Local attractions: local communities

The unusual size and bold use of both text and colour on the cover of the Cox Enterprises 2006 Annual Report promise to carry through even inside the report. This slim 28cm x 16cm booklet has telltale signs of the USA written all over it, with the cover itself seemingly mimicking a toned-down ‘Wanted’ poster from the west with its standout cowboy serif font and portrait orientation.

The cover has a foldout feature which offers a look at the company at a glance, along with a quote from founder Governor James M. Cox. The text on the contents page of the report nearly leaps out of the page, both compelling the reader to turn the page and promising not to take up too much time to consume.

The commencement of the book, which begins with the Chairman’s message titled “Local Attractions Ahead”, is akin to a tour or road trip.

This is because the focus of this report is key business locations around the country and how the company strives to embody a local approach through their service.

The next few pages are covered with full-bleed photographs of different locations and brief explanations of the company activity in each of these localities. Each photograph features an individual or a group of people who are part of the company as well as people who patronize a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises in some capacity.

With its focus on both its staff and customers, the company itself comes across as genuinely people-centric through its report.

What makes these photographs special is not only their digital sharpening but they also have a slight vintage look in terms of both appearance and photographic features such as the staff of the Waco Tribune Herald pictured outside the Waco VA Medical Center; one of them sports a tweed suit and a few others don thick rimmed spectacles. They seem to have a late 80s/early 90s feel to them.

The segment following the photography is comprehensive but also concise owing to the size of the report, sharing the locations of all Cox Enterprises’ major subsidiaries along with their highlights of the year. These pages are well composed and easy on the eye. The inside of the back cover expresses thanks to readers for “coming along” and ends with a lengthy list of employees who contributed to the making of the report.

Overall, the Cox Enterprises 2006 Annual Report is both short and sweet, offering its readers a plethora of detailed information that is very creatively communicated.