Taking your annual reports from snore-worthy to must-read

Engaging your shareholders with creative design and clever copywriting

Taking your annual reports from snore-worthy to must-read

Engaging your shareholders with creative design and clever copywriting

Your annual reports and publications provide you with an opportunity to share groundbreaking ideas and results with your readers. But your hard work and success won’t be applauded if you don’t convey it engagingly. That’s why we’ve gathered some of our creative branding tips together to help you make sure that your publication stands out.

Attention-grabbing reports

Gaining your audience’s attention starts with the cover. You need a design that says pick me up, I’m interesting. Our branding experts know how to take your project goals and amplify them with stunning design ideas.

Once your publication has been plucked off the shelf, you want them to open it and keep reading. This is where carefully planned copywriting combined with thoughtful design wins them over.

Turning your facts and figures into eye-catching infographics is one way we stop them flicking and get them reading. They turn otherwise heavy or laborious topics into easy to digest snippets. Plus, visual representation increases the amount of information they absorb.

Infographics are also great storytellers. An annual report doesn’t need to be dry. Take your readers on a journey from the beginning of the past financial year to its end. Instead of dumping the data in front of them, show them what it means.

That’s where the right words can make your publication a page-turner. Dynamic copywriting involves impressing your audience while clearly conveying your message. When investors and shareholders understand what you’re saying, they’re far more likely to want to know more.

As with all of your communications, consistency is key. So make sure the words you use in your annual report are on-brand. This is where having your messaging framework in place makes it easier. No matter who is writing for your brand, with a framework firmly established, every contributor knows what your brand sounds like and what to avoid.

To wrap up your annual report, make sure you include a call to action. Don’t waste all their time spent learning about your brand by not giving your audience direction on what to do next. Outline how to get in touch with you, sign up for your newsletter, become an investor or connect with you on social media.

Focus on your employees and customers

Your audience wants to dig under the skin of your brand. Your investors and your consumers want to know what type of business you are and if your company values align with theirs. Along with providing a glimpse of your financial success, it’s your chance to talk about your employees. Put them in the spotlight to create a human connection with your brand.

It shows that you’re a business that cares about your people, not just the bottom line. Brands that care are seen as far more trustworthy by their shareholders

The same goes for your customers. Weave stories of their interactions with your brand throughout the report to make it more entertaining.

Be authentic, not shady

While annual reports are your chance to shine a positive spotlight on your business, it’s vital to disclose everything. Even the not so pretty details.

Never gloss over facts to make your business appear better. Your readers appreciate your honesty and being transparent builds respect. Investors will vanish if they get a sniff of data being deliberately left out too.

Remember to proofread it before publishing too, one or two stray zero’s could make a big impact.

Key design factors of an impressive annual report

Our brand design experts have found some key factors that take a publication from a dust collector to compelling reading. Our goal is to make our message memorable so we put a lot of thought into how your readers navigate their way through. By carefully planning the information hierarchy we make sure it’s easy to follow and a pleasure to read. 

Creative packaging of your data involves:

  • A striking cover design that invites your audience to open it.
  • Clear and well-designed section headers to define each topic.
  • Use of colour to draw attention to important information.
  • A variety of charts following the design style.
  • Customised icons to keep your branding consistent and reduce the amount of words.
  • Full-page data visualisations aka infographics for quickly absorbable information.
  • Choosing a unique size to create an impact.
  • Selection of eye-pleasing fonts for easy reading.
  • Clear page layouts with plenty of white space to give eyes a rest.
  • Use of imagery to evoke emotions and tell a story.
  • Thoughtful paper weight to allow for easy page-turning and a rest for your biceps. We also consider what type of paper suits your branding as well as your company values and your audience. As earth loving designers we also try to make it as eco-friendly as possible.

The most important aspect of publication design is sticking to one theme. But choosing one style to communicate your message can be tricky. That’s where By Ninja steps in. We’ll use all of our creative branding powers to help you distil your ideas into a clear and captivating product.

The book that keeps on giving

Even though you’ll only produce an annual report once a year, it has the opportunity to bring in benefits for your business over and over again.

When your audience absorbs your message easily, they’re far more likely to take action on it. Infographics work so well because information presented in colour boosts our attention span by 82% and our reading comprehension by 70%.

Another bonus is that your investors are 30% more likely to make a quick payment when they’re prompted by visuals. 

Investing in clever, eye-catching design gives your annual report and publications the best chance of getting results. Whether that’s attracting quality talent to your business, investors or customers.

If you’d like to create a stand out publication, chat with our Brisbane creative packaging design team today.

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