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The two faces of annual reports

AU Library Annual Report 2006Annual reports are notoriously hard to compile, but are they worth the outcome?

This year is the second year American University Library has chosen to dive in and make a public annual report. The first year was a trying task juggling the politics and the pain. The second year went a little more smoothly, but was still a huge nightmare (more politics and different pain).

Sounds like more trouble than it’s worth right?
You would think so, but with the right annual report and the right audience, it can be a beautiful thing.

The motivation for producing an annual report is to communicate the core values and worth of the organization to the public. Another great reason is fundraising- annual reports, especially “trophy annual reports” are great fodder for making the institution look grand and worthy of donations.

The design for this annual report was inspired by a botanic field guide, incorporating images from AU Library’s special collections. The style was chosen to fit in with the nature theme that all of AU Library’s administrative level brochures carry.

I’ve attached the PDF of the annual report to this post for review.

Attachment:
American University Library Annual Report 2005-2006

You are infected with… HUMANS!!!

This video was pulled from Three Legged Legs via Drawn!. When I saw this I was struck by how, a campaign framed in this way, would be infinitely more effective than the advertising that PETA puts out, which is odd since Three Legged Legs isn’t trying to change the world, they are just showing off their amazing animation skills.

That’s the problem with non profits in general – they get so bogged-down with changing the world that their message gets lost because of their own self-importance. Shoving images of butchered lambs into the hands of people who are enjoying their morning Starbucks (à la PETA) is alienating the people they are trying to influence; however, a simple re-framing that connects to the audience would work wonders.

This video communicates the same core message just in a way that is much more accessible to everyone.