Decorative pattern

Why Typesetting Matters in Corporate Reporting

May 2024


Your annual report and other corporate reporting documents – such as ESG reports – are a window into your organisation. Its performance, its purpose and its aims.

And while, when it comes to your corporate reports, your main focus should be what’s in them, what they look like matters too.

The professionalism of your reporting is shorthand for your company’s approach to business. Getting it right is therefore vital. Here we look at why the look and feel of your annual reports and ESG reports is important – and the details you may not have thought about when producing your corporate reporting.


What are UK annual reporting requirements?

Companies listed in the UK have to file annual reports and accounts. They may also – depending on size – have to publish ESG reports and other mandatory reports on issues like the gender pay gap.

While your annual report, ESG report and so on may be regulatory requirements, that’s not their only role. Your corporate reports are key stakeholder communications that convey your achievements and plans for the future. They say a lot – both in content and look and feel – about who you are as a business.

If you’re a company that has recently gone public, you will have had to adapt to these new reporting obligations. Preparing for this increased scrutiny is an important part of the pre-IPO process. And whether you’re a seasoned publisher of corporate reporting, or new to the world of regulatory reporting requirements, it’s worth taking a look at how you can elevate the professionalism of your corporate reporting documents.


What should your annual report and other corporate reports look like?

Whether it’s your annual report and accounts, your ESG report or other reporting required by regulation, there are some conventions and standards you need to comply with. Your annual accounts, for instance, are mandated to include certain information.

While your corporate reporting should always be taken seriously, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring, however. 

You should consider the look and feel of your annual report, ESG and other reports alongside their content. Be creative. Can you convey some of your messaging via imagery? Can infographics help to tell your story? Could dynamic charts or graphs help to visualise the data you need to include?

As part of this creative process, professional typesetting may not be the first thing you consider. But it should definitely form part of your corporate reporting journey.


Why typesetting matters in corporate reporting

Minor inconsistencies and errors create a poor impression of your business’s precision and accuracy, as covered in our blog on the 4 key mistakes to avoid in corporate reporting. 

Typesetting – often overlooked but invaluable – can be the unsung hero of corporate documents. Good typesetting can be considered a ‘hygiene factor’ in professional documentation; done well, it goes unnoticed, but done badly it can be jarring, giving an amateurish feel to the most important documents.


Why DIY can be a poor choice

Precisely because typesetting is such an ‘invisible’ art, it’s something that many businesses undervalue. Today’s software and do-it-yourself design packages can lead companies to believe that the design of annual reports, ESG reports and other corporate reporting is something they can do in-house, with no need for professional input.

This might feel like a cost- or time-saving measure, but can definitely be a false economy when it comes to creating the right impression of your business. Employing the latest tech – software and systems unavailable via standard business software packages – professional typesetting today can be a time- and cost-efficient way to ensure your documents don’t jeopardise the corporate brand you’ve worked so hard to achieve.


The advantages of professional typesetting

Working with a professional typesetter makes for a smoother reporting production process, as well as a more appealing end result. 

Proof stages can be reduced, edits minimised and human errors reduced by employing typesetting techniques including:

  • Blacklining and strikethrough – these track changes for clearer, faster proofreading and editing  
  • Proof comparison tools enable you to compare versions to identify where and when changes have been made
  • Version history is automatically captured for a clear, compliant record of edits

We look in more detail at these benefits in our recent blog, Why professional typesetting is essential in corporate documents.


Beyond the obvious benefits: enhancing compliance and security

Having your corporate reporting professionally typeset makes your finished document look better, of course. But the benefits don’t end there. 

A professional typesetting team will have vast experience of working on similar documents – and with their wider design and print expertise, can also support you with document design, proofing and delivery. 

The typesetter and their wider team will understand your brand, and the importance of supporting it. If they’re part of a design house that specialises in corporate documentation like annual reports, ESG reports and IPO prospectuses, all the better: they will have a keen appreciation of the red tape that goes along with this type of publication.

Businesses with experience of working with corporate and financial documentation will be familiar with the strict compliance obligations you need to adhere to. The best will store and share your documents via highly-secure data rooms – removing any cyber risks present in sending your most confidential corporate information back and forth via email.


Make typesetting an integral part of your corporate reporting

It’s clear that professional design – and specifically typesetting – deliver significant benefits to the corporate reporting process. Whether you’re new to corporate reporting requirements via a recent public listing, or have been creating reports for years but never appreciated the need for professional typesetting, we hope this blog has given you fresh insight into the reasons you might want to consider it.


Contact us to find out more about our experience and expertise in corporate report typesetting and design. If you enjoyed reading this, you might also be interested in our blog post exploring why professional typesetting is essential in corporate documents – you can read that here.




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Decorative pattern