Home / Venture  / How to design an interesting annual report that people actually want to read

How to design an interesting annual report that people actually want to read

Four innovative approaches to the vanilla company annual review.

While most annual reviews are jargon-loaded examples of corporate self-adulation, some businesses – refreshingly – see an opportunity to engage with consumers with a more creative and accessible approach. The rest could learn a thing or two from the likes of Z Energy, Warby Parker, Adris and Heinz.

Rather than adopting the standard print approach, Z Energy created an interactive, web-based annual review that employed hyperlinks, videos and explanations on the business over the last year. Although the video wasn’t the most popular addition to YouTube, it did show that Z Energy is still interested in engaging with customers on a more personal level.

Sunglass manufacturer Warby Parker obviously found the page limit associated with a printed annual report too restricting, so what they did was produce an end-of-year review calendar that featured 365 important events that happened for the company in 2013. 

To illustrate that print isn’t dead, Croatia-based Adris used a colour-changing, hardcover book, which transforms from black to green when a hand is placed on it. Although gimmicky, this approach is still refreshing when compared the corporate pamphlets that are usually distributed. 


In 2011, Heinz got creative with perforated printing when it sealed its annual review in a red box. This effort not only showed off the tomato sauce brand’s creative side, but also gave recipients of the report the pleasure of tearing open the box.

Get posts like this and more emailed to you – sign up to our newsletters for inspiration, advice and the latest success stories straight to your inbox every week.

This post originally appeared on StopPress

Review overview