An annual report is an important extension of your brand’s story. Presenting that information in the best package possible is crucial, yet many brands don’t prioritize their annual report design, which is a shame. Whether it’s making your data easier to interpret or helping you showcase your culture, great design is the key to making a lasting impression.
To give you a little inspiration and celebrate some truly astounding work, our parent company Column Five rounded up 40 of their favorite annual report design examples, including print, interactive infographics, and video. These impressive creations show just how clever and creative annual report design can get when you’re willing to experiment.
We hope you enjoy—and if this happens to inspire your next project design, we hope you’ll share it with us.
1) Well Done 2006 Annual Report by Bruketa & Žinić
This incredible report features a tiny booklet hidden within the report, printed with thermo-reactive ink. The reader must wrap it in aluminum foil and bake it to see the text magically appear. The only catch: If you don’t cook it precisely, the pages will burn and you’ll be left with nothing. This is genius annual report design at its finest.
An alternate take on thermo-reactive ink, this report is only visible when activated by the sun—a genius idea for a solar company.
3) New Products Group of Companies 2013 Annual Report by Tough Slate Design
This visually appealing report’s bright colors, bold designs, and unique packaging make for a beautiful presentation.
If you ever wonder what you should do with an annual report after you’ve read it, this one provides an entertaining solution. The report features origami instructions within its pages so you can fold little creations as you read through.
The beautifully drawn animals featured in the pages of this annual report serve to remind readers about the threat of extinction. It also includes some clever data visualization by using animal lifecycles to represent statistical numbers.
6) Anthon B Nilsen 2009 Annual Reportby Heydays
Rather than feature images of Anthon B Nilsen employees, the designers at Heydays decided to show employees’ belongings to let readers get to know them on a more personal level.
This annual report design includes a visually stunning cover with an elegant black-on-black design, as well as tangram designs. Both combine to make the report feel contemporary and sleek.
This is what happens when you turn a report into art. The sculptural presentation is inspired by the theme (spinning the wheel). The seemingly off-balance position makes it feel as if the reports are actually rolling.
This annual report design includes unique packaging and bold data visualization that effectively communicates the organization’s story.
This gorgeous annual report used laser-cut technology to carve intricate scenes on each page. When closed, the layers combine to create a colorful overview for the readers.
This clever annual report design goes old school with its mechanical engineering. It’s an analog interactive, featuring colorful cogs to spin and beautiful overlays throughout its pages.
12) Banques Alimentaires Québec 2012-2013 Annual Report by LG2 Boutique
This is another great example of genius packaginging: a report presented as a coin bank—the perfect presentation for the Canadian bank.
This report was constructed as a newspaper rather than a bound book, showcasing eye-catching yellow designs throughout its pages.
14) Feltron 2014 Annual Report by Nicholas Felton
The tenth and final report from data master Nicholas Felton features a wealth of personal data, presented as beautiful, stylized data visualizations and infographics.
This report brings the data to life through 3D-printed visualizations, built and photographed indivudally.
This design’s gift-wrapped presentation, simple binding, and lovely ink drawings make for a subtle but entertaining annual report.
17) Ablynx 2014 Annual Report by Ablynx
This report is a great example of photography and data visualization. The data visualizations are designed on everyday props, such as graduated cylinders, pulled-out dresser drawers, and circular dining tables, giving the data a creative twist.
Similar to the laser-cut images of the Clear Media report, Applegreen’s annual report features images of multilayered, 3D paper artwork that makes the information seem to jump off the page.
19) Warby Parker 2014 Year in Review by Warby Parker
This digital report features GIFS and an interactive timeline to share company highlights, as well as an opportunity to make your own annual report by inputting personal data.
20) Artsy 2014 Year in Review by Artsy
Artsy’s image-heavy scroll-through is a perfect representation of the company’s values and core mission: to make the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. As viewers cycle through the report, they’re treated to a visual feast, along with information about the company.
21) Shopify 2014 Year in Review by Shopify
This to-the-point digital report for presents information in a short, sweet, and simple way for easy comprehension, allowing the information to speak for itself.
