Top tips for designing and printing annual company reports
Many companies will produce annual reports – a description and breakdown for company shareholders that details the activities, performance and finances of the past business year. Most organizations will produce this information in a booklet form to professionally present the company’s performance and growth whilst re-emphasising the company overall mission.
This document contains important information but may not automatically appeal to those who should read it – so you should strive to make the annual report an attractive and professional document – the more appealing it looks the more likely it is people will actually read it!
What to include in your reports
Before you set about producing your annual report decide upon the exact contents your report is to contain and cover. Identify the topics it is to inform on and establish the relevant statistics, graphs and information that you will include to help illustrate your facts and figures.
Your annual report should always include the following:
- A general description of the industry sector that your company is involved.
- Your company logo – brand identity is important.
- Your company’s mission statement along with the business aims and objectives.
- Introductory letter from a relevant company executive (CEO, Financial Director) addressing the company’s financial position.
- Financial reports
- General summary of the company performance and standpoint over the last year.
- Detailed description of the company’s structure and performance within the different departments or branches.
- Company information – A list of the relevant executive officers and numbers of staff across the company group.
- If applicable, list any Market Price of the organisation’s stock and holdings.
Establish a theme for your annual report
Establish a theme for your annual report – try to create a story relevant to the company aims and objectives and use that story to relay the relevant facts and figures. An annual report may not the most thrilling read, so try to deliver the information in a purposeful manner that will engage your staff, shareholders and readers.
Create a template for your pages
Create a template for your annual report – if you have the in-house expertise then use those staff to collate visual examples of the facts you want to relay. If not, then consider outsourcing the layout to a professional designer – alternatively, there are online templates you can access to create your desired design layout.
Whichever option you choose, ensure that the final design accurately reflects brand identity and image – use company logos, colours and fonts that are easily identifiable as your business and brand.
Make It Interesting
With the best will in the world, you can’t escape the fact that annual company reports can be boring!
Try to use illustrations – charts, graphs and such – to try to make the report visually attractive and entertaining. Infographics will make the content more appealing whilst relaying the important information.
Consider the document and finish specification
Having established your design layout, report content and data presentation style, consider the actual document finish.
Choose the size and paper specs you want your report printed on and consider the style of binding you want for your document. The most common size for an annual report booklet is 8.5 by 11 inches, although you can have it produced in different sizes if required.
The recommended paper spec is a gloss text for the inside paper and it is worth considering a high gloss cover to add that professional finish and appearance. There are different forms of report binding available with soft cover binding being the most popular for company report printing.
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