Taking the boring out of annual reporting

by Catriona Babao, Creative Manager and Rebecca Kowald, Senior Designer

Published on
June 28, 2017

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The annual report is a powerful touchpoint in sharing your brand story. While they remain an important tool for reporting on the financial performance of your business, this doesn’t mean they have to be boring.

In fact annual reports can showcase just how engaging and innovative your company is.

Over the past few years, annual reports and reviews have leapt off the page and moved into the digital space with more dynamic and engaging content.

Here we take a look at five of the best print and online annual reports, if you’re looking for inspiration or a new idea, this is a great place to start.

1. Thankyou.

Thankyou. turned to creative social branding to create a groundswell of consumer support, and in a stellar example of a digital annual report, the charity demonstrates this impact in an engaging way. We love how they feature staff and showcase their culture, plus the simple and effective design really brings their brand to life.

https://thankyou.co/built-to-last/

2. MailChimp

MailChimp’s use of bold design and illustration has always set them apart, and this was again evident in the 2016 Annual Report. Their brand mascot, the cheeky Chimp, makes a regular appearance throughout the scrolling site to help celebrate and highlight company milestones — including the four pounds of coffee their team members consume each day! An entertaining and lighthearted peek into their performance.

https://mailchimp.com/2016/

3. Applegreen

To mark their 21st anniversary, Irish petrol retailer Applegreen produced a report that celebrates their journey. The report featured 16 beautifully created paper cut-out illustrations that were then photographed as a symbol of growth.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/21997111/Applegreen-Annual-Report-2013

4. The Year in Art

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be priceless. While not technically an annual report, this digital ‘year in review’ uses background video and a simple overlaid design to create something more than any still image or illustration could. The scrolling page and clean white space delivers a classic uncomplicated feel.

https://www.artsy.net/2016-year-in-art

5. Austria Solar

A solar power company using the sun to power their annual report. Genius!

https://www.behance.net/gallery/2986075/The-Solar-Annual-Report-powered-by-the-sun

We’d love to see more organisations embrace video, digital and creative design elements to bring life to their brand in annual reports.