The landscape for corporate websites and annual reports has changed over recent years. There has been a fundamental shift in how reports show their message and photography images.
OLD: ''Investors-$$ incomes-Profits''
NEW: ''Social engagement-$$ wealth creation-Sustainable ethical growth''
The 'language' of visual content has changed also, the size, type and even the amount of photography in annual, corporate and CSR reports changes not only with current design trends but also with the economic climate.
Investor publications used to show the aspirational end users, if you 'dug dirt' it was not uncommon to see 'our beautiful alloys' photographed wrapped around an executive jet with 'beautiful people' exiting into an expensive car en-route to the marina for drinks on the yacht. The trend shifted then to technologies and once we all had the computing power of an Apollo in our pocket..what next.
It wasn't long before everyone realised that the consumers were also employees-then 'stakeholders' in our companies, they had families, children, utility bills, vet fees etc worried about clean safe water, airborne particulates, plastic waste in the sea's and what type of grass the chickens laid their eggs on this morning.
Photography image content changed as our world and values changed, more pictures of our empowered people less of the billion $$ machines, more schools and less highways.
During times of financial distress and challenging trading conditions -read:things cost more and your pension is worth nothing now- annual reports-presentations etc change the visual language. We see design moving to, more visual graphics-less photography-even no photography, almost as if they were trying to hide that business is a struggle at the moment, things are 'bit tight' so we need to reduce our expenditure..by the way that's you..we wish you good luck in your next job.
I think what I am eventually coming to is that some of the more successful communications at least in my mind visually just say:
'this is us-this is what we do-these are our people doing it'
It's honest, true, believable. The photography should reflect that message, even when the market reports say 'sell' and confidence to divest assets is low, good annual, csr, presentation communications use great imagery to engage with their audience, it's a face to face warm welcoming handshake..afterall you don't dump your best mate because he's lost his job.
Written in relation to industrials, minerals, construction, infrastructure business.