Improve the Impact of you Research Reports with Bespoke Visuals

High priority impact reports to show your funders the life changing effect your projects; annual financial reports on the health of a business’s accounts for shareholder engagement; research into the effectiveness of government policies to improve stakeholder interest.From the qualitative to the quantitative, from clearly stated goals and outputs to the blue sky-thinking visions of the future - reports come in a variety of forms.

Death By Wall of Text

But all too often these reports are written in manners that ensures that their impact is reduced. And with all the effort researchers, consultancy firms, organisations and government officials put in developing a high impact report document,it is sad to see the intended audiences (and indeed wider audiences)disengage when faced with a wall of text.

Let’s be honest, we all look at a block of text obviously put together on Google Docs or Word with minimum consideration for design and roll our eyes. “Eugh… not another one of these.” If it is our jobs to read them, we do so after having to psyche ourselves up as if we were about to clean a clogged toilet. It must be done, but no one really wants to do it.And if we’re interested parties, public or other stakeholders? We all have that one folder full of reports and article slated to be read some time in the future.

Good thing that we have a solution for this problem.

What stories are hiding in your report?

Since 2020, Cooked Illustrations has been working with companies, consultancy firms, community organisations, and researchers to increase the impact and reach of their work.

They approach us with a simple ask:“Can you make this report stand out visually?” And, yes, of course we can. It is what we do. But it is not just doing some pretty graphic design job and drawing some spot illustrations.

We read the whole report and find the stories that hide in the data, taking readers on a journey.

We discover metaphors that are novel and will ensure ideas stand out above the rest.

We rearrange information to increase information retention and engagement.

We create unique, bespoke illustrations that match your brand and elevate the ideas in your report, providing you with new assets for future projects.

We can keep telling you what we do in detail in this process, but I think the one question we can ask you is: which of these two would you rather read?

A comparison of a block of text on the left, and an illustrated page on the right.
From script to final page.

Case Study: Culture Connect Report

An illustration from the report.

Being co-located at a coworking and incubator space can bring amazing opportunities for connection and growth that would not otherwise take place. This is how we started engaging  with the team of Culture Connect Wales, a cultural consultancy arm of Watch Africa dedicated to supporting diverse talent in the Film and TV industry in Wales.  

Recently, they’d commissioned apiece of research into the impact their activities over the two years of work in the film and TV industries in Wales has hand on access,resources, and opportunities for Black and ethnically diverse people in Wales. The report, researched and written by Dr Sarah Younan, is full of amazing data and information about this wonderful organisations’s work and its impact. The issue, however, is that it is a block of text. Hard to parse out,hard to engage with at length and deeply.

That is where we come in. We were asked “What can you do to make it more visually appealing?”,which is always the first question. But not the only question.

The visuals serve the true goal:increase engagement, multiply impact.

You have one chance to ensure your audience engages with information. Getting their attention back is harder a second time around. As such, whatever we create has to be eye-catching and communicate at a glance what the report is about in general before we get to the specifics.

A report like this stands out in that it acts mostly as a compendium of stories from research participants. This kind of qualitative data has to be reflected and elevated. Considering that the stories were about the film industry,it was an obvious decision to reflect the most impactful stories and metaphors as if they were film storyboards.

While our team decided which stories would be elevated, the client had full input in the tone and direction these stories would take. The process resulted in some of our designs being dropped, while other specific stories to be included that we had not considered.

Alongside these stories, our team developed unique Spot Illustrations on the theme of the film and tv industry, to give the report a stronger visual identity based on the existing CCW branding.

As part of the project, the Client receives all these unique assets to use in any future project of their choice.

We transformed a powerful piece of research into a document that elevates participants voices, matches client branding guidelines, reflects the creativity and diversity of the industry they work, and will, hands down, increase engagement with the text.

We will follow up with this client in several months’ time to investigate what impact our work has had. But at this stage, the work speaks for itself.