Consider adding these 6 things to your 2019 annual report

Your annual report is the most important and available way for stakeholders to understand the state of your company as a whole. It is an opportunity to report data, celebrate success and bring people into your world. It’s also a legal requirement, obviously!

But despite this, research shows that annual reports can often go unread. Which makes sense, when you consider that they’re often incredibly long, text heavy and, dare we say, on the boring side.

So consider this. What would it take to produce an annual report that DID get read? What if the reading of your annual report was an ‘experience’? What if your readers even looked forward to receiving it?

It’s possible. Here’s how.

Pull-out quotes

Pull-out quotes or stand-out text are brief, attention-catching quotes taken from the main text of an article and used almost as a graphic feature. They are a great way to break up text and to draw the reader’s eye to key messages. You can pull out an actual quote that someone has said (“It’s been a fantastic year”), or just a key message within the body text (“Customer satisfaction is up 10%”).


Reading is actually inefficient for the human brain. Infographics help people see and analyse complex data quickly. According to Brain Rules author John Medina, a person will remember 55% more of the information presented to them if it is presented with a picture. This makes infographics a no-brainer (pardon the pun). Here are some ways we’ve used infographics to show information in a compelling way.


Can everyone read your annual report, even those with vision impairment? Why not? This year, if your annual report is online, it should be accessible for all readers and potential investors. Want to know more about accessibility? Get in touch. We’re one of the few design agencies who fully understand it enough to apply it at a federal government level.


Imagine if, instead a typed introduction letter with the traditional scrawled signature, your annual report launched with a slick, upbeat welcome video from your CEO. Not only does this create a sense of occasion around your annual report, it is an engaging way to communicate your current position and entertain your stakeholders in a way that words alone can’t. Check out this Bank of Melbourne video to see why corporate video production is a core part of Ideaseed’s offering.


How were your clients or customers positively affected by your practices? How did your staff feel about working for you this year? Adding quotes and interviews from people who have interacted with your company adds a unique and human element to your annual report that is bound to cut through and help tell your story. It’s worth taking the time to look for ways to thread real voices into your report (with permission, of course).

Photos of people

Including photographs of people into your annual report will not only help break up chunks of text, it will breath life into your report and make it much more engaging. Photos of people allow readers to connect with you on an emotional level, which can help them better relate to your organisation. They don’t have to be posed (in fact, it’s better if they’re not), but investing in quality, high resolution, professional photos and then including them into the pages of your annual report is well worth it.

Need help with your annual report design? Let’s chat.