Annual studies are certainly one of monetary entrepreneurs’ hardest inventive duties.
Yearly, you will have the chance to advertise your model in an enormous means. However that chance might be constrained by finances, the necessity for approvals from prime brass, and the usually summary nature of monetary companies. Generally, the problem is the positive line between photos which might be visible clichés and people who actually join with financial institution shareholders, credit score union members and the numerous others whose first impression of your establishment hangs on how good a job you probably did.
Add in the necessity to keep between regulatory traces and arising with a extremely good annual report challenges entrepreneurs’ visible sense and wordsmithing skills.
Unattainable Act to Comply with:
The JPMorgan Chase annual report features a lengthy analytical letter — a brief guide, actually — over the signature of Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon that analysts, journalists, shareholders and different monetary gamers eagerly await yearly. However few establishments possess the sources such studies require, to not point out missing the draw of being the nation’s largest financial institution.
Because of all that, conventional monetary establishments’ annual studies typically prove terribly uncreative — conservative at greatest, boring at worst.
However not all banks and credit score unions take this course. Some advertising groups appear capable of encourage the C-suite to allow them to spruce issues up.
It doesn’t all the time take loads — some establishments add within the human component, resembling photographs of smiling clients exterior of a department. Others use uncommon colours, resembling oranges and greens. One even styled their report back to appear to be an old school newspaper web page.
The Monetary Model combed establishments’ web sites, each nationally and internationally, to search out annual studies that increase the bar that monetary entrepreneurs can study from.
Be aware that the entire examples might be blown up by clicking on the pictures. Additionally be aware that the purple financial institution and credit score union names include hyperlinks to the total variations of every annual report cited.
The Progressive Winners
These first 4 stood out as clear champions in comparison with the stacks of arguably ineffective annual studies in banking.
Integris Credit score Union’s annual report is the one instance on this gallery that one can nearly really feel of their palms. Whilst you can’t bodily decide up the report right here, it’s simple to see that Integris went for a unique type of paper inventory to make its model stand out — which it does, even off the pc display screen.
It’s not ostentatious nor flashy, however visually satisfying by way of tone and texture. The colour of the paper enhances the duvet picture. The credit score union’s handful of department areas are creatively lined up, subsequent to the report’s tagline: “From right here. All in. For you.”
This seems above the three statistics Integris discovered most important: the variety of members, staff and the way a lot it invests in the neighborhood. Even the simplicity of the subsequent web page, with the credit score union’s imaginative and prescient and mission, conveys confidence within the credit score union’s values.
Tinkoff Financial institution’s 2016 instance right here is, by far, top-of-the-line examples of an environment friendly and efficient annual report that any monetary establishment can study from. It depends on bursting pages of colour to arrest readers’ consideration and direct them to varied elements of the report.
Take, as an example, the financial institution’s second web page. Whereas anybody studying is aware of they’re wanting on the annual report of Tinkoff Financial institution, it’s the giant, vibrant white “Tinkoff” that instantly attracts folks’s eyes.
And, constructed into the structure, contained in the identify of the financial institution is the important thing attribute administration desires folks to stroll away with: “The ecosystem constructed round buyer wants by way of a novel, on-line, branchless platform.”
Phrase clouds, first devised within the early 2000s, stay a preferred technique to spotlight phrases used most ceaselessly.
It is a type Fremont Federal Credit score Union utilized on the entrance cowl of their annual report. The phrases “you,” “your,” “life,” “higher” and “we” are the most important phrases on the web page, indicating these are the ideas FFCU prioritizes for its members.
The Monetary Model reviewed a number of of Triumph Financial institution’s annual studies by way of the years earlier than deciding to highlight the financial institution’s 2019 version. That 12 months’s report exemplifies why making a visually interesting annual report doesn’t all the time require a variety of uncommon colours or fancy graphics to attract the reader’s eye.
On this instance, Triumph Financial institution desires its clients to know that the financial institution is integrating fintech capabilities into its banking methods, as indicated by its theme for the 12 months: “The Energy of &.”
And, though they combine clip artwork all through the report, they’re additionally not afraid of white area. When carried out thoughtfully, little particulars like this may go a good distance.
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Work That Branding!
Monetary establishments should care about their branding greater than ever. New opponents like fintechs, massive techs and neobanks utilizing daring graphics depart pedestrian efforts within the mud. But, now it’s more and more crucial that conventional establishments determine their values and their mission whereas additionally making certain the type of their message displays that. These banks and credit score unions combine such branding proper into their annual studies.
