Tricon Capital is a principal investor and asset manager from Toronto. They’re operating in the US and Canada and they’re focused on residential real estate investments of all kinds, from single-family rental homes to for-sale housing assets.
Today we’ll look into the design of their annual report. This is a financial report that displays an overview of their business, and it could be of interest to their clients, investors, partners and prospects.
Of course, they could’ve simply uploaded this report as a .pdf file and leave it on their website. At a first glance, it may seem as if it would’ve made no difference as long as the numbers add up.
However, Tricon Capital decided to publish the report in print and relied on Blue Fountain Media to design the brochure. Let’s see why and how they did it.
One may argue that print publications are outdated and are being completely overrun by digital media. And really, we’ve seen a 10% decrease in printed newspaper circulation in 2017 alone. Furthermore, basically all major newspapers and magazines suffered a substantial drop in sales in recent years.
So if the New York Times can’t even get people to read highly relevant and informative printed publications, then why should anyone bother with printing annual reports?
There are several convincing explanations for this. First of all, a printed brochure still evokes a sense of seriousness and professionalism that no .pdf file can achieve.
Hence when it comes to important business publications such as financial reports, having them in print can make your company look more reliable and trustworthy. Especially if you show that you’re ready to spend a few additional bucks on a beautiful and attractive design.
Moreover, an elegant-looking printed report perfectly addresses the target group of companies such as Tricon Capital. Surely, the audience they’re targeting are executives, managers and other decision makers, as well as wealthy individuals and most of them are well-versed in using all sorts of digital devices and channels for doing business.
But a majority of them also belong to the generation that grew up reading and studying mostly printed material and that developed, at least subconsciously, a sense of trust for the print. The satisfaction of having something tangible and beautifully designed in your hands, turning the pages and even just smelling the print is still far from being the thing of the past.
When it comes to the very design, it’s simple, clean and modern. This enables the creators to put the focus on the content and let the information breathe.
Undoubtedly, the first and foremost goal of this publication is to provide the reader with important business information about the company. So it makes sense to avoid information overload with a simple layout and a lot of white space.
The elegant and luxurious vibe that the brochure gives out suits the high-end target audience perfectly. Everything seems neat, polished and slick.
The fact that every element is perfectly placed and ordered sends a message to the reader that they’re dealing with a perfectionist, detail-oriented company. This is a great way to build trust around your brand.
The fact that some pages employ uneven grids and different sizes of images doesn’t take anything away from the elegance of the design and a sense of trustworthiness it provokes.
These irregularities don’t look sloppy or careless, because even these uneven details seem perfectly calculated and ordered. Symmetry is not the only sign of elegance – a design can be asymmetric and still keep the feeling of smoothness and gracefulness.
And not just that – this unevenness makes the design more dynamic and lively, as it breaks the visual monotony. It can be very difficult to create a design that won’t look boring and repetitive, while at the same time making sure that it’s not chaotic or disorganized. Here, it seems that the designers managed to balance out these two factors perfectly.
The use of colors is definitely not the focus throughout most of the brochure. It’s no surprise really, since the report consists mostly of business analyses and reports, so going over the top with vibrant and flashy colors would be not only distasteful, but more importantly, irritating and disrupting. Too many colors would cause undesired interference with the content.
However, the front and back page utilize an elegant nuance of dark blue. The same color is also used for some of the pie charts and tables in order to make them more distinct and easily readable.
In general, different nuances of blue are often employed to evoke positive emotions in users and ensure they associate these emotions with the brand. While light blue is more about friendliness and relaxation, the darker blue that’s used here should bring about a sense of security and trust in the reader.
Blue is the color that’s also often correlated with innovation. The fact that technology giants like IBM, Dell or Intel use it abundantly is very indicative in this respect.
Having all these associations in mind – security, trustworthiness, reliability and innovation, it’s easy to see why dark blue is widely perceived as a highly corporate color as well. Just look at the number of dark blue suits walking around corporate buildings. It’s no coincidence.
Another visual element worth mentioning is large HD photos that are used to enrich the introductory part of the report and to visually highlight the focus of Tricon’s investments.
This part of the publication features photos of very luxurious houses and buildings, right next to the financial details of some of the company’s real estate programs.
The power of beautiful HD photos doesn’t have to be analyzed extensively. A sense of instant gratification that the reader feels while looking at images of these exclusive buildings is enough to make them more interested in the inner workings of Tricon.
These photos evoke an urge for luxury in the reader. But their purpose is not just evoking this emotion, but also convincing the reader that by investing in Tricon Capital they can achieve this sort of success and financial prosperity themselves.
Hence putting these photos in front of the readers’ noses isn’t just about making the brochure more visually appealing. It’s also about attracting new investors and assuring current investors and shareholders that the company is on the right track.
Tricon Capital’s annual report is a great example of clever print design conceived to address a rather narrow target audience.
This brochure is not something you’ll buy at a newspaper stand or a bookshop. It’s a publication that’s not made for sale but rather designed to serve a long-term business purpose.
As it was mentioned, this report could’ve simply been compiled as a .pdf file and uploaded to the company’s website. Anyone who’s interested would’ve had the access to the exact same info that the printed brochure contains.
But with a beautifully designed report like this, Tricon Capital has tried to show that they’re a serious and credible business partner. It’s a great way to build trust, boost the brand image and convince the investors that they’re in the right place.
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