Annual Report Design
We are specialists in corporate communication services, annual report design, financial report design and annual report photography. We design and produce annual reports for organisations large and small. We create annual reports that work as hard as our clients do.
Our annual reports reflect and reinforce the achievements, objectives and culture of the our clients. We look closely at a company's personality when planning the annual report design process. Your annual report must communicate to a diverse audience of shareholders, brokers, analysts, financiers, employees, customers, government and media. To these and other stakeholders, the annual report is the main window to your company. "Sixty percent of CFOs, analysts and institutional investors found the annual report to be the single most valuable tool for learning about a company" (1996 Shell Foundation Survey).
We create annual reports with a visual clarity and authority that communicate your strategic messages to the marketplace. Our talent bank of artists, photographers, and financial and technical writers can produce all aspects of your annual report production, giving you one point of accountability. Our investment in the latest digital technology enables us transfer your files via the Internet – no matter where you are based. Our project management skills and internal quality systems ensure that all our annual reports are produced on time and on budget. And at the end of the process we include a free PDF version of your annual report for your clients to download from your site.
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We offer innovation and flexibility at a competitive price and can meet any part of your corporate communication requirements. We also produce a host of other material including books, directories, catalogues and programs. Our team will produce exactly what you want within budget, to schedule and to a high editorial, design and production standard. And our worldwide print buying-power enables us to offer you economies of scale for even the one-off.
No matter where you are based around the globe we can satisfy your corporate communication requirements using our Internet delivery systems. Let us help you speak to your market with a voice that is clear and relevant. If you need our help just contact us here and we'll get right back with a competitive quote.
Some handy tips on producing annual reports.
This will help get you going, speed up production and save money. We know that producing annual reports is a time-intensive process and that budgets and schedules are easily derailed. EXO design and publishing would like to say “we are all about annual reports”. Having your annual report design and production done should be a breeze. Let us help you catch that breeze.
1. Starting out
"Sixty percent of CFOs, analysts and institutional investors found the annual report to be the single most valuable tool for learning about a company" (1996 Shell Foundation Survey). So you need good corporate communication and annual report design. You also need to deliver the right message. Your annual report should be unified to clearly define the company’s core message. Remember, appeal to your audiences as well as securities analysts and shareholders. A well produced annual report is more likely to be passed on and can stimulate the purchase of shares. Clearly define your products and services as well as the business segments and its subsidiaries. Be honest with your reader. Tell them what has been going well, what the unfulfilled expectations were and the problems encountered. Explain how these issues will be addressed.
- Have a lead person responsible for the report.
- Maintain the CEO’s involvement.
- Base the report on a simple, concise statement that will become the consistent thread woven throughout the report.
- Consider other messages like drawing attention to your website or promoting your customer relationship management (CRM) policy.
- Remember it should be easy to read and understand.
2. On meeting deadlines
Missing your annual report deadline requires a petition for extension and reflects poorly on management. This should almost never happen except in a major occurrence such as a merger or imminent litigation.
- Make sure the design firm you employ to your Annual report design is aware of your key dates and responds with a production schedule.
- Define a release date for financials to be typeset.
- Plan backwards from the mailout date.
- Have the cover approved early in the process.
- Have all text resolved and professionally proofread in the copy preparation stages.
3. Select the right firm to do your annual report design
Your choice of design firm can say a lot about your company. An advertising agency should ease the production process. It is up to you as to their level of involvement and what extent they will drive your message. Ask these questions of the corporate communication service provider who will do your next annual report design.
- Does the firm have a history in producing reports?
- Does their work reflect insight and problem solving skills?
- Do they show signs of good planning and are they prepared to provide a comprehensive production cycle?
- Can they get you and your report online?
- Are they good for a long-term relationship?
4. The initial design concept request
The purpose of this stage is to communicate your required theme, budget allocation, key production dates and overall expectations to your design firm. It is now an acceptable standard to provide all this information via email and is now often the case that no face to face meetings occur during the whole process. We regularly provided annual report design service to our overseas customers.
- The CEO and all other key players should agree on the initial concept request.
