2015 annual report, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota

Goodwill-Easter Seals releases award-winning 2015 annual report, Making an Impact, using objects found in their retail stores.


  • 5,234 reports were printed and mailed
  • Printed report was converted to be web-friendly and available for digital download
  • Winner of Best Annual Report in Graphic Design USA magazine’s American InHouse Graphic Design awards competition

Key Characteristics

  • Primary audience includes donors and funders
  • Secondary audience is potential donors and funders and business partners
  • Feels bold and engaging, but friendly, easy to understand
  • Messaging style: One continuous message that begins on the cover and follows throughout the piece to the inside back cover.


  • Large, bold images
  • Uses found objects in retail stores in attempt to represent our retail business in a mission-driven piece
  • Found objects are used to visualize data in a more fun, engaging way

The cover image of falling dominos was selected (photo credit: thinkstockphotos.com) to help illustrate the concept of impact. When one piece moves, a series of chain reactions follow. At Goodwill-Easter Seals, helping a participant by listening to their needs and assessing their situation is the first step in a series of events that enables positive change.

As you open the cover of the 2015 annual report, you are greeted by a smiling face of Robert, a Goodwill-Easter Seals participant who was struggling to find work, among a host of other challenges he was experiencing in his life. Deanna (pictured below), Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, shares the impact Goodwill-Easter Seals has made, advocating for participants on local and national levels. Large color photos like these help draw you in, making you feel like you could reach out and shake their hand, a feature you will see continued throughout the rest of the piece.

One challenge Goodwill-Easter Seals often faces is how to tie in the mission driven side of business to the retail thrift side of business. To help combat this challenge, I chose to illustrate numbers utilizing objects found in our retail stores. In the image above, an old adding machine shows the total number of participants placed in the workplace in 2015. The gold chocolate coins show the average starting wage for these participants year over year. In the image below, colored pencils are used to show volunteer hours of service from 2013, 2014 and 2015.