I’ve written a few annual reviews in my time, oh yes. And here’s my experience: they’re getting smaller. At least the ones I’ve worked on. Smaller and, in these straitened, digital times, sometimes not even printed on paper. They’re changing.
(I once produced a visual style guide on a CD, where the guideline book formed the CD booklet, and was also on the CD itself, along with correct logo files, as a pdf.)
But I’ve never seen one this small! The British Heart Foundation‘s new annual review – based on feedback from stakeholders that even last year’s A5 number was too big – is a compact, concept-driven model, running on the twin engines of a travelcard-sized booklet and an interactive web-based map.
‘With you all the way': the idea is journeys. And wherever your life journey takes you, the British Heart Foundation (like the moon) will be right over your shoulder.
The annual review I wrote last year was smaller than the previous one, and the project process was streamlined, too. It was very much about resource issues – fewer people to work on it, less time to mess around – but there was an equal element where attention also seemed in short supply. Were stakeholders really going to want to sit and read through that much detail? There had been a restructure the year before, there was another one coming; many stakeholders were in the same position; and forty pages of bragging no longer feels quite appropriate… We went for a page-spread for every service offering area, a spread for carbon emissions & sustainability issues, and one for financials. Top-line messages and some good, solid, tight creative production: people stories and positive impacts. Bish bash bosh, as they say.
Now I’m really interested to see this one. You can read more about the whole thing, and the designers and the website, at the ever-wonderful Creative Review. (Oh, and by the way, click on my links page and you’ll see Asbury & Asbury, who did the copywriting. See, I only know the best…)
I think the concept may have missed a trick, though? The first thing I thought of when I saw it wasn’t the credit card, or the travelcard it was modelled on: I thought of a donor card.