Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

We revamped the professional body’s annual review to give it a bold, confident look and feel

The minimalist but striking cover sets a bold, confident tone

Can you make actuaries sexy? Admittedly, that wasn’t the exact wording of the request from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). But, in commissioning Wardour to produce its 2017/2018 annual review, it certainly wanted us to get its members excited about the organisation – its growing public profile, its global reach and its ambitious plans for the future.

The IFoA is a chartered professional body dedicated to educating, developing and regulating actuaries, both in the UK and internationally. In 2017, the organisation had produced a comprehensive annual report, but now it wanted a more compact and dynamic document that would bring out its key messages more strongly and be visually appealing.

The first stage was a consultative one, during which we discussed with IFoA leaders what the annual review should contain and the key messages it should convey. At the end of this phase, we had collectively agreed that the 28-page review would focus on two macro themes – ‘Delivering a globally sought-after standard’ and ‘Leading with authority’ – and two micro ones – ‘Celebrating success’ and ‘Building a community’.

Each section is introduced with a full-bleed dps image and bite-sized statistics

These themes helped give a structure to an annual review that was, compared with the previous year’s report, lighter on copy and contained more varied and eyecatching visuals. Stock photography of people in offices was replaced with dramatic cityscapes, complemented by a range of graphic devices. These included a timeline to illustrate the growth of the IFoA, a stylised map to show where in the world its members work, and mini infographics and icons to highlight the many facts and statistics that accompanied the text.

Above all, we wanted to create a document that was bold and confident. This confidence started with the front cover, a dramatic 3D illustration of a spiral sphere on a black background, with the IFoA logo at the top and the title, ‘Connecting the world’, and the date at the bottom.

Each spread has multiple entry points, including pull quotes, stats and panels

It also took confidence to keep the copy short and punchy, communicating the key facts and messages without any corporate waffle. This also meant that the copy could easily be repurposed for use on the IFoA website as desired.

As well as the print version, we created a landscape-format, interactive pdf that could be downloaded from the website and a short (160 seconds) animated video. This brought to life the timeline from the review to show the growth in size and influence of the IFoA in a simple but engaging way.

We created a video summarising the key points from the annual review

The annual review was very well received, and was named Best Annual Report at the 2019 Memcom Awards. The judges said: “We thought the strategy and goals were clearly defined and the final product was easy to read and engaging. We could really see why this is seen as an annual report which is welcomed around the world and demonstrates the value of the Institute.”