“Power in numbers” and “busy as a bee” exemplify the best represented by the honeybee. The small insect serves as a dwelling instance of laborious work carried out in cooperation with hive-mates. That unbelievable teamwork and hardworking mentality are two key themes F&M Financial institution drew on of their 2018 annual report.
However as an alternative of utilizing the beehive motif as only a background or a single piece of clip artwork, F&M takes the hexagonal construction of a beehive’s cells and makes use of it to level out little particulars within the annual report. As an example, on the third web page, all of the blocks spotlight the financial institution’s department areas.
Then, once more on the fourth web page, not reproduced right here, the financial institution integrates their web site and social media visitors enhancements, banking on the truth that the eyes of anybody flipping by way of the report shall be drawn to these information.
Generally, if a monetary establishment can easy innovate how they show their main brand, that’s all it takes to maximise the influence of a visually interesting annual report. It doesn’t all the time take metamorphic adjustments to have interaction readers.
Within the case of their 2015 report, Nigeria-based Diamond Financial institution targeted on “banking to the underbanked,” a theme which didn’t must get featured on the duvet. As a substitute, Diamond discovered an efficient — however extremely easy — technique to get their message throughout with a photograph of a lady on a cell phone and small vector photos to show the stats on their underbanked companies.
Nice Southern Financial institution’s tackle an old school chalkboard exemplifies how monetary establishments can simply boost a traditional annual report with a theme that doesn’t present up within the on a regular basis world of smartboards, whiteboards and LED screens.
Trying to the open unfold on the fitting facet, buyers or any stakeholder can simply work out what they’re . On the plus facet, no matter how primary it seems, Nice Southern’s method can simply be fastened to suit the character and magnificence of conservative banking gamers who need to up their annual report sport with out throwing out the acquainted appear and feel.
Go to any monetary establishment and, once you stroll in, their 8.5″x11″ annual report will possible be displayed in a rack, propped up properly subsequent to a barrage of different studies and native brochures. Canvas Credit score Union’s, nonetheless, isn’t meant for such a show.
As a substitute, Canvas CU arrange their 2019 report in its conventional panorama type, which signifies it may be laid out by itself on a counter or desk. A reader, upon opening, can’t solely see in information factors how Canvas capabilities in its Colorado communities, however image the credit score union’s main department in the course of city, down the road from the Canvas stadium enviornment, house of the Colorado State Rams. An image is a thousand phrases, proper?
The within pages of Republic Financial institution’s 2020 annual report are glorious examples of how monetary establishments could make the multitude of statistics in monetary studies slightly bit extra visually fascinating.
Particularly, the charts break free from black-and-white straight-lined tables, and as an alternative give every year a unique shade — with the most recent and most related years in bolder ones, so readers (nearly with out wanting on the labels) know what years they’re . Something that’s of much less consequence fades off into the white of the web page.
Peoples State Financial institution has a transparent motif to their branding — there are leaves and shrubs within the background of all its annual report pages, however they’re additionally hiding throughout the financial institution’s web site.
What stood out within the financial institution’s annual report is the bookmark type means they pulled out their key information and figures. Simply as different monetary establishments maximize on the minimality of white area, Peoples’ left unfold web page is a main instance of how one can get comfy with utilizing the type of your financial institution’s motif — nonetheless elementary — as filler behind information or information you need to stand out.
Daring In Shade & Fashion
There’s actually one thing to be stated about artistic endeavors that break free from the constrictions of easy colours and relatable fonts. It’s very true for these annual studies.
Fairness Financial institution is a superb instance of an annual report which ties in all the weather monetary establishments historically need to embrace of their studies: photographs of their branches, highlights of the establishment’s 12 months (resembling Fairness Financial institution’s CEO named an entrepreneur of the 12 months finalist), and featured stats from their annual report.
What Fairness does particularly nicely, nonetheless, is to arrange all of those parts intriguingly on the web page. The quilt web page, for instance, pulls on the tagline puzzle-piece theme for this report — “Each Piece Counts” — which then blends fluidly all through the remainder of the report.
Within the opening unfold, Fairness places a twist on the usual photographs of branches and extra, constructing as an alternative a chronological gallery of their totally different “items,” a few of which come collectively to make up the Fairness puzzle on the duvet.
Generally monetary establishments don’t know what to do with colour — they know they need to be utilizing it to create gorgeous studies however overdoing it might be a graphic catastrophe. Burke & Herbert’s 2018 annual report exhibits how one can use colour in a different way but successfully. The design throws collectively blues, yellows and pinks, including layers of textual content on the entrance cowl. That experimental method makes this report stand out.
