Annual report: British Heart Foundation

The charity has combined illustrations with photography to help engage the public with its annual report

British Heart Foundation annual report
British Heart Foundation annual report

Organisation: British Heart Foundation

Agency: NB: Studio

Spend: £35,000

Founded in 1961, the British Heart Foundation is one of the UK's largest fundraising charities. Its vision is of a world where people no longer die prematurely from heart disease.

Format and audience

The A5 review is available as a 48-page document or PDF. The charity printed 50,000 copies, which will be made available in its 700 shops and to supporters.

Design and content

The review, titled Small wonders, big difference, is striking and original for the way it weaves illustration and photography into the content. The graphic design consultancy NB: Studio hired the illustrator Frances Castle, and her influence is evident immediately: the cover includes six illustrations and a photograph of a young beneficiary, Leanne Coyle. Case studies and stories show the value of the charity's work as it prepares for its 50th anniversary in 2011.

Costs and practicalities

The storytelling style creates an unfamiliar feel that requires careful signposting. Will Carlile, a design assistant at the BHF, adds: "We tried to come up with a style that was engaging but not childish or too arty."

What's distinctive about it?

The illustrations and case study approach create a magazine feel. "We used lightweight paper so it isn't imposing or daunting," says Carlile. "We wanted people to be able to dip in and catch up on the work we are doing." Letters from the chief executive and medical director are much further back than they are in similar reviews.

The British Heart Foundation says:

"We try to take a different approach to our review each year. This is the first time we have combined illustrations with photography and the aim is to make it less daunting."

Design: 4
Readability: 4
Content: 3
Transparency: 3
14 out of 20

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