Bars, charts, numbers, and a passport-size portrait of the chairman—annual reports are typically boring documents to read.
But in their staid state, Edmund Wee saw an opportunity. In 1991, he started creative agency Epigram to redesign these reports that all publicly listed companies and government agencies put out every year. Starting out from a spare bedroom with just a desktop computer, Wee turned annual reports into coffee table books, a novel and even a video games instruction manual, revolutionising their design in Singapore over the next two decades.
“You are legally required to do an annual report, but there is no rule that says an annual report must be A4 (in size),” says Wee.
These financial documents were then largely prepared in-house using word processors. For Wee, the one thing missing was a story to attract readers. His promise to potential clients was to create an annual report that was readable and would successfully market the company to shareholders and clients.