ANNUAL REPORT DESIGN
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY ARE LONG TERM INFLUENCES
For two decades the annual has been evolving under pressure from economic,
social and technological forces. In this special feature on annual report design, several
top practitioners tell us, in their own words, about recent projects they have executed -
and about both the short-term and long-term challenges facing corporate report design.
Among their observations…
In today’s challenging economy, the client’s message must be perfectly focused,
concise, aligned with the needs of the organization and differentiated from competitors; designers
must keep costs down by thinking lean and efficient in their selection of paper, production and
printing techniques; and alternative media present opportunities to complement the printed report
while stretching tight budgets.
Looking at the broader sweep of time, annuals continue to be less about the financials and more
about the marketing message; many reports are being influenced in content and form by the corporate
social responsibility, sustainability and transparency movements; print versions provide gravitas and
credibility but online versions are growing in sophistication, and some reports migrate to the web; and
there is still room for the report that steps out of the box in tone, style or format to touch an audience
and communicate the essence of a company.
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