Technically this is a printed report, but the company utilized QR code technology to allow readers to digitally interact with the information provided. By scanning the codes, readers are treated to a video explaining the related material.
23) Flywheel 2015 Year in Review by Flywheel
Not only is this a gorgeously designed digital year in review, it also includes custom temporary tattoos (in honor of a founder getting the company logo tattooed). Even cooler, the tattoos are symbolic, such as the Diet Mountain Dew can, which represents the 3,744 cans employees consumed over the year.
24) PSD2HTML 10 Years in Review by PSD2HTML
This simple annual report design provides a dazzling galactic view as readers cycle through each animation-filled page.
25) Getting Git Right 10 Years of Git by Atlassian
The adorable animated graphics in this report make it seem playful, but the report is still able to provide the necessary information without distraction.
26) Energy Trust 10 Years Anniversary by Energy Trust
Unlike the other scroll-throughs on this list, the Energy Trust report goes left to right, rather than top to bottom. As the reader progresses through the report, charming designs of landscapes and cityscapes fill the background, creating a journey of milestones.
This nonprofit apparel company empowers impoverished women by teaching them to knit and crochet. To reflect the company’s mission, this interactive report features data visualization and other elements visualized through thread art.
28) VNG 10th Anniversary by VNG
This interactive presents company information as a mountain, allowing you to explore the milestones along the way to the top.
29) inTacto 10 Years by inTacto Digital Partner
This game-ified report lets you launch a rocket into space, passing important information during flight. The design is charming and entertaining—two words rarely used to describe annual reports.
30) ThankYou 2015 Year in Review by ThankYou
Instead of presenting straightforward information, the company turned the annual report into a storytelling masterpiece, making the narrative come to life.
31) W.K. Kellogg Foundation 2015 Annual Report by W.K. Kellogg Foundation
This colorful, illustration-heavy interactive features tasteful design for a serious subject: racial healing and racial equity.
32) Nielsen 2015 Annual Report by Nielsen
This report offers vibrantly colored animations to bring the information to life. The design itself is simple and straightforward, making the material easy to comprehend.
33) Vimeo 2013 Timeline by Vimeo
This clever report highlights what Vimeo is all about (videos, obviously) but does so through a colorful, exploratory experience. Viewers can interact with animations to learn more, encouraging maximum engagement.
34) Charity: Water 2012 Annual Report by Charity: Water
Viewers have the option to scroll through Charity: Water’s report or watch videos highlighting the company’s year of good works and accomplishments. The videos are an uplifting way to showcase the company’s ideals and goals.
This colorful video shares year highlights in a highly stylized way, using real objects to represent the information. It also creatively integrates iPad screens to give the report rhythm and energy.
36) ProSiebenSat.1 2014 Annual Report by ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG
This report utilizes video to create an entertaining backdrop to the report itself. Movie scenes and live concert recordings flash across the screen as readers click through a scrolling box to learn more about the company’s endeavors.
37) Pelayo Paper 2012 Annual Report by Biográfica
Another great video by Biográfica, this one features a stunning stop-motion pop-up book inhabited by moving cutouts and 3D objects. As the information scrolls across the screen, they’re accompanied by clever animations.
38) BBVA 2014 Annual Report by BBVA
The BBVA video report feels more like an artfully directed short film than an annual report. Music reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky plays in the background of a black-and-white film while simple motion graphics communicate company highlights.
39) RTL Group 2015 Annual Report by RTL Group
This year in review video features snippets of YouTube stars and movie scenes to correspond with the information presented on screen. Each new screen has a completely different theme and comes with its own soundtrack to make it entertaining and lively.
40) Pfizer 2015 Annual Report by Pfizer
Instead of featuring static information about the employees and medical scientists at Pfizer, viewers are treated to short videos in which employees explain their role and what they are working on. This allows viewers to see a more personal side of the company.
Regardless of your brand, product, or service, your annual report is always an opportunity to engage and connect with your audience, whether it’s stakeholders, employees, or customers. Look for opportunities to showcase great design at every touchpoint, and you’ll keep your audience’s attention.
For more visual content inspiration, you might enjoy: