Preparing a publication for print involves a whole skillset aimed at making sure the results are what you expect. This preparation starts before you’ve hit “New Document” and goes on past the point of choosing “Export.” Open the lines of communication with your print provider early and involve them at key points along the way. Whether or not you create an actual checklist, you should at least have an idea of the items you’ll want to address before you start the project, while you’re working, and just before sending it off to a printer. BEFORE YOU START Select a print vendor before you even start creating your publication. You will want to communicate to them what format the final piece will be provided in, as well as any considerations for binding, paper selection, and inks to be used. If you don’t have a clear idea of the finished piece, this READ MORE »
When preparing your publication for print, you’ll want to carefully dot your i’s and cross your t’s, as mistakes can be costly and time-consuming to fix. That’s not to say that you can be reckless when working digitally, but the stakes are higher when going to print. 1. Design Within Set Parameters Work within the proper color space to avoid color shifts and unintended results; you’ll need to end up with a piece that uses the CMYK color space when you’re going to print. Though imported photos can be kept in RGB until export or output (see tip number three), elements you make in your page-layout software should be created in CMYK. Keep your non-essential, non-bleeding items within a set area—around a 1/4-inch to a 5/16-inch margin—to allow for shifting of material in printing or while it’s being cut. Also, make sure that any elements that are meant to bleed READ MORE »
The number-one job of corporate report design is to clearly convey information to current or potential investors, shareholders, employees, donors, or even the general public. But a corporate report of any kind doesn’t have to be a bland piece whose only purpose is to serve up facts and figures. To make your publication fresh, interesting, and really stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to incorporate a variety of design elements. USE IMAGES If an image can convey your point, let it. These days, people’s attention spans are shorter than ever, so you’ll need to grab theirs as fast as you can. A large photo with action in it can often speak volumes. If, for instance, your organization helps build wells in Africa, which do you think is more likely to compel readers to act: a tabular listing of the number of wells built in each country or a photo READ MORE »
When creating a print publication such as an annual report or policy report, give your font selection as much consideration as you give content, copy, and image choices. A carefully thought-out type plan will serve to convey your report’s message without drawing too much attention to the typefaces themselves. You don’t have to be an expert in typography to make wise choices, as type has been around a long time, giving you plenty of examples to draw from. Remember when choosing the best font for print publications that the main purpose is to offer readability and legibility to easily convey a message; your type should facilitate—not distract from—that message. If you want to give off an air of traditional class and authority, you might opt for a serif font. These tried-and-true typefaces are easy to read, taking advantage of their serifs—the small, decorative strokes at the end of a character’s READ MORE »
Elements of a Great Annual Report Design Cover Think of the cover of an annual report like an announcement; it lets readers know what to expect inside the report. But beyond putting a year and “Annual Report” on the cover, what sort of content should be on the front of such an integral publication? To begin with the obvious, an annual report’s cover absolutely should show the year being reviewed as well as the organization’s name (or its logo if it’s familiar enough to the readers). The audience should also be defined in some way so that it’s crystal clear who the publication is intended for. That could be as simple as including wording about current shareholders or—if the goal is to gain investment—the organization’s mission statement or tagline. Make the message clear by literally spelling out the intended audience on the cover. One school of thought is that the READ MORE »
Choosing the Best Annual Report Layouts In a previous blog post, we discussed defining the purpose and audience of a publication, which in turn informs the format that would best bring the report to life. These days, discussions of format often result in a print-versus-digital showdown. Oftentimes, clients are quick to jump on the digital bandwagon simply for the reason that it’s new and buzzworthy. While a digital format certainly comes with several advantages, don’t discount the benefits that a printed piece still delivers. It’s also quite possible that your particular publication would benefit from living in both print and digital form, with the help of great design. TRIED AND TRUE: PRINT Printed material is such a ubiquitous presence in our lives that most people don’t give it much thought. Because it is everywhere, designers often have to find ways to make a piece stand out from the crowd. When READ MORE »
Designing a publication from scratch can be a daunting task, and you may not know where to start. Taking the following factors into consideration can help you create a roadmap for your annual report, policy report or impact statement and can help inform your design choices along the way. PURPOSE Before diving into a new publication, you’ll need to give some thought to the purpose of the finished piece. Is its main purpose to inform members on facts and figures—such as an annual report or policy report—or to convey the mission and backstory of a trusted nonprofit to potential donors? Maybe the publication will accompany the company’s annual fundraising event. Make it clear to everyone on your team what the focus of your publication is. AUDIENCE Going hand in hand with the idea of purpose is the potential audience. Who will consume your publication? Once you’ve determined a purpose, a READ MORE »
I polled the Annual Report Design Team at MillerCox Design and these are our top tips on how to make the most of your design budget. Whether your budget is generous or streamlined, your organization can benefit from these tips.
6 Strategies for
Proven steps to keep publication projects on track, eliminate surprises, and ensure successful outcomes.