Annual Report Design Season Is Here!
It’s beginning to look a lot like. . . Annual Reports? As the year winds down, annual report design season is winding up.
For decades the annual report has been a staid printed report filled with facts and figures, charts and bland statements meant to convey fiscal responsibility to shareholders, donors and the media. However, new trends in annual report design are helping to tell these stories through unique layouts and presentations with compelling visuals to illustrate information. Giving your annual report design a creative makeover can lead to more reading and retention, two positives for your brand.
When we partner with our clients on an annual report design we take several factors into consideration to tell their story visually.
Framing the Story
The common misconception about an annual report is that it must be a 12-24 page printed booklet that requires a lot of reading. We brainstorm with our clients about the content to be conveyed, the visuals we want to include and how we can package their story into something that catches the attention of their audience. These insights drive many of the decisions surrounding the format of the annual report design. Creative visual design is pushing the boundaries of what the report can be. Booklet-style, website or app, print and digital formats – the options are always growing. We help you frame your story in a way that matches your work, vision and strategy.
The Big Picture
Your annual report tells your story. We work with our clients to understand the story they want to tell. Then we talk about the best use of visuals to support and explain that narrative. Your annual report conveys to your audience the financial and social success of the previous year. It can also share the history of your company, give a peek at the corporate culture, highlight community involvement, and layout your strategy for the coming year, in essence it is your brand. We make sure we are building an annual report design design consistent with your brand look, tone and feel (LTF) and putting the company “voice” into everything we design.
Graphs, tables, lists of numbers – essential data to share in an annual report, not always fun to read or review. At Ballyhoo we are experts at turning complex data into easily digestible graphics that convey your message in a creative and unique way. Infographics, icons, motion graphics and images help make the data understandable and creates a visual element that draws the user into the information.
Not every company has a catalog of visuals that work to tell their story. Some companies are constricted by industry regulations and standards regarding what type of images and visuals they can use. When we work with clients that have these challenges we turn to our love typography! Bold characters can become the dominant focal point on each page or screen of the design. Letter forms, scale, color and contrast can create an unusual and visually compelling report.
White Space – Whaa?
When thinking about design, creating visuals and using imagery, including white space in the design plan can seem counterintuitive to the process. However, white space is a design technique that can be incredibly impactful, especially in a document loaded with information. Balancing white space and text to make the document easier to read, leaving wide margins to give the reader spaces to make notes – these are just a few examples of white space design options. When you strike the right balance, the design is more visually appealing and engaging.
Your annual report contains A LOT of diverse information. We review all of the content for an annual report and then talk about how we can break it up into snackable segments. We find the common themes in the content and link them visually – and literally on websites – with design. Color themes, color-coded information, or continuous scroll pages create visual organization and makes information easy to skim or move through without having to read line by line. Breaking down complicated subject matters makes it easier to understand and visually directs the reader to where they are in the story and where they are going, creating a natural flow.
Creative annual report design can make dense information feel lighter and lead to greater retention. An engaging format matched to your company personality and story helps readers focus, better understand the material and then retain what they’ve read.
Let’s talk about your annual report design!