- Make sure the message your company's financial report will project to its communities is written in a short but clear statement for the design firm.
- In your design request include the budget, desired quality and print quantity.
- Include whether you require stock photos or custom annual report photography and the amount required.
- Provide an email PDF of previous annual reports and have some ideas about the front cover.
5. The production cost quotes and contract
In response to your first request and you can expect to be presented with production cost quotes, a contract.
- Expect detailed cost estimate for approval.
- The contract usually consists of the payment schedule with an partial up-front payment and a detailed outline of the terms of agreement. Up-front payment is usually required for printing and annual report photography.
6. Preparing copy
When preparing your annual report text to be typeset by your design firm, observe these guidelines to speed up process.
- Make sure your text is consistent in style, proofed for errors and is ready for layout and print before supplying it to the design firm. If necessary have a professional external proof reader edit your text. Expect author correction fees on any changes to text required after being supplied to your design firm. Schedules and budgets are often derailed through suppling unfinished text to the design firm. It is usually well worth the extra expense in having your final text overlooked by a professional financial proofreader.
- When preparing your text avoid double-spaces and use a single tab not spacing to position text.
- Never indent the first line of a paragraph.
- Avoid using all-capital words or underlining for emphasis.
- Identify each section of copy. The last page of a section should be marked “—end—” at the bottom.
- Use double returns between paragraphs and avoid returns within
paragraphs where possible.
- Hand written copy should not be used.
- Use two returns above, one below for headlines and subheads.
- Supply fractions as: 1/2 (one, slash, two)
- Text should be as text only files and supplied via e-mail with a PDF proof if possible.
7. The initial design concept response
Once the production cost quotes and contract have been agreed on you can expect to be presented with the initial layouts,
- Expect comprehensive mock-ups of the cover and
some inside spreads to get an exact feel of the project.
- Be prepared to sign off the cover and image lists to
open the way for the photo acquisition process to begin.
- Likewise signing off the inside the annual report
design example will allow layout production to begin.
8. Proof presentation
You will now be emailed a complete PDF design layout of the annual report ready for your signed approval for press release. Errors found in the text will need to be marked up for correcting. It is worth having a full version of the software package Adobe Acrobat as this will enable corrections to be noted directly on the PDF proof receive from the design firm. This is a crucial stage as any “typos” missed now are likely to be in the final print. This process can be made considerably easier by having your design firm have their professional proof reader vet the text before the design process begins. A specialist proof reader ensures a faultless final product reflecting your company’s high standards as well as saving time. The following suggestions are especially designed to take into account the large volume of changes that may occur in the preparation of annual reports:
- Manual corrections should also be noted in the margin because operators do not go through the type line by line. It is best to mark up corrections on the supplied PDF proof using the full version of the software package Adobe Acrobat.
- When making changes in numbers, observe the following example: “Change $47,250 to $47,255”
- Remember to correct the current series of proofs and number and date the files.
- A sign off is required on all proofs until the annual report is ready to go to the film separators.
9. Final production
The design firm oversees many steps in the final production stage of the annual report. Your involvement at this point is minimal. You will be required to sign off digital PDF or hard print proofs before the report can go to print. This is your one and only chance to make any corrections to the text if exceptions arise. Usually it is costly at this stage to make trivial changes.
10. Things to consider
To save compromises in the long run in producing annual reports we recommend the use of a copy writer and proof reader.
- Using a copy writer assists the project to focus company’s core message and so give the annual report one voice.
- Bringing in a professional financial proof reader guarantees a perfect text.
11. A matching pair
EXO design and publishing and your company can become allied in producing your next annual report. We have a commitment to consistency and continuity. We care enough to plan everything, including planning time to plan.
- More than great aesthetics, we are meticulous in detail and provide extensive production schedules.
- Even if you have just gone through an initial public offering to become a public company we are happy to provide an annual report tailor made for you.
- Our excellent annual reports say what we are all about. If you would like to produce a great annual report, contact us.
Please email Jesse Dyball for extra
information or a free quote:
Mobile: 0413 913 042