Speak Media
Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 18.33.17.png

A ground-breaking annual report for Royal Mail Group marking its 500th year of business

Speak Media produced the Royal Mail Group annual report


Royal Mail Group annual report

A ground-breaking annual report for Royal Mail Group marking its 500th year of business

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 18.33.17.png

the challenge

For major corporations, annual reporting is the event of the year in terms of stakeholder communication – and a visually compelling, multi-channel report is increasingly seen as a key tool in defining how public (and investor) sentiment is forged.

Royal Mail’s annual report for 2016 carried even more significance than usual – coinciding with the 500-year anniversary of the birth of the postal service – and the company awarded the honour of designing this special celebratory edition to Speak Media (following our successful execution of the ‘500 Years of Royal Mail’ historical website, and associated campaigns).



what we did

Key to the success of the project was a clear, user-friendly layout and content design of the essential legal and financial information – including a new, streamlined approach to tables – augmented by a narrative thread dedicated to the rich history of the business, charting its course using editorial features and specially commissioned ‘then and now’ photography of objects in the Royal Mail’s archive.

In the print edition, these elements were executed in key areas of the book such as chapter or section breaks – creating a consistent feel throughout and embellishing (without disrupting) the main flow of information – as well as featuring on the special ‘500 Years’ gatefold cover (the first and only time such a device has appeared in a Royal Mail annual report).

For the ARA website, Speak devised a completely new, responsive interface, exactly replicating the content of the print edition (as legally required) while enhancing the user experience by creating a continuous scrolling design –punctuated by interactive elements such as drop-down footnotes, fade-in infographics, and ‘slider’ activations for the ‘500 Years’ picture captions.

Our copywriting team, meanwhile, was responsible for the accurate transfer, upload and proofing of all content from the signed-off print edition to the custom CMS.

Additionally, we produced two ‘then and now’ videos to serve as the website’s header and footer, repurposing the key assets to represent modern and heritage images of the business.



the outcome

The end result was a truly standout, multi-channel business communication that balanced the celebration of Royal Mail’s 500 Year anniversary with the need for a clear, concise and easy to use annual report. As Moya Greene, CEO, said in her review statement: “We are proud to celebrate the heritage of this great Company.”

View the Royal Mail 2016/16 ARA website here.