CWS Capital Partners

Annual Report Case Study

Educating investors on how to shape their future with architectural plans, circulation information and survival guides.

Company Profile
CWS Capital Partners is a real estate investment management company who invests, acquires, develops, manages and repositions apartment communities in fast-growing American cities. They provide investors three types of investments with varying levels of risk.

Collect / Research & Analyze
When CWS Capital Partners first approached us, they were spending their annual report budget on printing, but not gaining new investors. The company had a heavy 100-page annual report that contained property photos and financials but spoke nothing about what they do, their process or success track record.

Articulate / Strategize & Simplify
The CWS Capital Partners culture was only well-known to current investors and those working close with them. In order to attract a larger investor base, we set out to simplify their brand message. Their values were important and they treated their investors like family, so another goal was to add their distinctive personality to the design of the reports.

Deliver / Produce & Amplify
Our first task was to add a human element to their report. For their 2004 report, “Taking Shape,” we structured the report into three sections to explain the different aspects and insights for the year and used three shapes were used to showcase their core values, success factors and properties. To make the report more personal, we reduced its size to 6½” × 9″ and included the financials on a CD-ROM. The resulting report was fun to read and a great sales tool in investment events.

Elevate / Measure & Perfect
Because of the overwhelming response, we continued with the same structure for each report for five years thereafter in different themes. The personality of the company was brought out in each theme, which strengthened the brand. The report fueled an excitement around the investor meeting event and encouraged inquiry about the following year’s theme. The design of the annual reports continue the extension from the brand and builds upon the company’s legacy.

Plans For A Growing Tomorrow / 2005
TThe year after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, CWS focused on financial safeguards and ways to protect assets for the future. So, we designed a summary annual report titled, “Plans For A Growing Tomorrow,” that was wrapped in an architectural property site plan representing growth. The entire report reflects the look and feel of various architectural plans such as elevations and section drawings.


Engineering plans
play into the theme.


Circulating Value / 2006
We designed “Circulating Value” with artwork inspired from currency etchings to assist in the explanation of recirculating investments. The intricate textures of the illustrations added to the visual richness of the book and paired nicely with the financial information. The report helped to communicate the importance of circulating holdings in various real estate properties to maintain monetary health.


Artwork and typography style
borrowed from currency
design influenced
this report.


Prepared / 2008
In the wake of the mortgage crisis and turbulent economy, we designed “Prepared” to help guide the real estate investor with company values, opportunities and expertise. The survival guide theme was designed with vintage illustrations, uncoated paper and tape binding. The concept tied both the design and message together into a personal format that is reminiscent of a survival handbook.


A survival guide for
the turbulent economy.


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