05 Dec, 2018

Companies in India are coming of age and this warrants well-articulated, progressive corporate statements like Annual Reports that are able to hook global investors. It can be argued that marketing and ad campaigns can speak volumes about your brand, so what is the eminence of an Annual Report? Well, Annual Reports are more far-reaching in the premise of generating trust and inspiring investors as they are based on real numbers.

But what role does design play in an Annual Report and why not go with solid, functional figures?

In this design-first, aesthetic-centric age, you may call yourself all manner of progressive but if the living manifestation of your brand doesn’t reflect it, your claim falls flat. Moreover, an Annual Report design can be leveraged to showcase the vision, achievements and culture of your company, apart from the numbers. And the manner in which you represent these is pivotal in defining your brand and its personality. So the question follows, what makes a compelling Annual Report? An impactful Annual Report is the blend of beautiful design, gripping content and important facts & figures that tell the story of your company without compromising the core message. Even a riveting banking Annual Report cover design sample can hook investors so imagine the world of creative possibilities that can be explored.

How to leverage Annual Report design to showcase growth?

A great concept may be at the forefront of making your report engaging and impactful, but there are other factors at play too. Here are a few other things to keep in mind while designing your Annual Report:

Pick the right format: whether it’s a non-profit Annual Report design or a commercial one accessibility is the key deciding factor in choosing the format of your report. If your investors spend more time online than offline than choosing a digital format would bode well for your company. And if it’s vice versa, a printed version would be more apt. Or, if you’re an omnipresent entity like Zee Entertainment Enterprises with an extensive audience, do both formats. On their 25th anniversary, Zee came up with their new philosophy – Extraordinary Together. They showcased this through a mosaic themed print report as well as a 60-page microsite.

Make it more than a report: reporting in an Annual Report is a no-brainer. And, although number crunching is essential to an Annual Report, data-dense reports can be rather dull. If you look at examples of great Annual Report designs or best online Annual Report designs you will see that employing high-impact imagery and visual elements sets a brand image apart. So, whether it’s your Annual Report design template or Annual Report front page design, make it count.

Give background information: a great Annual Report doesn’t just appeal to the leadership and investors of your company but narrates its story. And reports may be annual but stories have no sell-by date. So personalise it with behind-the-scenes information. This will humanize it and evoke empathy from your audience. For example, mjunction, India’s largest B2B e-commerce company, used a battle theme in their report to depict their fight against the headwinds of recession. This made their report more relatable and human.

Make sure the design does justice to your brand image: your report is your medium of nourishing investor relations so make sure it bolsters your brand image. An ideal report should be an immersive visual representation of your company mission, values and personality.

Your Annual Report is a powerful communication tool that doesn't just recap your previous financial year but also influences potential investor relations. So make sure you create an experience instead of a garden-variety report. For more impact go in for an integrated report design with integrated design report architecture.