Arts Council Annual Review
This key publication is a legal requirement, a benchmark for cultural organistions, a central information source for stakeholders, and a vital advocacy tool to introduce Arts Council England to a wider audience.
In the year that Arts Council England was forced to make major cuts to budgets, their annual report and accounts would be more carefully scrutinised than ever. We needed to tread the fine line between pared-down austerity and a continued desire to shout about their unique position as a development agency and funder for the arts.
Working entirely within their accessibility and brand guidelines, we created a bold solution that presents the huge amount of complex finacial information with clarity whilst satisfying the strict requirements of Parliament.
The whole publication is designed to work both as a printed and bound, A4 document (a legal requirement for Her Majesty's Stationery Office) and as large on-screen spreads. By producing a publication that is almost exclusively for online use we able to further meet the demands of the brief to be frugal whilst never compromising on aesthetic choices.
Arts Council : AR10/11 - Cover
Cog were brilliant to work with on our annual review. They helped deliver a complex document with very tight deadlines with professionalism and flexibility, and were also wonderful hosts when I gate-crashed the office to work on it with them.
Marketing Officer, Arts Council England
Arts Council : AR11 - Spread 2-3
A key feature of our design is the use of these large, full bleed images (this one is of Northern Ballet, shot by Jason Tozer).
We split the document using these large divider pages. They give a pause to the content and introduce a new colour theme and heading to the next section, referenced by the menu (top left).
That menu is both a visual refernce and provides a quick, click-through navigation for the PDF version.
Arts Council : AR10/11 - Spread 16-17
The front section of the review is a quick overview of highlights and achivements, and a statement of intent for the years ahead.
It's the main area for advocacy and editorialising but we were sensitive of the need to not be too showy; this wasn't the right publication for ellaborate and flashy design.
We used a simple colour palette of orange and black, adding some typographic flourishes to headings, to give some aesthetic differentiation and rythmn to the different pages.
Arts Council : AR10/11 - Spread 28-29
The majority of the 142 pages are financial data. At the point the publication shifts to this type of content, the visual approach changes to ensure that the information is presented as clearly as possible.
The visual pace changes with more subtle tones and colours used to differentiate and highlight the data to produce light-touch tables of information.
Images are kept to a minimum, presenting the data in an uncluttered format that is simple to interogate online and can easily be printed out, page by page, as required.
Arts Council : AR10/11 - Spread 128-129
This was a hugely prestigious project for us to work on. It was thrilling to be charged with delivering such a flagship publication if a little terrifying to be entrusted with such secret finacial data. We're really proud of the solution.