. For this reason, annual reports are increasingly important for community-based groups such as government-funded organizations, healthcare providers, and nonprofits. Your annual report is the most important document that you create to describe the services and results for each year.
Incorporating your unique corporate culture into the design of the annual report, will create a document that reflects your performance and is a pleasure to read. Smart marketers use elements of their annual report for marketing and advertising. Design elements are integrated into the design of annual reports which can also be used for advertising measures. In many cases, the annual report is an important tool for promoting your services and attracting funds and donations.
Good planning and design of the annual report, as well as advice on the content, lead to a document that everyone involved will be proud of. It also serves as a valuable independent resource that you can use to market your success in the coming year.
Annual report cover design
The cover of your annual report should reflect your company branding and the themes present in the report. By doing so, readers will immediately be able to get a sense of the content of the annual report. The cover of your annual report is also a great place to express your branding identity to the reader which can be done through strong colour choices and imagery. Gone are the days where companies were restricted to neutral colours and corporate blue, now you can demonstrate the uniqueness of your company, starting with the design of the annual report cover.
Best annual report design characteristics
1 Imagery and info-graphics
A picture says a thousand words and the same can be said for infographics. They are a great way of showing data and statistics to the reader using visual imagery.
2 Strong use of bold brand colours
Annual reports these days are bursting with colour and design. Long gone are the days of boring black and white documents with hard to read information. Todays annual report designs are full of colour to better reflect the brand of your organisation. Colour helps to encourage reading of important information areas, and also visually break up the page into smaller and easier to read chunks of content.
3 Showcase your people
It’s a basic fact of marketing that people respond to people. By bringing the real people and personalities of your organisation into your report you can help the reader find a human connection with your content. Showcase your staff with their achievements and case studies that can reflect positively back onto your organisation.