In thirty years of designing annual reports for public, private and government organisations, there are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.

3. Branding needs to be respected and protecteda

Your brand’s value is important and needs to be treated with great care in your annual reports, particularly in the visual language that’s used to share your story.

Digital annual reports

Placing your annual report online gives you the opportunity to make it a more memorable, dynamic and immersive experience for the reader. Online annual reports also let viewers drill down to source further information within the site or via PDF so they’ve got control over reading what interests them.

While we’re no longer using special paper and printing effects to give reports personality and showcase key information, enhancements like video, data visualisation, hover effects and personalised shareholding numbers add a new, richer kind of interactivity. High-end animation techniques now used in the motion picture and gaming industries can also be re-purposed to illustrate complicated financial information and business processes, and will, I’m sure, appear quickly in the annual reporting scene.

Annual Report Clients

  • ANZ (global integrated report)
  • Auckland Transport
  • National Arts Council (Singapore)
  • Arena (Australia)

Non-financial resources, now commonly referred to as the six capitals, include financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural. These additional perspectives give your audience a more three-dimensional picture of how your organisation is creating value.

Arena ar mockup 002 2x

Introducing the six capitals also enhances shareholders’ awareness of strategic priorities. It offers the opportunity to present your company as socially and environmentally responsible, which serves to humanise its operations. Yet despite all this, anecdotal evidence suggests that only 30 percent of New Zealand’s companies produce integrated reports.

Reporting on the six capitals means there’s more information and greater complexity for graphic designers to grapple with. Clever ways of presenting information and stats are required to show connections between various activities and how the six capitals each contribute value in their own unique ways. Expertly designed infographics show how the six capitals have been integrated into your company’s strategic priorities.

Dave Clark is the principal of Dave Clark Design

Designs by: Jacinta Mauga, Senior Designer, Wellington Studio