When it comes to the best examples of annual report design, only one rule always holds true: no two designs will be the same. That’s because quality design is always custom, crafted to meet the specific needs of the client, achieve the goals of the campaign, and engage a particular audience. This doesn’t only mean they will vary in color choices and illustration styles. It also means an annual report might be an interactive landing page, a print booklet, an infographic, or anything in between. 

Here’s what to look for in a quality annual report, along with 8 examples that can inspire your next report.

Qualities of the Best Annual Report Design Examples

Certainly, each annual report will have a unique design. But still, we can add another rule of thumb: all of the best annual reports are visual. This isn’t just because visual content is proven to be more engaging. It’s also because a strong visual annual report is likely to include key data visualizations related to business growth, sales, trends, or other metrics. Data viz helps us recognize patterns and business opportunities, which is why visualizing the information you want to share is critical. 

Charts and graphs aren’t the only elements you might want to include, however. Illustrations, icons, and photography all add elements that bring the story you’re trying to tell to life. Interactive reports can have additional features, such as embedded motion graphics or interactive maps. Ask an annual report design agency to develop a visual strategy for your unique needs.

An Interactive Annual Report Design for Bluetooth

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group needed an annual report that would showcase key data on sales, growth, trends, and membership. We determined that an interactive report living on its own microsite would increase readership and engagement. 

View the full interactive report and microsite.

A Report on Program Success

RGI corporation annual report design featuring data visualization and icons

RGI Corporation was looking to produce a report to show off how its programs have helped clients locate and compare key grant opportunities. We designed a customizable report for print and digital distribution that combined data visualizations, icons, and photography, building a comprehensive picture of RGI’s success. 

Learn more about the RGI Corporation report.

Clean, Engaging Annual Report Design for a Nonprofit

Marguerite Casey Foundation print annual report design

The nonprofit Marguerite Casey Foundation approached Killer for the second year in a row seeking a custom design for its annual snapshot showcasing the foundation’s work. The resulting design features elegant data visualization and an engaging design style. 

Discover the visual strategy behind this annual report.

An Interactive Map & Report for the Seattle City Government

The Seattle Department of Transportation wanted to find the best design approach to report annual parking data throughout the city. Killer developed an annual report design for print as well as an interactive map, which was the best way to display a large volume of data. Viewers can use the map to quickly and easily find the information that interests them most. 

View the full interactive map and annual report.

A Series of Reports about the Blockchain for Deloitte

Deloitte financial sector report on blockchain

Professional services firm Deloitte wanted to create a series of reports about the blockchain for their financial sector audiences. The resulting reports channeled the Deloitte brand, and weren’t just available for download — they also included printable placemat versions for conferences and events. 

Learn more about this report series.

A Global Health Brochure with Data Visualization

Custom brochure and infographic design with data visualization

The Washington Global Health Alliance wanted to release its “Washington Global Health Landscape Study” using materials that would truly communicate the story that their report had to tell. Instead of opting for a traditional report format, we created something that was easier to distribute at the study’s release event — 4 custom brochure designs featuring pivotal data visualizations from the annual report.

Take a look at the custom brochure designs.

A Pamphlet Showcasing a Community Health Report

Photo of a woman from a community health report

While not strictly an annual report, this pamphlet for print and web distribution serves as proof that any report you produce can benefit from a visual treatment. The pamphlet, designed for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, combines photography and custom iconography for a humanizing portrayal of Kaiser’s commitment to quality care. 

Learn more about this medical pamphlet design.

Interactive Map Showcasing Renewable Energy Data

When the Solutions Project initially approached us to create a report on renewable energy in all 50 US states, they originally wanted to create a series of annual report infographics. Instead, we recommended an interactive map that would help viewers find the information they needed most. 

Learn more about this interactive map design. 

The best annual report design for your company is the one that keeps your goals in mind and appeals to your target audience. Ask your visual strategy partner what approach is best for your brand.