Annual report design: what’s changed

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a renewed interest in publication design. There was a time where many reports and publications were beautifully designed and printed to be “forever” books.

Then we saw a switch to online, and discomfort around printing. We started to see businesses show real concern about the environmental footprint their printing was having. With less interest in printing their reports, there was less interest in getting them professionally designed too. It seemed like there wasn’t much point if they weren’t printed.

This lead to a lot of reports being shared online just as basic Word documents, or a quick description on their websites. But as often happens – things evolve and interest in getting reports designed professionally started to pick up again. We’re now seeing small print runs of reports and publications, and then those same reports and publications readily available for download online.

There’s been a move towards making the information easier to understand and relate to (which let’s face it, in annual reports is usually quite dry and corporate). The use of action photos, friendly infographics and personalised stories in these publications has been a big shift from tables of finances and a page of neat headshots of the board.

Annual reports are showing the personality of the businesses they are for now, and it’s been really exciting to be a part of this change.