Postmen who make it count

The Austrian Post Annual Report consists of two parts: a magazine and a financial report. For the printed versions, the two parts can be combined in a slipcase. Both magazine and financial parts are also available online.

In both the magazine and the financial report, the company’s brand colour dominates, neatly weaving together the company’s story. The bold yellow is visually appealing and bright particularly on the financial report where it positively floods the front and back cover. Both publications exclaim they have ‘Arrived!’ For the magazine, it means the company has fulfilled its promise to deliver and can be trusted. For the financial report, it is about achieving objectives.

Austrian Post has a long-standing market presence that it subtly hints at with its different approaches to the visual elements in the magazine and the financial report. There are strips of text reminiscent of the postal telegraph messages. Traditional pencil and ink illustrations reminiscent of a time before computers impart a friendly, approachable company image. And of course there are the more modern, clean photographs, computer-generated elements and contemporary and traditional typefaces. Both the magazine and financial report feature design elements mimicking perforations like those on stamp sheets; another nod to the postal theme.

The magazine’s design targets a broad audience. The photographs and graphic elements show how the company exists at the centre of everyday life; an integral part of society. However, there are no illustrations to lighten the section dedicated to the Management Board. Here the mood shifts from convivial old friend to staid business partner through the use of traditional photographs of suited, clean-shaven men, as the magazine states ‘one does not need an exciting business model’; clearly this section is aimed at the traditional investor readership.

In the magazine more so than the financial report the infographics go some way to drawing in and making the data easier to read maintaining the reader’s attention on statistics. For example, bundles of advertising sleeves visualise reader growth in a particular advertising medium delivered by Austrian Post. When done well, infographics offer the reader a story that’s visually interesting and unique.