Reducing complexity in a sea of stakeholders

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The annual report presents an opportunity to tell the story of your company’s brand and communicate not only numbers and figures but equally important the company’s identity. We developed Hedeselskabets new purpose and visual brand concept and for the past three years, we have helped them express their authentic identity through the company’s annual report, bringing together design and functionality, creativity and formality. 

This year, we wanted to improve the final product as well as the process in order to create the best possible experience for our client and all the stakeholders involved. One of our key concerns was: How can we increase the efficiency of proofreading, making it easier for both us and our client?

Seeking to optimize every step of the process

Did I loose you completely at the mentioning of “proofreading”? It may seem like a trivial detail – something to leave in a footnote and then move on to more important things like the brand strategy, messaging and creative vision. However, the importance of having a systematized approach and the right digital tool for proofreading graphic documents should not be overlooked.

To a foundation like Hedeselskabet with numerous subsidiaries, proofreading an annual report often proves challenging because it involves so many stakeholders – like a finance department, executive management, board and communications team just to mention a few. Using a digital tool, we reduced the complexity of the process by making it possible for our client to work directly in the final layout through a browser and providing a systematic overview of the corrections and comments. Here’s how it works:

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Usually you would receive a PDF file from the design agency. Then you return the file with comments which the graphic designer then reproduce or paste into his design document. This makes errors highly probable besides producing an unnecessary amount of versions.

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With our digital tools, you are able to edit the content directly in the layout through a browser. That way, you are certain to catch all corrections, and you avoid having to send files back and forth.

Cutting away the element of different versions of PDF documents being sent back and forth ensured a smooth and efficient process. This was liberating for our graphic designer and reassuring for Hedeselskabet as all stakeholders involved were able to view their corrections apply in the final layout immediately. Rather than waiting for response at either end, lots of corrections that would seem small (but might not be to the person asking for a change of a number or a word) can be done in minutes and you can see it in the layout straight away. Of course some changes do need the help of a skilled graphic eye, so there is a balance between small and large changes – and often our designers can see alternative possibilities of altering the content and the design. 

Visualizing brand continuity

This year’s annual report marks the 150th anniversary of Hedeselskabet. Keeping in line with the original concept, the cover shows Hedeselskabet’s strong connection to nature and the environment is visualized through natural elements. A branch with leaves runs across the front and back of the cover like on the report’s two predecessors. However, to mark the anniversary of Hedeselskabet, the leaves are not the usual green color but a metallic copper, moving from a photographic expression to a graphic one. Adding to this effect, the texture of the leaves has been drawn up and enhanced with a gloss varnish. In this way, the cover challenges the original framework but at the same time displays continuity in the visual identity of the brand.

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The horizontal line makes up a grid used on the cover and in many of the spreads inside the report. The line is derived from Hedeselskabet’s logo which makes this an elegant solution securing visual consistency.

We have added a spread in this year’s annual report visualizing the story of the company all the way back to its establishment in 1866. From the outset, Hedeselskabet has worked with green innovation. 

 

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The graphic timeline celebrates brand continuity by emphasizing Hedeselskabet’s continued work within three areas: earth, water and forest.

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At the same time, it shows how the company has evolved, for instance by establishing a research lab and expanding with projects concerned with nature projection.

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Spread from this year’s annual report using elements like icons and colours from the company visual identity to present the content in a light, reader-friendly way.

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The images shown in the annual report are high-quality photos that support the content and express the identity of the company.

If you are feeling inspired and want to upgrade your company’s annual report, our managing director Henrik is always pleased to discuss the possibilities and offer his guidance.

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