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Fear No Design:

Great-Looking Corporate Reports That Surprise and Inspire

The first step to getting read is getting noticed. These companies are determined to do both.

Design and words bring out the best in each other. These sparkling examples of B2B thought leadership prove that the education that is at the heart of thought leadership doesn’t have to look boring.

  • Bold typography. Leave it to design professionals to put typography to powerful, elegant use. When the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum decided to recap a design summit it had hosted on socially responsible design, it chose a dramatic cover and then filled the report’s pages with effective use of type and color. You can download it here.
  • Overall pizazz. For a company that famously embraces the color brown for its vehicles and uniforms, UPS goes all out with personality for its annual reports on the supply chain. Call them the anti-brown. The logistics giant uses graphics, color, and typography to great effect, appearing vibrant and informative – qualities any business wants to be associated with. They even put panache in the report’s title: Pain in the Chain.
  • Attitude. Not every company can make IT budgets interesting, but Spiceworks does it on a regular basis. Spiceworks is a social community for IT professionals and its mission also includes bringing snoozy IT data to life for tech marketers. It produces chunky, colorful reports like this one capped off by headlines with swagger. Spiceworks’ combination of design and attitude can’t be beat.
  • Drop-dead gorgeous color. Willis Towers Watson pumps out an impressive array of research on topics important to the consulting firm’s HR and risk-management clients. But to call them white papers seems flat-out wrong. At WTW, bright is beautiful. It confidently applies bold swaths of orange, teal and purple to research reports. Click here and here for examples – and prepare to be inspired.
  • Minimalism. Good design doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles.  Bamboo HR chooses clean, simple layouts to keep readers engaged and turning the pages. By creating a family of white papers that embraces the same design elements as its corporate web site, the Utah software company projects a look that’s cohesive and professional.