Digitally Publishing an Annual Report for BUFDG


Rach Brind-Surch

21st June 2021

Digitally Publishing an Annual Report for BUFDG

Over the years we have worked with the British University Finance Directors Group (BUFDG), we have designed many Annual reports for them. Each report was created for print and digital and was filled with bespoke illustrations. These images reflected the key themes of that report, as well as the challenges and successes of the past year.

As BUFDG are a group concerned with equipping and assisting Financial Directors in the Higher Education sector, our more recent reports had reflected the style of artwork found in their published guides. This had begun to create a style of illustration and colour palette that was applied consistently across their published reports.

However, after a year like no other, we were asked to create an annual report that showed a dramatic departure from the old and introduced a more sustainable, new normal. This then meant creating a palette and style which would still sit within the BUFDG brand, without invoking the previous annual reports, creating a clear break with the past and stepping into the future.

BUFDG report illustration of virtual meetings

Sustainable Design through Digital Distribution

One of the biggest changes to this Annual report when compared to previous years was that we were asked to create a design which would purely be viewed as an interactive, digital report. Previously all of the reports had been firstly designed as a physical printed A4 booklet, with two page spreads. This choice to go fully digital made distribution more cost effective, more covid secure and more environmentally friendly. It also allowed for interactive elements within the design as well hyperlinks to further reports or information which were useful but not necessarily needed within the report itself.

BUFDG report illustration of virtual meetings

The Design

The last year has been incredibly challenging. Whilst it was important to create relevant visuals within the design which clearly represented the current situation and the realities of the pandemic, we also wanted to create a bright and optimistic design which was forward looking. To that end we focused on natural organic elements with bright pops of colour, including the BUFDG teal, against more neutral backgrounds.

Imagery within the report had a focus of before and after, exploring the change to homeworking, differences in commute and the new methods of networking we have all had to embrace over the last year. The inclusion of simplified plants and nature imagery alongside more grey and neutral city scapes helped to promote an optimism towards the less busy and greener patterns of work and home life which many of us have noticed.

BUFDG report illustration of virtual meetings

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