Quick Tip:
Annual Reports Make Profitable Year-Round Gig

Producing annual reports can be a great area for new designers to get into. Many types of companies, by law, are required to produce annual reports. It’s a niche that will always have a need for designers.

Since this is a niche that I’d like to get into, I decided to build a swipe file for it, just like I’ve done for other types of design work.

Now, to be clear, the point of having a swipe file isn’t so you can copy (swipe) what others have done. It might be better to think of it as a “research file” – to give you a better understanding of what you should focus on and what the expectations will be when you design for that niche.

One of the quickest ways to build a digital swipe file of annual reports is to visit AnnualReports.com. Some reports on the site can be downloaded as PDF files. And in some cases, you can get hard copy. It won’t take long to collect a nice variety of annual reports that you can study.

Bonus Tip: Every company that produces an annual report is a potential client for other types of design projects. Chances are, a company that publishes an annual report publishes lots of other marketing materials too. While some of these companies may do their design in-house, even finding one great client that needs an annual report done can lead to additional freelance work for you.

If annual reports aren’t your thing, you can quickly build a digital swipe file for other niches. For example, if you want to do brochures, Google “brochure pdf” to get a list of links to PDF brochures that companies have put on their websites.

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Published: May 22, 2008

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