Creating an annual report is hard work. Before you start any project you should always look over your goals for that project. Here are a few items to help you create an annual report design that stands out.

Who is  your target audience?

Your annual report is an opportunity to influence your target audience. Make sure you know who they are. Consider, age, gender, education, and lifestyle to help you create a design that is most appealing to your target audience.

Think carefully about the content and style of your report and how it communicates to different audiences. Would an online version with interactive elements such as links to videos or images appeal to your audience? Would a different name work – calling it something other than ‘annual report’ may appeal to a wider set of stakeholders.

What do you want your Annual Report design to convey about your business? What is the most important information you want to relay?

An annual report gives you a once a year opportunity to explain your services and what your company is all about. Make sure that you create a annual report design that is unique. Never use a template as it’s impossible to tell your story and show your brand through someones else’s template.

Give your report a theme and narrative

Think about giving your report a name that reflects your organisation and its ambitions. You should include ‘annual report’ in the strapline, but it doesn’t need to be the main heading. Some organisations use the title ‘Impact report’ which gives a clear sense of the content of the document and its purpose. They then include their accounts in a separate, supplementary document.

Having a strong theme and narrative running through the report can help to make it engaging and lift it beyond a bog-standard document. It can also ensure it appeals to a broader audience. The theme should be reflected in the headings to each section, and most importantly in the design and feel of the report.

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