It’s vital that banks and credit score unions discover distinctive methods to indicate off their buyer viewpoints. Others can pull a web page from Burke & Herbert’s type, incorporating that blue filter over a easy picture with quotes laid on prime. Even that second web page helps to boost the written content material the financial institution wanted to place on the web page.
Famend poets and artists each know the worth of white area — however good white area. Tech Credit score Union additionally appears to get it.
The credit score union’s 2019 annual report present an uncommon design for monetary establishment annual studies. Whereas it performs on the methods that many different monetary establishments do, it additionally introduces methods not generally present in different studies. As an example, have a look at that part beneath “About Tech CU” the place the credit score union lists all its banking companies.
Little particulars like that — creatively laid out on the web page as an alternative of being listed in bullet factors earlier than launching into the about part of a report — give readers a sweeping look in any respect they’ll do together with your monetary establishment, with out their eyes wandering from the web page.
There’s loads of white area, too, used successfully.
One can’t actually assist falling in love with Utah First Credit score Union’s 2020 annual assertion. Whereas different monetary establishments fell again on the “Covid 12 months” theme with photographs of masks and other people on their units, banking on-line, others like Utah First aimed for camaraderie — folks coming collectively.
Different banks and credit score unions can also place their belief in cooler colours (blues and darkish greens and purples) — altogether safer and significantly extra conservative hues. What’s fascinating is Utah First utilized its novel colour scheme — which an individual can discover congruent by way of the credit score union’s branding technique — to make the visuals appear emotionally real.
It’s difficult to assemble all of the traits in Staff Credit score Union’s 2020 report in a clear, efficient method. But it really works right here. There are 4 photos (one which’s almost half the web page), 5 totally different information factors mirrored with vector photos and loads of written copy to fill within the blanks. And it’s not in the least messy.
Whereas some establishments could choose to have much less info and fewer content material within the first few pages of their studies, there are some banks and credit score unions itching to sneak all of it in. For establishments preferring the latter, Staff Credit score Union makes a great mannequin to comply with.
Most annual studies encompass dozens and even a whole bunch of packed monetary statements in tiny kind. A little bit little bit of colour and applicable use of graphics can do a world of excellent in focusing readers on key factors.
And also you solely want just a few to create an optically pleasing design. Heartland Financial institution makes use of a restricted palette, and their decisions are muted — no blaring vibrant pinks or oranges. But they successfully get away their most related figures, add charts in the identical colour scheme, give it a handy guide a rough title and — voila!
Each monetary establishment desires to indicate off their group contributions, however within the classiest vogue. Financial institution Newport carries it off nicely of their 2020 annual report. Simplicity might be key in these conditions — Financial institution Newport’s type, they don’t showcase with inauthentic and messy visuals.
On the left web page of the unfold, they construct off the blue theme which is true to their ocean-style branding. Whereas they’ve a 3rd of the web page devoted to descriptions of what they’re doing in the neighborhood, in addition they break open the remainder of the web page with just a few easy vector visuals that pop — exhibiting off what Financial institution Newport is pleased with (with out going overboard).
Intriguingly sufficient, Financial institution Newport additionally arrange their annual report in an HTML model as nicely (see linked here), the place readers can scroll by way of the assertion like pages.
Easy, However Efficient
Simplicity does matter and never each monetary establishment must be filled with expression or go the place no annual report has gone earlier than. Listed here are the annual studies which The Monetary Model staff believed to be chief examples of the place simplicity can actually be key.
Photos hidden as a layer behind textual content is usually a fast and straightforward technique to improve the type of an annual report. As an example, in Macquarie Group’s desk of contents, this method dynamically units the stage for the remainder of the booklet.
And, as soon as once more, the belief in efficient white area can’t be understated. In Macquarie’s case particularly, it lends a hand to how the remainder of the annual report performs out, which integrates loads of photos which enhance the sections of the report they correspond with.
True to the core of this class, Northeast’s 2020 annual report banks on the efficacy of ethereal designs because the content material is constructed all through the yearly assertion on the cloud and sky watermark that begins on the duvet web page.
What’s neat is that this theme seems, together with town line of skyscrapers, to be part of the financial institution’s rebranding efforts on its web site, which makes use of the identical designs because the report. Though the financial institution’s web site in 2019 was a rudimentary model of its 2021 model — examined through the Wayback Machine, an web archival device — it’s souped as much as be replicate on its 2020 annual assertion.
