Investing in great design

Group revenue up 12.6%, adjusted operating profit up 20.8%. Sounds impressive doesn’t it? That’s probably because it is! When you’re the global leader and innovator in language and content management solutions, how those figures are presented to shareholders, employees, potential employees, industry colleagues, competitors and the general public requires not only careful planning and consideration, but also the input of a great design team.

SDL plc’s latest annual report, designed by Forepoint Limited, is so much more than a legal document. It’s not only an opportunity for the business to be transparent about its financial health, but to make a bold statement about its brand and engage with its many different audiences.

The company’s new Chief Financial Officer was determined to make changes to previous reports. The focus for this year was on clear, relevant and accessible information, drastically cutting down on the number of pages and exploring better ways to present essential information.

Working with one of our specialist partners, we collaborated with the team at SDL plc to review the structure of the report, aligning it to current best practice and cutting the number of sales messages.

In determining our approach to designing and developing an annual report, Forepoint director Graham Bowes said: “It’s critical to understand the audience. Investors and shareholders primarily want to understand how their investment is performing, what the future outlook is. They want to easily access KPIs that outline performance and look at comparable data that allows them to assess whether the business is on track to achieve its goals.

“It’s important for those accessing a report to quickly understand what the business does, painting a picture of potential growth, its plans for innovation, its understanding of market trends and how it plans to respond to changes. It’s also important for it to portray the quality of the leadership team and its key advisors, instilling confidence in investors, potential investors and wider stakeholder groups.

“It’s vital to consider how people consume information – some will just refer to top level highlights, whilst others will want to read it from cover to cover. A familiar structure allows audiences to quickly access information. Signposts within the document also allow for ease of access and logical navigation. Pull-outs need to be carefully considered along with clear charts and tables.”

What does the client think about the finished product? 

The feedback from SDL plc has been great. Their Investor Relations adviser was reported as saying the report was an: “exemplar of great report design”. Feedback from internal and external audiences has also been very positive.

Perhaps the greatest signal that the report was a success and that the client was happy working with Forepoint, is the fact that we’re already discussing the next one!

Background on SDL plc

SDL plc, who recently joined forces with Donnelley Language Solutions, is the global leader and innovator in language and content management solutions. For over 25 years, they have helped companies communicate with confidence and deliver transformative business results by enabling powerful experiences that engage customers across multiple touch-points, all strengthened by their human expertise and machine learning technology.

Today, SDL plc is enabling companies to create, translate and deliver relevant and personalized content to support meaningful customer journeys and form important emotional connections by making understanding possible. The world’s biggest brands trust SDL plc’s expertise in digital content management and language translation, with 90 out of the top 100 global brands working with them, to underpin their content creation, translation and delivery.

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