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4 ways to dress up your annual report

Published: 2 October 2019
4 ways to dress up your annual report

Annual reports aren't known for their good looks. However, there's no reason they shouldn't be both informative and appealing to the eye. It can even help create more interest and boost people's confidence in your organisation. Here's how to dress up your annual report in a way that people will actually want to read it.

The cover: The best first impression

One of the most important elements of your annual report design is the front cover. Despite what people might say, it's just too easy to judge a book by its cover. That's why a great cover design can help you set the tone for what readers can expect to find inside and you'd want them to be excited about it.

You can make the front cover sing by:

  • Using visuals, like a relevant image
  • Not shying away from using your brand's colours
  • Creating a design that connects with your target readership

Get the basics right

Whether your annual report is being presented to employees, external stakeholders or a combination of both, it's an important marketing tool. As with every document you produce, this is an opportunity to showcase your organisation's professional identity and successes. That said, sticking to your brand style guidelines can help you convey that message. So don't forget to use:

  • The right fonts
  • Clear headings, sub-headings and paragraphs
  • Bullet points to highlight useful items
  • Your own tone of voice, e.g. is it light-hearted or more serious?
  • Consistency all the way through the report

Use intriguing graphics

Big blocks of text can quickly disengage readers before they've even started reading. It can make your report's contents appear heavy and hard to digest. Breaking up the text with graphics is a great way to help readers feel more at ease with the task of reading an annual report.

Of course, these graphics should be relevant to your content, however, they could include:

  • Colourful graphs to highlight important information
  • High-quality photos of your people to put a human element among the finances
  • Artwork that complements the data and your brand
  • Infographics that draw the eye to the information you want your readers to focus on

White space: When less is more

While there's a lot of information to be packed into an annual report, it's just as important to know when to give a page room to breathe. That's why white space the parts of your document that don't have text or pictures on them is an important design element. These blank spots in your document can help draw the eye and take in large amounts of information. White space can be created by:

  • Using wide margins
  • Leaving unnecessary decoration, like borders, off the page
  • Surrounding each element with its own, thick white frame
  • Minimising the amount of text on each page

A well-designed annual report does more than share financial data; it connects your audience with your organisation and helps keep them interested in what you have to say.

Ask the experts to help design and print your next annual report in your local Snap Centre.

Author: Snap Marketing

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