CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION

ANNUAL REPORT / EDITORIAL / INFOGRAPHIC / STATISTICS

Annual Report design: leave dry and boring behind

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) was formed in 1918 and stands as one of the oldest voluntary organizations in Canada. Today CMHA supports more than 1.3 million Canadians by providing access to resources needed to improve mental health and community integration, build resilience and support recovery from mental illness.

Mental health is sadly so often a person’s best kept secret. When I learned of the opportunity to design key pieces of communication to support their effort, I was ready to jump in.

Rokotype was hired to design several reports for the Canadian Mental Health Association including their Annual Report (known as the Impact Report), Barrier Report, Facilitator's and Participant Manual for the Resilient Minds program along with pamphlets and brochures for the Peer Navigator Program.

A challenge many corporations face is making dry and heavy material easily consumable. This is one of my favourite challenges to tackle because my minimalist design aesthetic and systematic thought process detangles the data into easy to consume, digestible bites. A side benefit of my business and economics background left me very comfortable with numbers and understanding how functional Excel can be. Creating pie and column charts isn’t foreign territory to me and embedding them into a communication-based design of an Annual Report lights me up. In the case of CMHA, I furthered this design with the use of infographics, plenty of white space and large blocks of corporate colours.

Some of the CMHA imagery is obtained through volunteers and often those photos are only available in low resolution, creating a secondary challenge. This was solved by using filters and treatments to blend those images in with professionally taken photography. The end result was an annual report that was colourful, easy to read and actually engaged its readers.

The Barrier Report combines infographics and flat vector illustrations along with watercolour trees to imply the barriers participants encounter through their journey to recovery.