Infographics have been one of the most popular kinds of visual content on the web for more than a decade. But they’re certainly not the only kind. Brands have learned to adapt the best elements of infographic-inspired design to all kinds of mediums—from motion graphics to interactive microsites to annual reports. 

And it’s easy to see why. Infographics are a visual-first medium, minimizing text and leaning on data visualization, illustrat ion, and icons to deliver the message. With attention spans shorter than ever, few people are willing to read long blocks of text. That’s why visual content has seen such huge success in marketing spheres. But it should be just as prevalent in internal comms. 

That’s because your coworkers, your employees, your boss, your shareholders — they’re not so different from your potential customers. They prefer visual content, too, and they retain more of the information they learn from visuals as opposed to text. 

The best annual reports today are being transformed by infographic-inspired approaches. Let’s take a look at new ways your organization can present your annual reports, on both internal and external channels. 

1. Interactive Microsite Reports

Annual report interactive infographic and microsite example

Today’s best annual report designs are harnessing the power of innovative new types of media. The image above is a still from an interactive infographic created for the Nuclear Threat Initiative. 

NTI wanted to create a report that they could disseminate widely to global decision-makers. An interactive report living on its own landing page looked like the best solution. Why? Because interactivity allows the viewer to explore the information at their own pace. What’s more, animations and interactive elements keep them more actively engaged over the course of reading through the report. That’s probably why interactive content boasts a 70% conversion rate

From annual reports and financial reports to ebooks and whitepapers, interactive landing pages are a great place to show off your results.

2. A New Approach to Print

Deloitte visual annual report design for print

When Deloitte wanted to share a series of visual reports like the one shown above, they knew the reports would need to appear in the form of printed booklets. But they also wanted to find new and creative ways to make these results available to a larger audience.  

That’s why they decided to design custom placemats for use at conferences. They also created digital assets, including visuals optimized for social media and a PDF version of the report. 

Annual reports can be repurposed as posters for placing around the office to motivate employees. They can be passed out in brochure form at conferences and meetings. When it comes to print design, there are now plenty of ways to think outside the box.

2. Mini-Infographics & the Annual Report

Data visualization is essential to any annual report. And the good news is, many data visualizations are compelling enough to stand on their own. That’s why, if you’re looking to interest potential customers or shareholders in the results of your annual report, pulling out key graphs to share on social — as in the Instagram post above — is a great option. 

But as you can also see in that example, data viz isn’t the only thing you can feature. Illustrated sections and icons that stand on their own can also tell stories. Optimize the design of these mini-infographics for each social media channel, then share them to drive traffic to the full report.

4. Presentation Design & Your Report

Annual report presentation design inspired by the best infographics

Just as an annual report should be visual, presentations should be visual, too. Whether you’re appearing at a conference or in front of your colleagues, you want your presentation to complement what you’re saying — not distract from it. 

Text-heavy slides are a common mistake. We all know how hard it is to try to read them while listening to the presenter talk. Instead, you’ll want to rely on visual content, such as graphs and illustrations, that can make your talk more memorable. 

Annual reports are often presented in person, so you’ll want your slides to aid discussions about trends, patterns, and opportunities you might see in the data. That’s why designing your annual report in the form of a slide deck is a great option.

Check out the slide deck pictured above.

The Best Infographic-Inspired Annual Report for Your Organization

We’ve just presented the most popular ways to make your annual report more dynamic and incorporate infographic elements. But the sky is the limit. Consider what audiences you’re trying to reach and what would be most useful for them — and most engaging. The right annual report for your organization is right around the corner.