How to Design An Annual Report That Will Make You Fall in Love

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How to Design An Annual Report That Will Make You Fall in Love

Reports don’t exactly light the spark in your relationship with design. An annual report, to the untrained marketer, may seem like a collection of reporting forms. But we see it as an opportunity to make a connection.

Your annual report is your brand love story over the course of the last year. It should include a few things.

  •     Cover page
  •     Table of contents
  •     Mission statement
  •     Statement of your start-of-the-year goals and how you achieved them
  •     Continuation of your story of growth financially, culturally, and product-wise
  •     Information detailing the company, your executive team, community impact, success stories, and awards

Now, let’s dive into the steps to achieve that.

Step 1 – Understand the Goal of the Report

Your annual report incorporates your brand story as well as what you have accomplished. When creating the content, think about who is going to read your annual report and what’s important to them. Once you know your audience and what you want to say, think about how you can tell the story.

Step 2 – Get Your Story Straight

Your report may need to target many different audiences, including:
  • Stakeholders/shareholders
  • Employees
  • Potential employees
  • Industry colleagues and competitors
  • General public

Some ways to tell the story are to focus on making it:

  • Interesting and engaging
  • Educating and informing

Step 3 – Get Visual with Data

The design should enhance your storytelling. It can also reflect the story of what your company does. Use elements to break up the text. This includes colors, images, photos, charts, and graphs. Because there is a lot of data to digest, make sure the pages are highly visual.

 

Step 4- Use White Space and  Choose Your Info Wisely

Think about including only the most important information. That might include:
Sharing your brand’s mission, vision, and values. Educating your audience about this in your annual report helps them feel more connected and invested in you.
Introducing your leadership and other team members. This gives insight into the core team and who is responsible for what.
Showcasing company culture. Culture is an important element of any brand. Focus on highlighting your culture in creative ways, through brand voice, presentation, stories, content, etc.
Celebrating your success. Highlighting wins is important to show stakeholders that their investments are worthwhile, convince the public to support you, and congratulate and encourage your own team.
Laying the groundwork for your future. While an annual report is a summary of the year, it can also lay the foundation for the next. You can highlight future business goals.

Step 5 – Design an Awesome Cover

Your annual report only happens once a year. The cover is the first thing your reader will see, so make sure it stands out. If your annual report has a theme, this is a great place to highlight it will bold imagery and fonts. Your cover should make someone want to pick up the report and sit it on their desk or a coffee table. Focus on making it professional, interesting and memorable.

Consider investing in a company to build an annual report for you. Whoever has the job should schedule a time to brainstorm, plan, and create a compelling brand story. Think of it as your company’s love letter to the future.