Annual Report Inspiration

The pressure is on for design teams to create impactful annual reports. While some buttoned-up industries prefer to keep their annual reports boring and uninteresting, others are realizing the incredible marketing benefit of creating colorful, innovative books. Why is the annual report so important? Because it may be the only time a company speaks to its investors, and it better be good.

I’ve spent hours online looking for annual reports that will WOW our design audience. Hopefully, my mission produced some good results.

acuity_annual_report_2010Acuity is a property and casualty insurance company that touts it has acuity“earned many accolades for its financial strength, innovative technology, workplace environment, and community philanthropy.” Their 2010 annual report speaks volumes, backing up their claims of innovation and accolades. The annual report provides their financial information with a pop up on each page telling Acuity’s 2010 story. The designer was Drew Foerster and the agency that created it was DuFour Advertising LLC.

Christine Prefontaine’s FacilitatingChange.org website profiled the Amazon Conservation Association’s 2008 annual report created in comic book form.

ACA2008“I read it. Twice. And so did the people at the Moore Foundation (yes, that Moore — a huge donor to things Amazon, as well as to Conservation International). Rumor has it one of the first reports read widely cover to cover. Ever ever,” said Prefontaine.

And, although one comment suggests a more conservative approach is “required.” It does make a good case for fundraising efforts.

The comic book was created in-house using “a solar-powered laptop in a thatch-roofed cabin at the Los Amigoswelldone Biological Station, Madre De Dios, Peru.”

Brought to us by Gizmodo, Podravka’s annual report was created by Bruketa & Zinic. Podravka is a European-based food company. Their annual report was sent to investors and shareholders as a book with blank pages wrapped in tinfoil. Instructions on cooking it – 25 minutes at 100°C (212°F) – reveals thermo-reactive ink and the contents of the annual report as well as pictures of food and recipes.


Z1596Cool ideas or off the mark? Admittedly, many CFOs and CEOs from some industries might think you were crazy to suggest these tantalizing examples, but perhaps they inspire you to create something different that provides more dynamic insight into a company’s brand.

If you would like more examples for creating information design, take a look at The Information Design Handbook, by Jenn & Ken Visocky O’Grady. With the need to produce annual reports just around the corner, now would be a great time to deliver a concept. The Information Design Handbook provides ways to deliver a financial report that is organized to easily facilitate content consumption. Take a peek at case studies and essential design principles for developing crucial content. It’s offered at 34% off. Learn More.


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