The beginning of the year brings in the annual reports — those dreadful creatures of content that are no fun to create or read.
What if I told you that with the right mix of a user-friendly format, a solid editorial formula, and good content, annual reports can actually be very enjoyable reads and a project you’re happy to take on instead of endlessly postponing?
To prove my point, I’ve collected 9 inspiring examples from Foleon customers who’ve turned their annual reports into engaging content experiences that people genuinely want to read. And, hopefully, the team had fun creating!
Improving your annual reports
Before we jump into the examples, here are some pointers to improve your annual reports.
The format you use to create your annual report is a key factor for increasing readership while decreasing project lead time. Were you thinking of creating it as a PDF? Please reconsider for the reasons stated here; they're not responsive, difficult to create — the list goes on and on.
Instead, make it an interactive experience with Foleon’s native Foleon Doc format.
Conventionally, annual reports designed as PDFs mostly consist of (lots of) text, stats, and images. When taking annual reports digital, you open your content to a realm of possibilities.
- Want to add videos? Go ahead!
- Thinking about using animations and data visualization? Why not!
- Want to reduce content overload by putting additional info in pop-ups? Do it!
It’s important to design your report in such a way that invites people to keep reading. Here’s the editorial formula we suggest for well-balanced annual reports:
- Cover page
- Introduction from leadership
- Table of contents
- Facts and figures of the year
- A longer article about a topic important to your company
- Video article with the most interesting company updates
- Closing summary
- Closing page with contact information
Balance is key! Keep in mind that, from each page or just the closing page, you can link through the full annual report, as the digital version typically only covers the main highlights.
7 engaging annual report examples
With all this in mind, check out these examples of annual reports created with Foleon and see how our customers have implemented best practices.
A&L Goodbody is one of Ireland's leading corporate law firms. Its annual knowledge report looks back at the year's key legal developments and those in the pipeline. Readers can choose to read articles or sit back and listen to audio recordings and other media.
Talk about an engaging experience!
Antoni van Leeuwenhoek is a cancer-specialized hospital and research institute in the Netherlands. This (Dutch) annual report includes empowering patient stories, key figures, and the research themes on which the hospital focuses.
Well-balanced editorial formula? Check!
Deutsche WertpapierService Bank AG (dwpbank) is Germany's financial market's leading securities services provider. Its annual report covers the company's year-over-year growth and the factors that drove it.
Data visualization is perfect if you have lots of stats to share!
Non-profit organization LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America. Its annual report demonstrates how LISC rose to the challenges of a difficult year, sharing its captivating story using a lively design, vibrant colors, and engaging content elements.
A full-screen background video on the cover? Love it!
Oxford University Press, a department of the University of Oxford, aims to excel in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. This vibrant annual report shares its stories and top achievements.
This report strikes a nice balance between text and visuals.
UNLV is one of the most affirmative and dynamic academic environments in the United States. Its interactive annual report provides an overview of the fiscal year's fundraising results and stories of the impact of philanthropy on the campus.
This report boasts a strong editorial formula with various interesting topics.
The University of Jyväskylä is one of Finland's largest and most popular multidisciplinary universities. Its well-designed annual report looks back on how the university managed to break records in a hectic 2020.
With 20+ pages, this report is a bit longer but does a good job of keeping readers engaged!
Bonus: 2 engaging year-in-review examples
Looking to create something lighter than a full-fledged annual report? Consider creating year-in-reviews instead. This is a short overview, usually just one page, where you concisely share your company’s achievements from the last year and your future plans.
Check out 2 examples of year-in-reviews:
Brikl is a leading provider of micro store e-commerce technology. Its visually appealing year-in-review provides a condensed view of 2021 through data visualization and multimedia.
A great example of how you can do more with less!
Of course, we create our year-in-review with Foleon. With a sleek design and engaging graphics, this Doc provides a bird's eye view of key data points, milestones, and achievements of 2022.
Check it out for yourself!
That’s it! We hope these inspiring examples got your blood pumping and gave you inspiration for creating a kick-ass annual report or year-in-review.
If you’re not a Foleon customer yet but want to learn more about our content creation platform, request a demo today.
Want to see more examples of what you can create with Foleon? Check out all customer examples!