Designing An Annual Report For Charities And Corporate Customers
As a legal need, the submission of an annual report to shareholders, investors and trustees is something that can re-inforce the organisations core branding and values. A poorly designed document is going to reflect badly on the organisation and in some cases may mean investor withdrawal if they are particularly upset. So here then are the right ways to go about things.
Choosing the right annual report designersMany charities and some corporate firms are tied to strictly budgeted guidelines and often use amateur designers or recommended friends to produce these complex reports. Would you let a helpful friend come in and have a go at cutting your hair off without any credentials to back up their skills? Of course not, unless you were really tight. It obviously makes sense then to choose an annual report design company that have a proven track history in this field and can show off some impressive design portfolio of past annual reports they have designed to back up their quality.
Don't make a mess of the figuresMore often than not an annual report graphic designer will be handed over a bunch of excel documents including balance sheet reports and financial statement reports and be expected to turn a page of numbers into something approaching creative design. You could just flow in the columns and leave it at that but far more worthwhile a design idea would be to introduce some visual elements such as 3D pie charts or columns to illustrate the figures and annual financial statements.
Make full use of white space - the designers default trickWhite space, to fill or not to fill that is the question. On balance and especially if you are able to maintain a straight face while convincing a head of accounting that leaving the page design as a minimal exercise in preserving a blank canvas is the way to best portray annual report designs, you should always try to move in the white space design direction. Another good design trick to use on annual financial statements is to have a photoshoot and have the normally camera shy accounting division staged to look like they mean business. Perhaps have Norman the financial director waving his arms about in a faux businessy way. It will provide an amusing counter balance to the dry waffle contained in the report wording.
High production printing if in budget is the cherry on the cakeAlthough for many smaller charitable organisations, spending a sizeable chunk of their funding on something that could have been printed out on their office inkjet and stapled in the corner, on a gatefold die cut, spot varnished annual report may seem frivolous and down right irresponsible. However for those corporate clients that are looking for that competitive edge over their rivals, the one upmanship that a ridiculously expensive annual report is going to afford them is worth its wait in gold. Lets not forget that the annual report is a signifier of how well the organisation has been doing over the last financial year and to not revel in a ludicrously wasteful way is missing a trick.
Hopefully these pointers should offer a good argument for employing the best annual report graphic design strategies the client can afford. A financial report design should make you want to rub the page with glee not send you to the land of nod.
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Lunatrix annual report design expert advice on all forms of corporate report design and creative annual report design