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Reports lose their gloss

TIGHT budgets, a tough stock market and investors watching for any signs of corporate extravagance have removed the gloss from the business of producing annual reports.

Design by Marco Dabala principal Marco Dabala, who designed an annual report that won a gold medal at the National Print Awards, said demands for annual reports had changed.

“The budgets have changed. The way the information is presented is different. The annual reports are certainly less glossy than they used to be so it’s definitely more of a challenge,” he said.

“The annual report is one of the tools used for getting shareholders and keeping them. For most of the shareholders it is the only vehicle they have in terms of communication with the company.”

Mr Dabala said that, despite tougher reporting laws, there was little affecting what a designer could do, providing the finished product was legible.

Indeed, changes in technology at the Australian Stock Exchange meant that designers had more freedom.

“In the old days the ASX used to copy every annual report onto microfiche so you had to use colours that could be reproduced on microfiche. That’s not necessary any more,” Mr Dabala said.

“The only restriction we face is that the text we use has to be a certain point size.

Mr Dabala designed the Australian Heritage Group annual report, which helped make Pilpel Print Western Australia’s only gold medal winner at the National Print Awards.

Pilpel won the award in the two and three-colour print category. It also won a bronze medal in the stationery category.

The wins capped off a strong few months for the 75-year old company, which also won gold, silver and bronze medals in the WA Print Awards and was named WA’s Third Generation Family Business of the Year.

While the printing concern is now run by Geoff Pilpel, his father, Richard, still has an active role in the business.

He told WA Business News this annual report had been a challenge to produce.

“It had to be printed two pages at a time,” Mr Pilpel said.

“Marco’s a demanding client but he and Geoff work well together.”

Mr Pilpel said spending on annual reports had fallen.

“The government has said that it won’t have any of its agencies’ annual reports in colour,” he said.

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