From almost 20 years of typesetting experience coming from annual report design, we've amassed a reference collection of over 1,500 well-designed reports spanning the last 40 years. We'll bring out the best examples of great design and show you what we've found makes great typography.
One of our favorite annual reports is ABC&D: All About Being Connected to Data, the Adaptec 1996 Annual Report.
The operations section tells a story that explains what Adaptec does, makes products that moves information between computers and peripherals and across enterprise networks. Design firm Cahan & Associates and designer Craig Clark took the complex concept of networks and simplified it into a children's story book (which we love), illustrated by Richard McGuire.
Appropriately, design follows function.
Hardbound and filled with bright illustrations, this uncommon annual report format begins the operations section with whimsical chapters on different use cases with computer networking: the small office, the enterprise and the mobile user.
Pages are set in a large transitional typeface (looks to us like Adobe Caslon Pro) against innocently-drawn illustrations. Such details really make a difference.
This was a refreshingly simple approach and innovative solution for corporate document that undoubtedly stood out from the crowd of annual reports, and made us smile.
Want to view 365 beautifully-design annual reports? Check out Michael’s collection on Instagram.