A Year in Review: Annual Report Designs that Impress

by Abigail Geer | January 10, 2013

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Annual reports are your chance to communicate with the people who have been passionate enough to financially support your business throughout the year. Whether you’re a graphic designer in charge of developing an annual report for a client, or a business working on your own annual report for your next digital printing project, you’ll want to create something that leaves a lasting impression. Whatever you’re looking for, be it design considerations and inspiration or what key features to include, we’ve got it covered!

Design Considerations

Your annual report needs to inspire optimism and instill confidence in your company’s shareholders and investors. Finding the perfect interplay between text and design is crucial for successful delivery. Keep these design considerations in mind when putting it all together.

Start Early. Make sure that you give yourself enough time, preferably three or four months, to get your annual report just right. Leaving it to the last minute will only cause excess stress, errors, and costs!

Create a Killer Cover. A great cover is paramount. You need people to feel the urge to open the annual report, so don’t give them an excuse not to.

Professional Branding. Utilize the branding colors and logo of your business or company consistently throughout the annual report design to help build reputation and confidence.

Make It Personal. People relate to real people. Make your report more personal by including photos of employees and officers in their natural working environment, rather than the standard posed head shots.

Find the Right Balance. The perfect annual report will have a balanced amount of text and images. You can make the report more visually appealing by utilizing graphs and charts to display the company’s financial data and successes. Powerful images make a strong statement.

Paper Matters. With so many paper styles and stock weight options available for digital printing, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Pick something that helps to describe your business. The cover should be a heavier paper card stock and preferably in a color that represents the graphical identity. For the interior, try to choose a paper that compliments the overall aesthetic.

Annual report digital printing

Annual report digital printing

Photos by Jim Hargreaves

Key Features

Not quite sure what key features you should include? Fear not as we’ve compiled a list of the essentials below:

  • A letter from the company director or president that sums up the past year
  • Mission statement and central message
  • The main highlights and challenges faced throughout the year
  • Major accomplishments
  • Financial data – net worth, monthly earning and spending, predictions, planning, etc.
  • List of main supporters or contributors
  • Any changes that may be occurring in the following year
  • Testimonials
  • Special thanks
  • Call to action

Annual Report Inspiration

Need a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing? Check these out!

Annual report digital printing

Annual report digital printing

Annual report digital printing

Photos by Omar Reda

Annual report digital printing

Annual report digital printing

Annual report digital printing

Photos by Heydays

 Annual report digital printing

Photos by Lemongraphic

Annual report digital printing

Photos by Mark Olesak

Annual report digital printing

Annual report digital printing

Annual report digital printing

Photos by Gordon Beveridge

Need a digital printing quote for your annual report? Visit the booklet printing page at Smartpress.com now and see how easy ordering digital print can be!

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