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The Ultimate Annual Report Design Guide

18 November 2018

3 mins read

Whether you are new to designing annual reports or a seasoned veteran, you could use an annual report design cheat sheet as a guide or checklist.

With the waves of digitalisation and creatives landing across every industry, designers of annual reports have to step up to meet the challenge.

To help annual report designers everywhere, we have created an ultimate cheatsheet/guide for the new age annual reports:

Regular Breaks and White Spaces

Nothing turns people off faster than chunky texts. To boost the readability of an annual report, summarise and break up wordy paragraphs to sustain their attention.  Inserting high-quality graphic or image elements regularly will do the trick.

Of course, the correct use of white spaces can be a game-changer as well.

Evoking Positive Emotions

Emotions are often the driving force of decision-making among individuals. People respond well to positive emotions, especially current and potential investors. It’s all about framing a positive front in an appealing design.

Look at your annual report design, does it evoke a favourable outlook? If it doesn’t, it’s time to make some changes.

Infographics Have Become A Necessity

Infographics used to be a trend. Now, it’s a necessity. Use infographics to present your financial statements in a simple, clear and engaging manner. Designing infographics force you to simplify and present your numbers in a visually evocative way, making it more attractive to the average reader and investor.

Need a hand? We know someone who can design good infographics.

Time For Some Humble-Bragging

Show-off your achievements. You had a great quarter or year, don’t waste it.

Highlight your strengths and success in your annual reports to obtain confidence from your current and potential investors.

But keep in mind, subtlety would be your calling card.

Give Your Section Breaks

We don’t mean actual breaks. Provide a summary with noteworthy points and statistics (using visual elements if possible) before each section. Not everyone has the time to read through a long report, as most of them skim through annual reports.

By providing a summary, you ensure that they are taking home the message you have crafted and intended. It also serves as regular breaks from chunky texts.

Consider Some New Formats

There’s no such thing as a standardised annual report. Get creative with it, since it can become an effective communication tool across your various departments (i.e. marketing).

Consider splitting your annual reports into two and portraying them in a subpage or microsite format, like what Maybank has done with their annual report design. Or, here are some top annual report designs you can consider as well.

Projecting A Bright Future

Last but definitely not the least, include a section on future developments and projected growth of your company. Your business is here to stay. But your investors need to know that as well.

By focusing a section on your company’s future, it instils confidence within your business’s stakeholders and investors while presenting a forward-thinking mindset. If it doesn’t achieve that, forward planning never hurt any business before.

Annual report design can become a huge asset in more ways than one.

Wish to create a good annual report design? Let our creative team handle it for you.

Table of Contents

Regular Breaks and White Spaces

Evoking Positive Emotions

Infographics Have Become A Necessity

Time For Some Humble-Bragging

Give Your Section Breaks

Consider Some New Formats

Projecting A Bright Future

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