Graphis Annual Reports

I have received my share of awards and honors but few have have come close to this. Being included in the book “Graphis Annual Reports, Conception and Design of Annual Reports”.

Published in 1970, the foreword reads in part: “This book on the conception and design of annual reports is the first comprehensive work on the subject so far published. It sets out to describe the genesis of the medium, to review its headlong development in the last few decades and to give all those involved in its presentation hints and advice on how to go about the job. In the pictorial section, are less documentation of the text than examples of outstanding examples of annual report design.”

American Foods was a corporate farmer. We had already done several reports for them. With the usual photos of farms, and truck hauling produce and dorkey graphs. But a new guy came in. He wanted his report to attract investment , and not just be an IRS obligation. We were happy to oblige.

This time, before even starting with my design, I sat down with one of our illustrators, Otis Sweat, and ask if he had any experimental techniques he was screaming to get out. I had him render some small examples. Based on these, I roughed out the report. The cover was a brown soil-like texture with a small figure in the upper corner broadcasting seed. The president’s message carried the produce to harvest. Otis comped the illustrations and I tried something in type design I had never seen. I would string the end of a paragraph to the very edge of the page and pick it up on the edge of the next page and keep stringing from spread to spread. You’ll get the idea when you blow up the black and white spreads. The client ate it up, and Graphis found it somehow because we hadn’t sent it to them.

Ever since high school at the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan, I dreamed of someday being in Graphis. Feels really nice.

13 Graphis illustration 1

13 Graphis Illustration 2

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