Very seldom do monetary establishments attempt a number of design approaches once they plan their annual studies. BayPort broke away from its opponents in its 2020 annual report, constructing each images and graphics into their pages.
As an example, on the credit score union’s entrance cowl web page, there are two girls — a buyer and a department teller — exchanging a cheerful inexperienced balloon. Then, the subsequent web page with the desk of contents, exhibits a lady (not pictured right here, use the purple hyperlink above) sitting peacefully on a deck by a lake. And, similar to Heartland Financial institution’s look on the 12 months, in addition they incorporate clip artwork into the piece, filling out the world subsequent to the web page showcasing the manager staff.
All monetary establishments care for folks, however credit score unions particularly are all the time seeking to present that they’re taking good care of members. Therefore, there’s all the time a variety of photographs of smiling folks. Chevron Credit score Union discovered a technique to combine these images with larger creativity.
Check out the “belong” on the duvet web page. Though there’s a blue filter overlaying them, smiling faces pour out from behind the letters. This cowl web page method provides photos which might in any other case overwhelm probably the most significant ones, just like the one on the within web page accompanying testimony on the within web page which accompanies an precise member household photograph.
Keep in mind these primitive photographs of customers or staff standing exterior the department, smiling and showing prepared for one thing? For First United Credit score Union’s 2020 annual report, they incorporate that very picture which — whereas normal — is efficient. Monetary establishments have been deemed important in the course of the pandemic and, for a lot of banks and credit score unions, that duty is proudly sported on the covers of their 2020 annual studies. The pandemic’s influence won’t be forgotten.
What makes First United’s yearly assertion far more highly effective is its follow-up to the entrance cowl. 9 small vector photos, accompanied with the report’s most vital statistics, relaxation right here. This offers the readers a snapshot of the remainder of the report in a concise, interesting means.
The majority of annual studies come as easy, templated variations of the annual studies that got here earlier than them: grayscale tables and fonts that, after just a few pages of studying, change into a blur. Whereas there are monetary establishments (like those listed on this article) that boost the primeval paperwork, it’s uncommon to discover a report that tries to merge the 2.
Neighborhood First’s 2020 annual report sought to interrupt up the monotony of annual report information with a easy colour, each to point the present 12 months and within the headlines of the sections of the five-year historical past.
California Credit score Union’s annual report at first look appears primary, however upon getting a better look, it’s simple to see this report is a illustration of monetary establishment resiliency at its greatest. Even in periods of loss or concern, the pictures exhibiting folks come collectively will proceed to catch the attention of customers and buyers alike for years to return.
Even diving into the report, the opening pages are indicative of a robust annual report, outfitted with sturdy contrasts of blue and white and sections damaged as much as spotlight how CCU weathered the pandemic with its members.
Annual Stories Made For the Web
Earlier than wrapping up, The Monetary Model highlights six extra annual studies that are made to be interactive. What makes these distinctive is their formatting — all 5 of those have been pre-formatted as interactive variations of annual studies. Readers can simply click on by way of the studies like flipping by way of a guide (one even performs the sound results) whereas others transfer and shift as you scroll by way of.
Avidia Financial institution’s interactive report is certainly one of our favorites. Along with its comfy scroll and interesting graphics, each web page seeks to not overwhelm readers, main solely with quick paragraphs and enjoyable visuals. And speak about a vibrant and enjoyable colour scheme.
Open up the Components Monetary on-line PDF and click on by way of to see how visually interesting, outside photographs can improve your annual report and make it stand out far above the remainder. Every set of pages have a transparent function, accompanied by clear photographs of individuals out within the wilderness (true to the credit score union’s identify), all touched off with a splash of colour on every web page to brighten it up and spotlight what readers must know.
For any monetary marketer searching for not solely a fascinating — however elegant annual report — look no farther than Cadence. Their theme — tans and blues — accompanies the delicate font to create a press release clearly made for a conventional monetary establishment.
LGFCU’s report isn’t only a report — it’s an entire webpage. Whereas many interactive, on-line annual studies comply with their predecessors in conventional PDF-style web page format, Native Authorities Federal Credit score Union began from scratch and included all the things it’s essential learn about their 2020 fiscal 12 months right into a scrolling part constructed into their web site.
Rivermark Neighborhood Credit score Union utilized Adobe Acrobat to create an analogous expertise to LGFCU’s. Whereas the textual content of the annual report is straightforward to scroll by way of for an interruption-less expertise, the photographs which accompany the textual content roll out from beneath the photographs beneath them.
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