Annual Report Hurdles – Let’s make data inviting

Project managing an Annual Report can feel like a never ending series of hurdles. From gathering content to agreeing a design, sourcing imagery and making sense of the finances, overseeing this process is a huge undertaking.

Our experience on more than 100 Annual Reports has taught us to ‘keep calm and carry on’ whatever the challenge and we support our clients every step of the way – even when they need to take a holiday!

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be sharing what we’ve learned in this evolving blog. We hope it will help both novice and experienced managers clear these Annual Report hurdles, with confidence.

Let’s make data inviting

To ensure your audience appreciates the story behind your Annual Report data, you may need creative support spicing up these dry facts and figures with some imaginative solutions.

Research shows that 90% of information is transmitted to the brain visually* which is why we often recommend infographics to engage and excite readers. Infographics aren’t new –  arguably the ancient Egyptians published the first ones as hieroglyphics – but they are incredibly powerful. Executed well, an infographic will provide an eye-catching representation of your information which supports your key messages.

When we develop infographics with our clients, our first step is to join forces to uncover the underlying story in the data. This is important, because although we want to make the information to be visually attractive, we believe an infographic should be story-led, not design led. Next, keeping the target audience front of mind, we consider how best to format your numbers, for example by eliminating unnecessary statistics, offering comparisons or converting them into percentages and finally we input graphic and illustrative tools such as maps, charts, icons and key words to support the story. The result should be an attractive and informative piece of design which communicates the most important news about your organisation’s financial and statistical data.

If you would like to know more about how we create infographics visit our website or download our Infographics Quick Guide from our Resources page.

*Sources: 3M and Zabisco

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