A Design Review Of The Qantas Annual Report. The Great and the Not So Great
As part of our Design Series we are today taking a look at one of Australia’s most beloved (and hated) companies – Qantas. Having a look at the Qantas Annual Report in terms of design, the good points, the bad and things they could improve on for next time. Annual Reports can be tricky things as often there is so much data to present, but let’s get stuck in and see how the Qantas Annual Report holds up.
Bit of bummer to get us started. The cover is just a photo, logo and sentence dropped in. While this isn’t particularly unusual it’s the photo they have opted for that raises eyebrows here. It looks like someone took it on their phone. Qantas have access to world class photographers, but yet somehow ended up using this one, a photo that looks like a plane spotter snapped from departures. Odd choice.
At this point I’m pretty underwhelmed by the Qantas Annual Report. The inside front cover is blank, just a black page, hmm. The facing page is the contents page. Not bad, decent image of a Qantas plane with the contents above. The downside to the contents is that it isn’t interactive. So if I want to have a look at the Shareholder Information for example, I need to scroll all the way to page 147, which is a pain in the arse. It would be so much easier to just click the text and have the pdf jump to that page instead.
The Technical Stuff
So, now we arrive to the stuff Annual Reports are made of, the data. Here you can see a spread from the start of the report. The data, which there is a lot of is nicely presented with colour coded tables that are minimalist and easy to read. The left page has some pretty basic infographics but it works well against the sky background, so all very in theme with the Qantas brand and message, so thumbs up there.
Looking through the Qantas Annual Report financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement everything is nicely laid out. I don’t think there will be any design awards handed out here, but everything is nice and clean and well presented. Shareholders can easily examine the company’s financial performance, revenue growth, profitability, debt levels, and any significant changes from the previous year.
One area in the Qantas Annual Report I think is lacking is the highlighting of key metrics. Ideally the annual report would quickly and easy identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics highlighted by the company to assess its operational and financial performance. The shareholders eye would be drawn to trends, benchmarks, and comparisons with industry peers quickly and easily.
Look And Feel
While the Qantas Annual Report tells you everything it needs to, I just feel that it’s pretty boring. Have a look at the image to the right, again an annual report design, but look how inviting it looks. It’s got large infographics to quickly convey to the reader the key metrics and large photos to brighten up the page. Basically, it’s more interesting. I thing Qantas has missed a trick here, hopefully the next Qantas Annual Report will be more interesting to read through and not bore me to tears.