Obata is an experienced and recognized expert in annual report design and production. We created our first annual report in 1956, winning a Gold Award from the St. Louis Art Directors Club the following year. Since then, we’ve designed and produced more than 250 annual reports — and won more than our fair share of awards along the way. Our annual report services help clients share their vision and results with clarity, creativity and impact. We start by helping clients distill their key messages then we visualize their story to maximize engagement and understanding.
Whether your company is delivering financial information only, adding a high-impact marketing message or creating a consistent year-long presence with shareholders, Obata can create the right look and visual communications package for your messages. We use multi-channel approaches in developing annual reports because messaging and visuals can be repurposed in multiple ways through microsite, sustainability reporting, analyst presentations and events, video reports and other investor and marketing communications collateral.
Our ability to integrate our other services — sustainability reporting, brand and identity, digital and websites, video and photo — insures message and visual consistency across a variety of investor communications. Above all, we are thorough project managers. Throughout the project’s duration, we communicate through frequent status emails and/or video conferences.
Our annual report process:
- Theme and concept development – We start by working with you to understand and clarify your company’s communications objectives. This results in positioning that leads your audience to better understand and embrace your value proposition. In addition, we can conduct formal or informal peer research audits to report on visual and content trends to inform and enlighten decision making.
- Design development – Our creative work begins with content planning by creating pagination plans. Then we prototype a range of concepts as catalysts to engage dialogue with your team to build consensus. Input and insights gained through this process influences design refinement. Finally we hone in on a final solution that is presented in a comprehensive paginated layout.
- Production management – We typeset and provide PDF proofs, coordinate and create photography and illustration; visualize data; and supervise printing to ensure reproduction quality and fidelity.
- Digital interactive PDF – We provide a bookmarked PDF for posting to your website.
The annual reports we design fall into four general categories:
- Traditional Annual Reports — This annual report has an overall design, including cover, letter to shareholders, a narrative section and a typeset financial section, all bound into a one-piece document.
- 10-K Wrap Annual Reports — This annual report typically has a designed cover and a letter and narrative section. It includes a supplied or a typeset Form 10-K, which is printed and bound into a one-piece document.
- Summary Annual Reports — The summary annual report allows a greater marketing message focus. The approach typically includes a designed cover, a letter and narrative section. It may include selected financial information or refer shareholders to your filed Form 10-K. Because this format leads to a reduced page count, it is more economical to produce and often minimizes distribution expenses.
- Community Annual Reports — The community annual report is best suited for non-profit organizations. It’s a valuable marketing tool to highlight a nonprofit’s mission and impact, thank volunteers and supporters, and make a case for donating to the organization. Annual reports are an opportunity to be candid and transparent about your nonprofit’s finances and outcomes, and build trust with your audience.