Not an Annual Report but the Risco Energy 2 Year Report - Ayo! Responsive
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The Risco Energy 2 year report is another print design project offered to me by Jakarta based communications specialists, Komunika Partners. KP managing partner, Nick Elliot; asked Ayo Responsive to design the report for their oil and gas investment client – Risco Energy, also based in Jakarta.

Anyone who has put an annual report together will know just how demanding the process can be and Risco Energy’s 2 year report was no different. The guts of most AR’s are centered around financial data which oddly enough can be quite difficult to gather. Not because the numbers don’t exist but because some companies prefer to keep them close to their chest. The term blood from a stone comes to mind. This was not the case with Risco Energy, I hasten to add. Jolly nice chaps.

I have attempted to read several annual reports over the past 2 years and for me, watching paint dry wins hands down in terms of experiencing that ‘I can’t put it down’ reaction. It got me to thinking that financial reports shouldn’t be a reason to slit ones wrists but in fact represent a golden opportunity to communicate and inspire stakeholders.

Thankfully my skill set is firmly planted in design. Math and financial analysis was never my strong point so I was happy to play my part as an observer when it came to meeting Risco’s financial and legal advisers for confirming exactly which elements to include in the report, having said that; I was glad to be a part of the few meetings that I was invited to. Like I have mentioned in other posts, picking up a nugget of info here and there can often be of use later. In my case such nuggets often spring to mind when playing Trivial Pursuit.

Risco Energy’s performance for the two year period that the report was to cover had been impressive to say the least which is why I went for a bright and upbeat tone and theme. Not to say that had things been all doom and gloom I would have filled the pages with gravestones and circling vultures.

I had formed an opinion, after my riveting past experiences of reading through heavy annual reports, that visual layout affects the manner in which stakeholders read and process information. The textural content of a report is only as effective as its layout. It would be important to balance text-heavy paragraphs with large pull quotes and feature photos to help keep the reader engaged.

Another thought struck me during the reports development. I could easily take all of the data that goes into a printed annual report and create a website. I understand that a number of annual reports have to be printed for legal reasons but owning a website that can be updated on a yearly, perhaps monthly basis would be a powerful tool indeed.

Mark Andrews
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