Annual Report Design for Autism Research Center

Tan-Yang CenterPrintPrintPublication DesignIndustryIndustryNonprofitDurationDuration4 monthsDesignDesigne-publicationProject teamProject teamEllery MooreyCreative DirectorLily RoblesCreative Director, PartnerKim LêSenior Designer5scientist portrait illustrations

For the last several years, Opus has created the annual report design for the Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research.  The Tan-Yang Center was established at the McGovern Institute in 2017 to catalyze revolutionary new research approaches and potential treatments for individuals affected by autism.

Annual Report Design

Annual reports offer the opportunity to communicate an organization’s goals, achievements, and gratitude to their key audiences in a visually engaging and celebratory. We worked with this client to identify the primary audience and discussed the most valuable content to share with those readers. The report focuses on the research, the people, and the publications and media which showcase the impact of the Center.

The next question is how to convey all of this information in a way that is accessible, visual, and memorable. We designed a graphic motif that is used in different ways across the annual report design. The Tan-Yang logo, which is a shape made of lines and filled elements that look like a folded object gently “unfolding,”  inspired the graphic motif. We used a slightly different approach for each chapter, along with different pop colors, to make each section distinct.

Here is another example of an annual report that uses infographics and branded elements.

Illustration in place of photography

In 2020, when the world shifted to remote working, it was a challenge for clients to obtain new photography. There were plenty of zoom screen shots, but certainly no onsite photos or people working together in person.  With this challenge in mind, we worked with the client on a solution: instead of photographing the lead researchers, we created illustrations of each person. We presented a few options to the client to determine a style that worked and felt on-brand for the Center and this piece, and then created their individual likeness in Illustrator. The end result was a modern, polished, unified look for each scientist, which served as the visual highlight for the final piece.

View the full report

A digital experience

For this annual report, we designed with both the print and digital experiences in mind. The e-publication that lives online includes animated elements throughout to engage readers and bring a more dynamic feel to a traditionally static document. During design, we thought ahead about how headlines might animate on the screen, or how different images and shapes might interplay through motion.

Research infographics

We created several detailed infographics to illustrate and explain the Center’s research approach to understanding autism. The complexity of the concepts were broken down into understandable groups of information supported by visual aids, and laid out in a way that is simple for the user to understand.