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Downsize your annual review

18 August 2011

This year, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has thought small: its 2011 annual review, With You All The Way, measures just 10 x 6 cm (or, the size of a travel wallet). We speak to Louise Kyme, the BHF’s design manager, about the review

What is the relationship between this document and the annual report for the Charity Commission?

We've produced two separate reports for over 10 years now.

Our review and report and accounts are designed to complement each other. We produce both because the audiences they're intended for are significantly different. The annual report and accounts has to contain some very detailed financial information. And the annual review allows us much more freedom to talk directly to our supporters – or would-be supporters – about what we do, why and what impact we make – without them having to wade through the likes of our reserves policy too.

What was the inspiration behind the travel wallet sized document?

Last year we produced an A5 annual review; it was made from lightweight paper, easy to read and cost effective to post. We tested it with our Customer Research Panel, and surprisingly got quite strong feedback that while they enjoyed reading it, they felt it could be shorter. So that was a key part of the brief to our agency, NB:Studio, and they presented us with an idea that took that feedback to the extreme, which we loved!

How did you work out what was essential to include in such a small document?

The size was definitely a challenge in terms of content, but in a good way. Every story is told through a case study so we simply thought about which stories moved us most and helped explain our core areas of work. Once we picked the story list the text was written specifically for size of the booklet, so fortunately we didn't need to edit anything out. And our review website,, gives us the opportunity to tell even more stories online.

How have you presented your review online?

I'm particularly pleased with the way our annual review translates online this year. We've continued the travel theme by telling stories via pin points on a Google map, so it's a really novel and much more interactive way for supporters to navigate their way through our review. We've also been asking our supporters on Facebook to tell us their own heart related experiences and we've been uploading the best ones as new map references.

What do you hope the review will achieve, and how are you going to measure this?

Our main objective is to tell people about what we do, and inspire them to get involved in our work. We encourage staff to send the review to as many of their contacts as possible and then we measure the number of copies distributed along with web hits as part of our post project evaluation.

We also test the impact of the review's design and story-telling through our Customer Research Panel (which is comprised of BHF supporters, healthcare professionals, researchers and other key stakeholders). This reaches over 1,000 people and findings will inform the brief for next year's review.

The British Heart Foundation spoke about how to integrate on and offline communications in your campaigns and across your organisation at our Digital Communications Conference in September 2011.

Louise Kyme

strategy director, Studio Texture

Louise was previously head of brand and creative at British Heart Foundation, working across all stages of their brand transformation from strategy to design and activation.