Sharing prosperity, strengthening society


Building on our successful redesign of the ICD annual report last year, our design progression sees a highly visual approach combined with a clear editorial structure and narrative.


We have been working with the IsDB Group since 2014, so, when its private sector development arm, the ICD, was looking for fresh editorial and design thinking for its annual report, they came to Blackwood. The client was keen to create an impressive piece that would put them on a similar footing with the private sector divisions of large development banks. Our work on the ICD’s 2016 annual report transformed a dry report into a showcase for the client of its work and impact throughout the Islamic world. This year, our brief was to build on that success and drive the design forward once again.


The ICD had previously used their logo as the main graphical element of their annual reports. With free rein to develop a new graphic style, we used dynamic shapes and impactful colour, making full use of the ICD’s colour palette. Graphics worked alongside photography to create interest and movement, and we sourced some extremely eye catching people and reportage shots to showcase the benefits that the ICD’s work has on the lives of people in many different countries. This contrasted well with infographic-led spreads where we highlighted some of the big numbers involved in the ICD’s work. This year’s design was produced in a new custom size to reflect current trends in  regional reporting.

The client was also keen for the annual report to have a stronger narrative. We reworked this year’s corporate theme and development goals, giving them greater impact and editing the client’s supplied content so that the ICD could tell a clearer story about its work in, and the benefits it is bringing to different parts of the Islamic world. The report is full of short case studies that highlight the diversity of the ICD’s work and small teaser boxes direct the reader to other interesting stories throughout the report.

The report was produced in Arabic and translated into English and French – the three working languages of the ICD – and Blackwood did all of the translation design. The report was produced ready for the ICD’s annual meeting in April 2018 in Tunisia. USBs loaded with the report were also supplied to provide a light-weight option for delegates travelling internationally.

It's important to us to build strong relationships with our clients. The trust placed in Blackwood by the ICD to write and design their 2016 and 2017 Annual Reports is testament to our creative reputation overseas and continued dedication from our team

Andy Ritchie


The report demonstrates Blackwood’s full editorial and design capability – highlighting our ability to create a content strategy and narrative, to shape content and to extend the themes into the visual application via an array of features.

The result is a confident articulation of the ICD’s work and strategy that creates an autonomous identity for the client within the larger IsDB Group. What’s more, it more than holds its own alongside the biggest players in the development finance sector.