Annual Reports

How to Stand Out from the Crowd

It’s the time of year when Australian companies, government agencies and charities and not -for-profits are getting ready to print an Annual Report. These reports are often thought of as just a boring financial information, but many organisations will put a lot of time and effort into them, so they can be used as the flagship for their marketing for the coming year.

The big question then becomes, what can I do to make my Annual Report stand out from the crowd? There are many elements that can be incorporated into an annual report to give it that special WOW! factor. Let’s explore some options, starting with the cover.

make your annual report stand out from the crowd

Annual Report Covers


This is a thin film which is heat bonded to a cover. Celloglaze comes in many finishes, but the most commonly used finishes are gloss and matt. This coating is sometimes referred to as ‘laminate’. Celloglaze acts like a protective coating which can increase the lifespan of the item it is applied to. Celloglaze is a great way to finish off an annual report as a stand alone option, but it is also a wonderful foundation on which to add other finishes to highlight certain design aspects or the organisation’s logo

Spot Gloss UV

This is the application of a UV gloss coating to certain areas of the printed cover, but not to the entire surface. When applied, this coating gives a highly glossy finish which has the appearance of a varnished surface. Spot UV is often applied to a matt celloglazed surface to take advantage of the extra contrast between the matt base and the highly glossy UV finish. This has the impact of attracting attention to the coated areas and will also give the impression that this is a high quality printed item.

Matt Spot UV

This is the application of a matt UV coating to certain areas of the printed cover. The greatest impact and contrast is achieved when applied over a gloss celloglazed cover. This combination is much less common and will definitely allow you to stand out from the crowd.

Hi-Build Spot UV

Regular spot UV has a flat finish. Hi-build spot UV, on the other hand, is applied as a much thicker varnish and is raised up from the surface of the annual report cover. Hi-build spot UV gives the illusion of an embossed surface to the audience. With this tactile finish, various design elements on the cover can be highlighted. Hi-build spot UV is a great way to attract the attention of your audience and to show off a bit of flair.

hi build spot uv

Die Cutting

This is the process of using a die (a thin razor sharp steel blade bent into a certain shape) to cut outlines out of base card stock in a specific pattern. Using this method the die cut patterns are uniform throughout the entire batch of covers. Highlight your logo by die cutting a custom window for it to show through. This is a great way to make your annual report cover stand out and make it a topic for conversation.

Textured Card Stock

Knight textured card from Ball and Doggett is another  wonderful way to add a tactile feel to your annual report covers. This range of bright white, uncoated paper inspires confidence and strength with it’s extra bulk. The most popular Knight textured finishes are the Knight Linen and Knight Hammered ranges. Both of these have high ink retention to not only give them a quality look, but also that wonderful feeling too. Ball and Dogget recommend this paper for use in Annual Reports.

knight textured card

Annual Report Text Pages

When considering stocks to use for your text pages, you need to look at the approximate age of your possible viewing audience. A younger viewer will be quite taken with a bright glossy interior and will not mind the surface reflecting the light. The bright appearance will hold their attention well. An older viewer will have issues with reflection from the shine of the gloss paper and will be far more comfortable reading a matt, or uncoated paper, which will diffuse the light to make the text easier to see. Keep this in mind when making your paper selection.

100% Recycled Uncoated Paper

This is the perfect choice for an eco friendly annual report. There are ranges of recycled paper available which are bright white with excellent environmental specifications. Some of these papers are made from 100% post consumer recycled waste and can be carbon neutral. The great advantage with this type of paper is the way it takes the ink when printing photographs on the annual report text pages. Most recycled papers have a semi smooth surface, which lends a dreamy, nostalgic style to the photos. This will bring back memories of magazines in the 60’s or wedding magazines now.

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Silk/Matt Coated Papers

These paper types are a popular choice for text pages in annual reports. The crispness & clarity it gives to the printed words and text is the reason for its popularity. Silk/Matt coated papers are semi gloss coated papers without the hard glare of a glossy page. These are generally high white papers which are available in both text and cover weights. The excellent thing about these types of paper is that they also tend to be quite economical.

Carbon Neutral Papers

If one of your core values is sustainability, then you can show your support for the environment by using carbon neutral papers. If a paper is carbon neutral, it means that it has been produced by a paper mill that calculates all of its carbon usage in the manufacturing process and then offsets it. (An offset is as initiative that funds projects which produce emission free energy such as wind farms).

Annual Reports - Annual Report

It is best to speak with your printer about cover and text choices to make your Annual Report stand out from the crowd. Newcastle’s number one print company, Jennings Print Group is the ideal choice to print and bind this document for you. Jennings Print Group are able to assist with the graphic design of the annual report to show off your branding and services to their best advantage. With their help you can turn a potentially boring old annual report into a marketing triumph.

When you are ready to produce your next annual report, please get in touch with Jennings Print Group via 02 4933 5735 or go to the website at