Learn how to Design An Annual Report [+ Template & Examples]

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An annual report offers a comprehensive overview of your own business’s yearly operations. As the content during these reports is heavy-hitting, it’s essential to existing it in a way that helps your audience realize and visualize your successes.

These reports also incorporate various design components that support your metrics and create a distinctive, creative, and aesthetically appealing story of the business activities.

In this post, we’ll put together annual report design best-practices, provide a template you can use to create your personal, and go over samples of annual reports from other businesses that you can use intended for inspiration.

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What is a report?

As a refresher, an annual review is a document created by businesses that screen yearly performance, which includes successes and challenges. It gives a big-picture view of operations and strategies whilst also going in-depth on key performance metrics.

Annual reports differ from weekly reports in that they will address anything and everything that has happened over the past 12 months, including content you have already mentioned in every week, monthly, or any various other style of report you have made.  

Designing an annual document is a careful process, as it is crucial to look for a balance between powerful graphics and clearness and understanding. The majority of reports contain data visualizations, like graphs and graphs, to improve the experience and really call attention to heavy-hitting metrics.

Below we’ll provide a template that you can use to design an annual review for your business plus outline the areas that should be included in each report, regardless of business.

Annual Statement Design Template

The template you decide to use to design your annual report must be based on your individual business needs and the metrics you’re hoping to include.

However , you can adapt most web templates to fit your business requirements, like this template  provided by HubSpot. The image beneath features two web pages from the downloadable design template, including a company summary and a yearly overall performance analysis.

annual-report copy

Image Resource

The design template allows you to go in-depth into aspects of your company that the annual statement will discuss, whether it’s marketing strategies or yearly product sales performance. Despite this, there are particular elements that should be incorporated into all annual reviews, and we’ll talk about those below.

1 . Summarize your own yearly goals plus strategies.

The very first section of your yearly report should summarize your yearly targets and strategies. This provides your audience with an overview of your annual focus and gives the data necessary to understand plus contextualize the rest of your record.

Essentially, this sets the firmness for the rest of the record as it explains the particular intention behind your operations. If you’re the marketing business producing an annual report, it could outline your own marketing goals as well as the campaigns you designed to reach those objectives.

2 . Put together key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals.

Another portion of your annual review should outline the particular KPIs  you used to measure successes. It is truly the heart of the report, as you are displaying the results of the year-long activities.

Aim to use graphs, graphics, and every other creative design components, as they will increase the impact of your words and phrases and truly demonstrate the importance of your data. For instance , say one of your overall goals was to improve ROI across all of the channels. While you can certainly explain that Tweets ROI has increased 15% YoY, a graph that visually shows the difference between the yrs paints a better picture of achievement.

A strong annual report is a well-rounded annual report, and this section can also consist of an analysis of challenges and expected outcomes, where you explain areas that you may have fallen short in terms of achieving your goals.

3. Explain important takeaways and make future recommendations.

While the section above will go into particular detail, it will also be useful to include an overarching summary of the most important elements of your season. You can take this time to pay attention to the metrics and campaigns that you believe are most important for your stakeholders and market to know.

You must also aim to make recommendations for future business actions based on your findings from the current 12 months, which can be valuable in terms of getting buy-in through stakeholders and the groups you’re hoping to work with in the future.

Below we’ll discuss guidelines for designing the visually appealing and informative annual review that contains all of the information mentioned above.

Yearly Report Design Best-Practices

Clear and deliberate design will help you create a visually attractive report that captures attention. Let’s check out the best practices meant for designing your annual report.

Incorporate branding.

As your report is particular to your business, integrate branding that enables viewers know that it really is specifically for your business.

Branding also helps with recognizability and allows viewers know that you are owning the achievements, challenges, and general metrics explained within the report.  

Use powerful pictures.

As mentioned before, a high-quality report incorporates visuals that will aid in the understanding of your own metrics. Take exclusive consideration to create pictures for the most significant, heavy-hitting content, like yearly revenue.

Leverage color and fonts.

Another way to ensure that your report captures attention and leaves a lasting impression is by using colors and fonts to call attention to important information. The distinction between a normal metric and a great metric called out in color go far in making a dent in your audience’s memory.

Nevertheless , it’s essential to look for a balance between design and content.

Don’t be too active.

Although you can (and should) incorporate various design elements into your annual statement, be mindful of standard design principles, and do not overload your record with unnecessary colours and graphics which will distract from and out shadow the particular metrics you’re setting out.

A report which is busy, crowded, plus filled with different fonts and colors is going to be harder to understand and won’t leave the impact you want it to leave. Make careful decisions and be sure that your choices are usually centered around presenting successes, not simply producing the report look pretty.

Yearly Report Examples

Let’s look at some examples of high-quality annual reports that you can attract on for inspiration.

Google Annual Diversity Report

Google’s 2020 Annual Diversity Report  is really a high-quality report.

The report starts with a high-level introduction to Google’s efforts to increase inclusion at the firm, diversity goals, plus visuals that verify the outcomes of their attempts and show that they’re committed to the task. The image below is a visual depiction of their variety hiring efforts YoY.

google anual 2020 diversity report diversity hiring data page

Image Source


Ablynx is a pharmaceutical corporation that took a distinctive, creative approach to a report  through 3D charts. The image beneath is an example of the particular charts they utilized to create visual representations of where the biggest number of business investors are located to display their business’ market growth.

ablynx annual report page displaying a chart that demonstrates the geography of their shareholders

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Duni specializes in table-setting and takeaway packaging to get restaurants and worldwide businesses. Its yearly report  is straightforward, obviously organized, and minimalist but still uses color, images, and various design elements in order to strengthen its words’ impact.

The below displays their YoY financial focus on growth that draws in audience attention along with large fonts, colours, and line graph visualizations.

duni annual report page displaying yearly business financial targets compared to YoY growth

Image Source

Annual Reports Paint a Picture of Success

It is essential to understand how to generate an annual report that will displays your business’s successes and incorporates design elements that will emphasize your words’ significance and allow your audience to understand, visualize, and absorb your accomplishments.

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