Year of Progress
A simple task to design and produce the 2009/10 Companies House annual report.
The only problem was that we’d never designed an annual report before, and this was a report for the government department responsible for all company reporting in England and Wales, covering 2.6 million businesses. And it was a report that had to be presented before the ministers in parliament for approval.
Typos weren’t really an option.
The context of 2010 was that we were in the middle of a recession and just after a general election. Companies House wanted to communicate it’s achievements and progress in a straightforward and honest way, without doing anything inappropriately flashy.
You can’t argue with statistics.
We chose to bring the facts and figures of the annual report to life. Right from the cover, where graphs formed the years 2009 and 2010, we used illustrations to highlight exceptional facts and outstanding figures.
Avoiding lavish, colour photography helped keep costs down, while the simple, bright style of the illustrations added a positive and uplifting mood to the report. Portraits of the board were modest in style, adding to the down-to-earth approach.
Despite the austerity measures, we were able to maintain the brand values of Companies House which had been carefully developed and built up over the previous 6 years since our appointment in 2004 – the values of an open, accessible and friendly organisation.
The design and clarity of the report was highly praised by Companies House and the main stakeholders.