Annual Report Design – Telling a Compelling Story

Posted on: January 1, 2022 11:30 am

Irish Football Association Annual Report Design - Kaizen Brand Evolution annual report design
Irish Football Association Annual Report Design - Kaizen Brand Evolution
Irish Football Association 2020 annual report design created by Kaizen Brand Evolution

The Annual Report is a critical part of a good business marketing strategy, both internally and externally.  Above all, it is the story of your business, whether it be for your investors, your customers or even your employees.  Annual Reports typically include:

  • The company’s financial data summary
  • Financial statements
  • General corporate information
  • Auditor’s report
  • Accounting policies
  • Financial transactional highlights
  • Letter from the CEO
  • Company Partners/Members’ Portfolios

Reasons Why Annual Reports are Important

An annual report is primarily for giving company financial performance to investors, but has evolved and therefore it is key your company should go with an impactful report. Go with a professional to make the most of your annual report design.

Annual Reports Communicate With Investors

Annual Reports are an integral part of a strategy to attract and retain investors, and ultimately illustrates proper management.  Above all, regular communication is good to keep everyone informed and the annual report is your most critical communication.

Builds Customer Trust

Annual Reports inform on a company’s statistics and vision, building trust in the brand.  They are also key to conveying the company’s stability and profitability.

Attracts & Retains Employees

No longer solely for investors, the annual report reassures employees with company success and awareness of any pitfalls/issues.  In addition, annual reports illustrate that the employer understands the marketplace and above all, has a vision.

Informs & Influences the Media

Reporters monitor and give details of a company’s fiscal year performance, health and future plans for coming fiscal years. In addition, any impacts to the community are illustrated.  Therefore, a clear and concise report is paramount in ensuring the correct message is conveyed.

Highlights Achievements

The annual report recaps the company’s mission statement, history and goals.  Following, it conveys the successes over the fiscal year, including but not limited to financial success, market share achievements, research progress, or any employee awards.

Therefore, engaging your audience is key and how to engage has evolved.  Annual report design is focused on visual content which compliments the text and holds the attention of your audience.

Compelling Annual Report Design Strategies

Statistics Featured With Infographics

Infographics should be kept focused.  A high level understanding of the presented statistic must be instant and should retain the attention of your audience.  There are various infographics you can select from to present your statistics effectively:

  • Statistical
  • Timeline
  • Process
  • Geographic
  • Informational
  • Hierarchical

A professional annual report design consultation with an expert can advise on what infographics can be utilised for a most effective presentation.

Effective Data Illustration

Your annual report is the story of your company’s fiscal year.  Think of it as a story and present it as such.  Use a unique cover page to grab the audience’s attention and interest.  The cover should include infographic elements and photography to best leave a favourable impression on your audience.

Share some of the main company highlights in the beginning of your report.  Allow your audiences to understand what you want them to readily comprehend.

Effective Photography Use

Photography adds the human element to your annual report.  When utilised effectively, photography an attract and inspire investors and shareholders, having a measureable effect on their decision making.

Following determining which pages would benefit from photography use, consult with an annual report designer to position in the most compelling way to grip your audience.  High-resolution photography is best practice to use in your report design.

Make It Interactive & Engaging

Keep the audience engaged with any relevant video presentations, image presentations, GIFs, and other elements in the digital form of your report.  Various interactive elements including graphs, subtle animations and characters will assist in making your annual report more compelling.  You want your audience inspired and engaged to review your most critical communication and adding some life will guarantee that.

Comparison Infographic

Giving context to your company’s performance allows you to tell the fulsome story about your fiscal year, without any ambiguity.  Comparison infographics clearly illustrate year on year performance effectively and efficiently.  Future growth expectations can also be made impactful with the use of comparison infographics.  A professional annual report designer can assist in advising on most impactful utilisation of comparison infographics.

Create a Short Motion Graphic

Make your report enticing and exciting.  Thank, welcome and impress audiences by creating a short motion graphic to introduce your report. 

There are many elements to consider when drafting your annual report, notwithstanding the content itself.  The story is one critical element to convey, but how you iterate that story is just as crucial for a successful annual report.  Consider your audience and how you want to convey the story of your company’s fiscal year in the most engaging and enticing manner.  It is your grandest statement, therefore, your design should be grand and well laid out.

Start a Project With Us

To begin an annual report project with Kaizen, or to discuss how we might work together further, please get in touch. Our client services team are available to contact on 028 9507 2007. Alternatively you can send us a direct message via the contact form. We look forward to working with you soon!