Creativity + Commerce 2008: 2nd Place

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Annual reports, by nature, often seem to convey sterility, as though an austere presentation of numbers were necessary to garner respect for revenues and expenditures. This piece takes a fresh approach, our jurors agreed. Pen-and-ink drawings, calligraphy, and watercolor bar charts convey elegance and that elusive human touch. “What really sold me on this were the hand-painted bar graphics,” says Essl.

Design firm Bruketa & Žinić has a long-established relationship with Adris Group, a Croatian tourism and tobacco concern, and has designed several annual reports for them (see the 2006 edition of this competition section, in which the Adris annual report was awarded third place). Last year, Adris’s business was marked by significant changes in the global market, and the report needed to reflect new investments, along with the construction of new facilities. The concept of this report, creative directors Davor Bruketa and Nikola Žinić explain, was to reflect these “changes that make us move.”

Bruketa says that the painterly sensibility is meant to visually represent motion, growth, and evolution. In addition, the firm designed the fluid graphics to suggest the seascape near Rovinj, the city on the coast of the Adriatic Sea where Adris has its headquarters. “As a result of all that, the blue color was a logical choice,” Bruketa says. “The moving color is meant to symbolize the changes of shapes and directions. At the very beginning, [the designers] made the color literally drop on the paper and controlled it with gentle moves. The outcome was a set of expressive illustrations. The watercolor was a perfect choice as sensible and controlled movement was needed, as well as [something] fresh and with a human touch.”

Žinić explains that this client-designer relationship is based on a reciprocal confidence. “Adris Group is precise and successful in its business, and the company invests a lot in culture, art, and charity,” Žinić says. “The watercolor graphs, then, reflect the partnership of the business and human character of the corporation.” The jurors agreed that this piece conveys how design excellence can emerge from a long, mutually supportive relationship, and lauded Bruketa & Žinić ’s innovative approach to annual-report design. “The watercolor bar graphics make it a standout. It is so simple,” says Christiansen, who concluded that it “has the human element that reflects an authenticity.” AB