Gone are the days where your annual report was a boring document that you produce just because you have to. These days your annual report can be see as another marketing opportunity and should reflect your business branding throughout.
Get your design just right and you can definitely help raise your profile and inspire confidence in your business.
Here are some important things to take into consideration when it comes to the design of your annual report.
Top 5 Annual Report Design Tips
1. Design for the Limited Attention Span
People are time poor in this busy world so expect your readers to have a limited attention span. This means to effectively convey your message you need to use small amounts of quality copy accompanied by powerful images. Avoid too much jargon or getting too technical and stick to enough text to showcase your company and its market position in a professional manner.
2. Present Your Company Vision
Your target audience (including shareholders) wants to know the way forward for your business and how it plans to get there. So it’s important to not only state your mission statement but to reflect your company vision throughout your entire document. Make sure your annual report design addresses any plans to overcome possible challenges and that it effectively highlights your company’s future direction.
3. Identify KPIs
Your annual report should identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business and monitor how your company is tracking. Use charts and tables to illustrate figures and highlight progress. Remember to include all the basic financial statements that measure your performance. Most people won’t want to go through all the numbers you’re required to report on but a lot of readers are likely to pay most attention to your balance sheet.
4. Include Graphs and Graphics
Your annual report should be visually appealing to engage your audience and instil confidence in your investors and target market. A report that is designed well should use design elements that make it easy for the reader to see at a glance all the important information you need to convey. Easy to read (and understand) graphs and illustrations are a great way to communicate quickly.
5. Use Great Images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and you can’t beat compelling photography to tell your company’s story. Quality photographs can effectively convey your message to your target readers and help build your brand identity. Remember – readers are far more likely to give your annual report the attention it deserves if it looks like a lot of thought and attention has gone into it.