How To Make an Annual Report… Design tips and techniques
We know that feeling of being faced with a blank page the first time we are going to write our Annual Report. It is a challenge as big as trying to find inspiration to give it freshness and reinvent with each new year that arrives.
In any case, a Social Responsibility Report or Activity Report is our ally to leave evidence of our internal activities, to show our more social side and to take stock of the achievements and objectives. This helps the commitment to be greater for the next year.
If you already know about it, how do you do it? Do you know of any strategy to take advantage of it? It is easy to get carried away by the excitement of counting and celebrating all that has been achieved this year and ending with an Annual Report of hundreds and hundreds of words that not everyone will read.
To ensure that this document truly reaches investors, collaborators, employees and your stakeholders, it is important to organize all the information that tells your story, condense it and accompany it with images that speak for themselves.
Ready to get started? All hands on deck!
What is the basic content of an Annual Report?
The answer to this depends on your company or NGO.
Oftentimes, it begins with the letter from the president and some general information that helps to locate the reader, such as your mission and vision, the main results of the year or the year’s most outstanding or impressive projects.
But the content varies a lot depending on what you want to communicate in memory. Therefore, it is important to think strategically before starting to generate the content:
- What are we trying to achieve?
- What is the purpose of this document?
- Who is our target audience and how do we make it attractive to them?
- Are we doing it because our company is interested in giving lesser-known projects the visibility they deserve?
Answering these key questions will help us to achieve a genuine annual report that represents you and reaches your target audience.
For example, testimonials are a good resource to give more weight and value to what you want to tell, while helping to establish close relationships between brands and people.
In our case, we do a thorough initial investigation to help us understand your essence. We listen to you, analyze other communication materials from your company or NGO and develop the project strategy to meet your specific goals.
How should I present my Annual Report?
Traditionally, the Annual Activity Report has always been submitted in writing. The result is a memorable book that can be touched and felt, and that you can refer to as many times as you want. It is a printed document that does not disappear and that breaks with the immediacy of the digital world.
We are not talking about just converting that printed version into an online PDF. An Annual Report can be designed in a dynamic and intuitive landing page format, where the resources of the digital world are used to better organize the information and make it more accessible so that it reaches an even wider audience in a more concise way.
- Buttons or interactive features?
- Interaction with your social networks and your website itself?
It opens a whole new world of options!
An example of this is the case of the FUNDAP Annual Report 2019, an NGO from Guatemala. We have worked with them on their Memories for the last 6 years and they have evolved to a more interactive and visual model.
In 2019, we incorporated a digital version to complement the printed format and which significantly increased its visibility. Traffic to the website increased by 60% and printing was saved by 40%, thanks to having a more condensed, streamlined printed version.
What should I consider in terms of design?
At Calmo, we are committed to both formats because we know how to take advantage of the print and digital environments to create Annual Reports that are more dynamic and easier to read for your target audience.
We develop personalized infographics, accompanied by illustrations and other graphic elements that help to present your information in a simple, logical and attractive way, attending to a coherent content structure for the reader. We tend to prioritize visual content to reduce the number of pages, without dispense with important information.
An Annual Report is an extension of your image and your communications, that is why it is important to include the colour palette of your company and, although we can include different fonts, it is recommended that they are not very different from the ones you use in your communications.
Let them see you in action!
Yes, figures and infographics speak volumes. But it is true that photos are a good resource where we can show how the team is involved in activities, your ongoing social responsibility projects and real people’s faces.
Ready to get started with your Annual Report?
We know that it is possible to design professional activity reports and make sure they are as attractive as they are reliable. That is why we care about making the transparency and professionalism of your company or institution demonstrable and take it beyond just simple words.
Are you looking for an annual report model or sample?
We bring you a couple of examples that we have done recently, such as the FUNDAP Annual Report in 2019, in a very reduced printed format and a more extensive digital version.
The 2019 Activity Report for the Belgian NGO ACTEC and the Social Responsibility Report of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, are great examples to have a browse through.
Do you need help with your Annual Report?
Leave us your details and we’ll be in touch to have a chat!