Annual Report Design

An annual report doesn't have to be printed, today more than ever digital offers cost-effective solutions. The Abbey Theatre commissioned A Worthy Cause studio to create a combined print & digital solution.

Granular attention to detail, while maintaining a global view on the document and its messaging. That's how annual reports are done.

The type should be engaging, but consistent; easily read at length but with excerpts that jump out when the document is quickly skimmed. The graphics created should speak with the appropriate language and tone. Images should be chosen and used in teh same manner - to further affirm the brand's intention and personality.

To grossly simplify; there are two audiences for an annual report - those who are seeking detailed information and those who want reassurance that all is well. The first will check the reports and take time over the figures, the second will engage with the quick messages of inforgraphics, good visual imagery and pullquotes.

So a document will have an overall scheme but can be read at depth - financial charts must be exactly correct with infinite attention paid to things like decimal points, alignments and rules under figures. Wordy texts should be composed in a manner that allows a reader progress easily. And in doing all that, as a flagship piece, it has to strongly convey the core messages of the organisation's brand.

So, it's quite easy really ;)

The Abbey Theatre had an additional challenge. In their sustainability drive it was decided to do two versions. The 2016 digital annual report ( was built first, with a print-on-demand version to follow.

The digital version was handed coded without a CMS, and used interactive SVGs for infographics, javascript and css for animations and interactions.
In 2017, print-on-demand was used for a shortened document, hugely cutting down on resource usage.


A Worthy Cause uses Adobe Creative Suite. The digital version was hand-coded to avoid using a CMS or have any GDPR conflicting plugins.


Abbey Theatre

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