Create A Comprehensive Story, Theme and Outline
What is the primary message you want to communicate? Is it investment in R&D? Growth over many years? Change in direction? Solid leadership? Defining this is key to creating an outline for the report and inspiring a visual interpretation.
Communicate with Design. Reinforce the Brand.
The overall look and feel of the piece should not only be consistent with your company or organization’s brand, but it should enhance your theme. What key colors will illustrate your brand and report theme? What format will best communicate your theme: print or online? What style of photography and imagery will you use: high-end, abstract, illustrations and schematics, or real-world photos of people or applications?
Demonstrate your commitment to the environment by working with printers who employ ecologically responsible paper, ink, and waste print production processes. Here, the media truly becomes the message, expressed in the content of the document and in the production of the report itself.
Some options you may consider:
• Forest Stewardship Council Certified Production
• Soy/Vegetable Based Inks and Coatings
• Recycled Paper
• Recycling Extra Reports
Design Pop and Rhythm.
The report’s design and narrative style needs to establish a visual vocabulary and cadence from page to page that keeps investors moving through the book while generating an emotional response. Readers need to understand how vital the company is to the world—customers, employees, communities, etc. They need to know your firm is special.
Once all the elements are in place, continue to ensure a quality product through diligent proofreading, production, and print management.
We Predict that More Technology will be Embedded within Annual Reports
Online annual reports are the future of compliance communications. By providing shareholders with online disclosure information, companies are bridging more disclosure gaps than ever before. They are able to provide more information more quickly effectively, allowing access to shareholders and potential investors. One of our favorite trends is the use of AR to create an immersive experience across a variety of devices and platforms.
One final note- along with presenting your company in the best possible way to investors, your annual report is also an excellent opportunity to engage and recognize your employees (many of whom are also shareholders) in their achievements and efforts in realizing your business outcomes.