A great annual report is rarely complete without accurate, compelling data visualization. In fact, typically the two go hand-in-hand. But the best annual report designs aren’t just about graphs and charts. The most compelling reports contain illustrations, icons, interactive elements such as embedded video or clickable maps — and often all of the above! 

But why even care about the design of your annual report? It might not seem like your shareholders, much less your internal stakeholders, care about how it looks so much as the information it contains. But while that may be true for some of them, a well-designed annual report accomplishes a few key things: 

  • It makes large and complex datasets easy to understand through accurate data visualization.
  • It helps viewers recognize trends and opportunities in the data. 
  • It drives comprehension and increases engagement, since every audience is more responsive and more naturally attuned to process visual content. 

So whether your annual report takes the form of an infographic or an interactive landing page, so long as it’s visual, you’ll see better ROI for your efforts. 

If you want to learn more about how to produce this type of content, you can check out our visual annual report crash course, or explore the articles below.

1. From Data Visualization to Video, Ways to Boost Annual Report Engagement

Image of interactive bar chart as part of Bluetooth annual report

Annual reports are no longer static, printed booklets with heavy text. They now take the form of everything from interactive landing pages with embedded motion graphics to illustrated scenes and animated data visualization. Explore these tactics for making your annual report truly engaging.

2. 8 Strategies for Designing Annual Reports That Pop

Annual report design featuring bold photography

There’s no one way to design a visual report. Rather, the best annual report for your organization is the one that achieves your unique goals. That’s why this list of design strategies is so useful. Pick and choose the ones that are the best fit for your brand and your objectives.

3. Embracing Infographic-Inspired Design

Annual report booklet with data visualization

What can annual reports learn from infographics? As it turns out, a great deal. This article explains what elements classically associated with infographics can be used to take your annual report design to the next level. From illustrations to accurate, compelling data visualizations, key visual components can enhance your report and make it more compelling for your audiences.

4. Next-Level Financial Report Design

Ablynx financial report showing blue bar graph

Just like annual reports, today’s financial reports draw inspiration from infographics, relying heavily on high-quality data visualization and other visual elements to get their message across. In fact, it’s almost impossible to recognize trends and opportunities in big datasets without graphs, charts, and other data viz. This article explains how to design an annual report that drives business suc

5. The Argument for a Visual Annual Report

Visual annual report statistic and data visualization

Still not convinced that every annual report you produce should be visual? This Medium article makes the fundamental argument for why visual elements can make such a difference. Whether you’re trying to find opportunities for business growth or connect with shareholders and customers, quality design can transform your idea of what’s possible when it comes to annual reports.

Making your annual report visual by including data visualizations, illustrations, and other elements can open up a whole new world of opportunities for your organization. What will your next annual or financial report look like?