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The Brief

This year’s brief for producing ANZ’s Shareholder Review outlined three main points of focus:

  • 2015 marked ANZ’s 180th anniversary. We needed to pay respect to this important milestone while keeping the bank’s recent achievements in the spotlight.
  • ANZ was in a transition period with a long-standing and successful CEO leaving, to be replaced by the bank’s Chief Financial Officer.
  • In recent years, ANZ’s peers had  greatly reduced their Shareholder Review production. Some stakeholders encouraged a reduction in print pages, with greater focus on online delivery.

This proved to be one of our most challenging projects in recent years. There was one rule we couldn’t break:

All content on the website must appear in the printed version

The Execution

In prior years we’d developed a style for the printed review—more traditionally, the favoured version of the document—and adapted it for the web.

This year, we decided to create aligned but not identical designs, each meeting the brief and appropriately formed for its respective medium.

In Print

Floate Design Partners believe strongly that respected—and respectful—organisations need to produce a shareholder review that shows retail shareholders they are valuable, as is their time.

We decided to create something that felt substantial when held and invited further investigation.

Early thoughts led to the tabloid format, to emulate the financial newspapers familiar to shareholders. The larger-format gives a feeling of holding something substantive, allows for much larger imagery and text, and provides a sense of space and clarity.

The tabloid size folds easily into a C4 envelope—keeping within ANZ’s mailing requirements—and also fit readers’ initial expectations for the Shareholder Review.

This created a new “closed” state for the document—fit for a wrap-around cover to surprise readers when they open the Review and discover a tabloid publication.


A fold-out section, producing a three-page spread in the publication’s centre, adds  significant difference from the document’s expected physical form, continuing readers’ journey of investigation.

Mike Smith’s time as CEO represents a key chapter of the bank’s history. His handing of the reins to Shayne Elliot—a rare internal promotion to the CEO role—marks the start of a new era for ANZ. We ensured that the handover process’s cooperative nature was apparent to shareholders, maintaining their confidence in ANZ.

The double-page spread for the Chairman & CEO’s reports does precisely this. The banner photo stretches the width of the open document above reports, giving a detailed look at the three key players.

The idea for a cartoon representation of ANZ’s 180-year history was led by the client. We ran with it, and created a striking alternative cover to the wrap-around.

Each cover provides context to ANZ’s history and the journey to becoming one of the region’s biggest banks.

We delved into ANZ’s archives and uncovered wonderful artifacts to include in the tableau that would ultimately form the Shareholder Review’s cover. We continued our tradition of using ANZ staff as models, each one interacting with an aspect of ANZ’s business from its founding until now.

On the Web

In previous years the production of the Shareholder Review websites focussed over-much on visual and interactive excitement. At times this led to heavy page-loads without necessarily providing a commensurate improvement in the message.

We chose, instead, to focus strictly on progressive enhancement, looking first at what we could achieve with pure HTML and CSS, and then extending to JavaScript only if required for an improved experience.

We used a pattern library (Pattern Lab) to help us create a fully responsive site by building only the elements we needed to start piecing together pages and sections.

Visually, the design takes the ideas of clarity and openness from the printed Review and focuses the rest of the design on what’s appropriate for the medium. Large type, clear tables and full-width images and call-outs provide enough optical play without distracting from the message being delivered.

The pages are organised into sections with a clear navigation structure that not only doesn’t require mouse-pointer gymnastics but also gives large touch targets for tablet users.

The 180-year page, represented by a cartoon winding a path through the tabloid cover on the printed version, appears on the web with the help of Knight Lab’s Timeline JS—and it looks terrific.

Tables are a traditional challenge with online shareholder reviews and annual reports. Their widths are often greater than users’ screens, and that’s a user-experience nightmare. This year we met that challenge by adopting a standard CSS “overflow” method to allow the viewer to scroll through the tables—a more likely expected behaviour and a simple option that would render appropriately on untested and older devices and browsers.

The Result: A Shareholder Review that gives you all you need

ANZ’s 2015 Shareholder Review is an elegant and dynamic document in both print and web versions. The website loads all pages swiftly and looks great on multiple devices and platforms.

The printed version included some unexpected moments of delight , showing the value of a printed document and giving retail shareholders exactly the kind of care and attention that keeps them involved as a valuable part ANZ.