The Complete Graphic Designer
102
Every corporation, no matter how large or small,
for profi t or not-for-profi t, is required by law to fi le
an annual report with their state or provincial gov-
ernment—this is especially true of publicly traded
national or international companies. These documents,
which both profi le the company and outline funding
and expenditures throughout the fi scal year, provide
investors and federal regulators with the ability to
review the management’s decisions and analyze how
the decisions affect the fi nancial health of the organi-
zation. Because annual reports contain such a dense
concentration of fi nancial information, the portion fo-
cused on telling the company’s story must work hard
at getting the message across clearly and concisely. To
get a good sense of how to portray a particular client,
research competing companies’ reports and review
the previous year’s report.
Portraying a company in the most positive, profes-
sional, and ethical manner possible is the burden
the graphic designer carries. Annual reports are the
Clean layouts and clear organiza-
tion of content allow readers of
this Department of Health Annual
Report to learn more about the
state of health in England. Cyan-
colored text highlights key points
on each spread, while easy-to-read
charts and striking photography
emphasize the copy.
Design: CDT Design
Annual Reports
The Complete Graphic Designer
To promote the idea of growth, the
designers chose to feature close-up
photography of plants that appear
almost as abstract elements and
blocks of copy that mimic their
shapes for this annual report. To
further reinforce this idea, a layer of
plastic “grass” has been attached
to the front and back covers.
Design: Kinetic
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Common Design Jobs
103
“It’s not only what you know, it’s
who you know, is the message
exemplifi ed in this annual report for
Silicon Valley Bank. Using Rolodex
cards to communicate their theme,
the report features success stories
about some of the bank’s relation-
ships. The use of handwritten text
and a casual photographic style
adds a personal feel to the report,
which further conveys the idea of
one-on-one relationships.
Design: Cahan & Associates
coup de grace of a company’s marketing budget, and
typically more money and manpower will be spent
on these projects than for anything else. Because of
this, it is essential to partner with a copywriter or
the client’s marketing department to ensure that a
highly conceptual and appropriate theme or message
is developed. The production of the fi nal piece is
also important and, for many, only the highest qual-
ity printing, paper selections, and attention to detail
will suffi ce. A single typo can cause an entire batch
of tens of thousands of books to be thrown out and
reprinted, so take extra care when reviewing the fi nal
les before they go to press.
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