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One Look for All

Last night I attended an Annual Report show sponsored by Sappi. The show consisted of the 20 best Annual Reports printed all, or in part, in Sappi paper. I was a bit disappointed to think that these were the best 20 reports from the 597 entries received. Now, don’t think I’m a snob or a jerk, these were really nice Reports, but at least 15 out of the 20 looked exactly the same, with one dominant trait overall: big, nice, color photographs with white type knocked out. Again, these were really well produced and designed reports, but why are they all looking the same?

The usual suspects were winners. Cahan & Associates, VSA Partners, Reservoir (formerly known as Oh Boy! a design co.) and Louey/Rubino Design. I don’t remember which design firm it was, but they did a Report that looked exactly like one Cahan did a year ago for Valentis, same color palette and all.

I would like to see more work done by smaller firms, which are probably doing work as good, if not better, than bigger firms. Even if they don’t carry the same prestige as these big-name players.

Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to design an Annual Report, so there is not much I can do to back up my talk. But I would like to see other people take it up a notch.

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PUBLISHED ON Sep.27.2002 BY Armin
Tom Dolan’s comment is:

Any idea on who were the judges? I'm guessing at least one will be Kit Hendricks (Pentagram, SF) who has done all the design stuff for Potlatch (now Sappi) over the years.

On Sep.27.2002 at 09:53 AM
Armin’s comment is:

The ones I can recall are Jamie Koval (VSA) and Critt Graham and some other Creative Directors of bigger firms.

On Sep.27.2002 at 10:04 AM
Michael’s comment is:

I agree. I really didn't feel like I needed or wanted to look at all of them. The Agnico -Eagle Mines AR by Ove Design, had some raw + dirty illustrations. Very refreshing amidst the usual.

Free booze is good too.

btw-Nice guerilla tactics last night

On Sep.27.2002 at 10:17 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>btw-Nice guerilla tactics last night

I have no idea what you are talking about ; )

I wish I had left more cards, but I had to leave. Just knowing that at least one person followed up on the URL has made it worth it. Thanks Michael. I liked that same Report you are talking about. It was different.

On Sep.27.2002 at 10:48 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Oh, Michael, one more thing: great, great web site you guys have. The good work doesn't hurt either.

On Sep.27.2002 at 11:09 AM
Michael’s comment is:

Thanks, Speak Up! is great too. Pixelicious!

I saw other people noticing the cards... so your efforts were not in vain.

Thinking about the budgets involved with most of those books made me sick...or jealous... I'm not sure.

On Sep.27.2002 at 12:26 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>Thinking about the budgets involved with most of those books made me sick...or jealous... I'm not sure.

Probably a combination.

I was even more shocked at the amount of money Sappi spent on yesterday's event. I guess they must be doing REALLY good financially.

(Really good? or Really well?)

On Sep.27.2002 at 01:55 PM