The Ultimate Annual Report Design Inspiration with Tips for Creating Your Own
May 16, 2023
Words by Jeff Cardello
Annual report design is as important as the facts and stats within it.
Web design has revitalized the annual report, transforming it from the stale and dry brochures of the past, into the exciting and interactive digital experiences that are popular today.
With no-code tools, it’s easier than ever to drag-and-drop animations and interactive elements into your report to give it that wow factor! We’re going to cover what annual reports are, the most popular design components that get used in Vev, as well as give you plenty of annual report design inspiration. Let’s go!
What is an Annual Report?
Annual reports are long-form content pieces in which you can showcase a brand or non-profit’s accomplishments and challenges of the past year, as well as plans for the future. They can take a variety of formats including:
- Year in Reviews
- Sustainability Reports
- Diversity and Inclusion Reports
- Financial Annual Reports
- Non-profit Annual Reports
Whatever your annual report covers, it’s important to create a user experience that keeps people engaged with what’s in front of them, bringing attention to the key accomplishments and details you want them to know about. More than ever, it’s imperative to focus on the design of your report, creating a fun, interactive experience that your audience wants to open, read, and share.
Our Favorite Annual Report Design Components
There are a variety of ways to take data, content, and visuals and weave them together into user experiences that are active and engaging. Here are some of the design components that you can easily add in Vev to give your annual report the edge.
Statistics, numbers, percentages, and other quantitative data provide insights and an understanding of a company or organization’s accomplishments. This is particularly important for businesses in providing transparency to their shareholders and customers. Data visualizations take these numbers and spin them into creative and engaging graphics.
Animated charts are a form of data visualization, but are more focused on traditional graphics like bar charts and scatter plots and touching them with interactivity and motion. Animated charts are often used to show changes in data over time, or to make comparisons in numbers that aren’t possible with static graphics.
3D objects and animations
Annual reports generally have a lot of material to cover. AR-inspired visuals and 3D animations offer a welcome break to people scrolling through content, breaking free from the confines of two dimensions for more captivating user experiences.
Annual reports have an important task in telling about the accomplishments, highlights, and even challenges that popped up during the year. Using creative typefaces is a way to bring attention to the details you don’t want people to skim over.
Annual reports have much to convey, and it’s important to keep people engaged all the way through. Breaking up the content with horizontal scrolling sections not only heightens interactivity but is an effective way to maximize screen space.
Image carousels are often used to display related images with accompanying text, helping minimize screen space.
Clickable hotspots give visitors control in revealing more details and make reading the text a more measured approach, rather than overwhelming a visitor with too much all at once.
10 Examples for your Annual Report Design Inspiration Bank
It’s never too early to start thinking about your annual report. Throughout the year, you should be keeping track of the type of information you want to include, and gathering inspiration as to how it will all come together creatively. Here is some annual report design inspiration to get you started.
Schibsted Partnerstudio is a Norwegian-based content marketing agency that works with several newspapers and other clients. Metrics, like page views, conversions, and impressions are a big part of showing success, and this Vev built design is filled with gigantic numbers showing the impact of their work. It’s hard to miss the value of the content that they create.
Though data and analytics are certainly important, numbers alone aren’t enough to keep people’s attention. Parterstudio fills this space with visuals of work they’ve done for their clients, along with plenty of negative space and eye-catching colors. You’ll also find dynamic visuals throughout like parallax scrolling, time-delayed fade-ins, image hotspots, number counters, and animations, offering an action-filled user experience that keeps your attention all the way through.
If you’re running an agency and looking for annual report design inspiration, Partnerstudio shows how to balance out examples of work with other visuals and interactions, for a user experience that’s both engaging and informative.
Eidsiva wants to make the world a better place through the development of renewable energy and decreasing carbon emissions. From the opening, with its dramatic drone footage of a lakeside home at dusk, through the smooth transitions between horizontal and vertical scrolling, it feels as if you’re gliding through this design. If you’re looking for annual report design inspiration that has a strong sense of atmosphere, this Vev created design is well worth checking out.
Though creative visuals are a big part of what makes this annual report captivating, Eidsiva includes a wide range of data. From interactive bar graphs and number counters to slideshows with key facts, there are plenty of numbers supporting the importance of their efforts in helping mitigate the effects of climate change.
