5 Secrets to Designing a Killer Annual Report

An annual report is like a yearbook for your business. It summarizes your organization’s activity throughout the year and shines a spotlight on important achievements. Annual reports can help build a positive reputation for your company by boosting employee moral and building potential business partners. Annual reports can be a useful marketing tool, but only if people take the time to read them. A well-designed annual report will encourage people to actually pick it up and flip through the pages. Your annual report will reach a wider audience if the content is engaging, easy to digest, and presented in an attractive manner. Investing in good design also gives your business an added level of professionalism that will help potential business partners feel more confident in their decision to work with you. Keep reading for our secrets to creating a well-designed annual report.


Go With a Pro
Our first secret is to hire a professional. A graphic designer can lay out your information in a way that is appealing, easy to understand, and in line with your goals. They can transform your content into a polished and engaging report by creating stunning visuals. Graphic designers have studied the intricacies of font and color selection. They know how to make your annual report attractive and how to emphasize the appropriate content to reach your goals. In addition to creating a final product you can feel proud of, hiring a designer will save you time and stress.


Show, Don’t Tell
Annual reports contain a lot of numerical data. Rather than relaying this information through text; graphs, pie charts, infographics, and images are all ways you can convey data in a more visually appealing way. One purpose of an annual report is to give an overview of your company’s progress. Instead of writing about the progress, an infographic can convey the same information in a way that is easier to absorb and prettier to look at. Through good design, you can also emphasize important aspects of your organization that you want the reader to focus on.


Move Online
A new trend in annual reports is to create an online version, which makes the report more accessible and gives you more creative opportunities. For example, Shopify’s 2013 annual report incorporated interactive aspects and short animations to better convey their information. There are many possibilities you can use to create a unique report that people will find fun and engaging to read.


Create a Theme
A good strategy is to base your annual report around a theme that relates to your organization’s focus from the previous year. When choosing your theme, you should also consider your brand, how you want to be perceived, and what you want people to gain from reading your report. Once you have chosen your theme, it will be easier to formulate content and to decide on the types of visuals you should add to strengthen your overall message.


Use Clean Design
Lastly, it’s a good idea to keep your design simple. Flat design has become popular in recent years and works well for the purpose of an annual report. A simple design won’t distract readers from the information you’re trying to get across; and since this design style is currently popular, readers will gravitate to your report.

Now that you understand how to design an annual report, we hope you feel confident in the direction you’d like to take with your own report. Creative Juice can help you create an annual report that will meet all of your needs. Contact us today.