MIT Energy Initiative Research report design

The client

The MIT Energy Initiative does energy research, education, and outreach at MIT.  They help develop the technologies and solutions that will deliver clean, affordable, and plentiful sources of energy. In order to influence policy change in the energy field, it is important for them to have a professional research report design that presents their work in a clean, trusted manner.

The project

MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) came to our design agency to create a report for policymakers and regulators of energy.  The group had just redesigned their website and worked with Opus on a brochure that used their new visual style. The brochure we created with them was 8 pages long.

chapter page for professional report

Design challenge and approach

Senior Designer, Emily Knapp took on the research report design.

From the beginning, this project had many moving pieces. This included 9 chapters being submitted by several different authors. It took a great deal of communication and flexibility to keep the project on task. We were lucky to have a terrific client who kept us informed and tried to keep the project on track from the writing side.

The text was the hero of this report. It has no photographs and only data figures to support the content.We made sure to put a strong focus on information hierarchy, to chunk up the content and make it easier to understand. Some of this focus included creating sidebars, callouts and titles.

It was important that the report have a professional and serious feel to accompany the importance of the research.  Emily accomplished this by putting together a strong layout with super clean styles. She also redrew the charts to enhance the information. Iteration was key as well to ensure the end product was accurate and accomplished the client’s goals. The new research report is called “Utility of the Future” and ended up being 362 pages. Wow!

This was a team effort, and Emily worked with Lily Robles and Jade Jump to complete this project in time for its public release. It was cool to see the video of this multi-year study, presented at the National Press Club in Washington DC on December 15, 2016.

professional report

Here’s an example of one of the infographics in the research report. Check out other report design work by Opus.

Chart in professional report