When first landing on Apple’s Inclusion & Diversity report a row of Apple logos in vibrant colors morphs into the center of the screen revealing the text, “How we come together is how we change the world.” It’s an uplifting message, and its nod to the colors of the rainbow, a symbol celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, further strengthens the importance of this message of diversity and inclusion.
Apple is well known for its clean and modern aesthetic, and this annual report design has a strong sense of minimalism. Along with its generous use of negative space and a clear sense of structure, you’ll find colorful Gaussian gradients, photos of Apple’s team members, and clickable hotspots that further tell their stories, making it feel both personal and on brand.
We created Vev’s 2022 Year in Review to be not just about us, but rather our greater community. Sure, there’s much we wanted to share about the new features we launched, but we wanted to focus to be on the accomplishments and great stuff we’ve seen web designers build with Vev.
We drew our annual report design inspiration from the many creative and cutting-edge designs we saw in Vev’s user showcase. Drawing from the artistry of this work, we take you through sections full of stylish colors, creative animations, and fun interactions, that’s an homage and celebration to all of those designers who make the Vev community special.
Human Rights House
Across the world are people in need. Those in Ukraine are suffering the effects of the ongoing war with Russia. Semi-democratic states like Armenia, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, where democracy intermingles with authoritarian control also face humanitarian crises uniquely their own. Though there’s much to be concerned about, organizations like the Human Rights House are here to help and give hope that things can be improved.
This annual report built with Vev, covers human rights issues worldwide. They go to great lengths in providing depth to these challenges, but there is so much more to this design than text. Throughout you’ll find full-screen photos with scrolling text, video clips, and other visuals that put faces on the people they’re trying to help.
If you’re creating a website for a humanitarian or non-profit organization, the Human Rights House offers plenty of annual report design inspiration showing how visuals and writing can come together in showing the urgency of why it’s so important to help those in need.
World Heart Federation
Heart disease and strokes are all too common and the World Health Federation’s (WHF) mission is to promote better health through education, advocacy, and research. This annual report designed with Vev covers the progress and achievements they made in 2022.
From the events they’re involved with like the World Congress of Cardiology in Rio de Janeiro to outreach in educating youths in Mozambique, the WHF is a global organization whose work extends from medical professionals to the greater community. There’s a large scope to what they do, and this design covers a large amount of material. Through split-screen horizontal scrolling, parallax images with scrolling text, and beautifully shot photos they’re able to communicate all the work they do in spreading awareness and helping others in improving their health.
If you’re searching for annual report inspiration that takes a more simple approach, Hewlett-Packard shows that you don’t have to overdo a design for it to still make an impact.
In this section of its annual report detailing human rights, they show that all you need is careful styling in achieving a great-looking website. With a color scheme of refreshing blues, giant text highlighting its achievements, and photos of its employees hard at work, all in a neat and well-ordered layout, they make it easy to see their commitment in providing a safe and inclusive environment.
Amnesty International monitors 154 different countries, focusing on the suppression of freedom of expression, workers’ rights, reproductive health, and other humanitarian issues that deprive people of their liberties or threaten their well-being. The State of the World’s Human Rights 2021/2022 report is an in-depth look at some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.
There’s persuasive and factual writing detailing the issues so many are facing in the world. Along with the text, this is also a visually propelled design. With a clickable map representing troubled regions of the world, an image carousel showing significant events that happened each month of the year, and infographics showing data on human rights violations, Amnesty International integrates photos that provide context and further understanding of the serious issues people are currently facing across the globe.
The BMW Group
The BMW Group opens up its annual report with a 3D hallway. This mysterious entryway glows with the light of neon feeling like a portal to the future. Scrolling draws you forward, with each section of the report shifting in and out of in front of you, beckoning a click to “Read more”. There’s the option to skip this experience and navigate it more traditionally, but why would you? With a touch of sci-fi inspired modernism, The BMW Group offers a user experience that feels like stepping into a different dimension.
Watch Our Annual Report Design Masterclass
Avoid expensive, time consuming processes, and ditch those lackluster static PDFs for good. Armed with a library of pre-coded interactive design components, learn how to quickly produce exciting interactive annual reports in Vev for a fraction of the cost, while still publishing them to your existing domain.
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