- ‘The first time I have actually read an annual report’
- The Kröller-Müller Museum (KMM) depends not just on visitors but above all on the support and co-operation of funders, sponsors, government bodies, other museums and lots of other stakeholders, and it’s important that the museum regularly demonstrates to all those parties that it deserves this support.
- The museum is much more than just a collection of artworks in a number of galleries but for outsiders most of that is invisible. That’s why I proposed to utilise the annual report to showcase the full richness of the museum - both in value and in operations and activities. The reports of the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 are identical in setup and design but have different editorial themes and colour schemes.
- 1. The actual annual reportThe covers of the years 2002 en 2003 are printed in fluorescent ink and the one of 2004 is made out of mirrorlike material with the museum’s mission in embossed type.
- Inside, every report is made up of several elements: a chronological monthly account of events, a theme part - in this case interviews with visitors - keywords and statistics, and financial and organisational justification.
The design of the interior is minimal: full page photographs of visitors, art works and events - in front of and behind the scenes - produce a lively image of daily affairs.
- All text is set in a large size that invites to actually read the text. Because of the soft color the overall layout remains calm and the emphasis remains on the imagery.
- Images referenced in the text are placed in a horizontal bar in the middle of the page.
- Every now and then the main text is broken up by pages with keywords and/or statistics, in bold type.
- Interviews with visitors are placed on a tinted background en the interviewees are mentioned with name and picture next to their favourite work of art.
- And of course, attention is given to the surrounding ‘National Park de Hoge veluwe’ that contributes considerably to the unique position of the museum, in the Netherlands as well as the rest of the world.
- The financial and organisational reports are easy to find - or skip, depending on your interest - by their yellow background.
- 2. Summary of acquisitionsEvery year the KMM acquires dozens of art works, of which a large portion cannot be fit directly into an exhibition or presentation. To still show these works to the public they are collected in a booklet. The booklets are austere and minimal in their setup and have quickly come to serve also within the museum as a handy and concise reference.
- 3. Poster with art lendingsThe poster with art lendings shows by means of an infographic where art works of the KMM went, borrowed by other institutions across the globe. The blue rectangles represent the number of works involved and on the flipside all the works are listed in more detail. The poster instantly illustrates the international importance of the museum.
- The poster is folded around the annual report in such a way that it can securely hold the summary booklet.AppreciationThe three consecutive annual reports didn’t miss their target. Because of the caleidoscopic setup, the completeness, the attractive photography and the accessability of the information, the reports were ‘actually read ’and the position of the KMM as one of the main cultural institutions in the Netherlands reconfirmed. Many - among which Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima of the Netheralnds - showed their appreciation spontaneously by letter or email.
The annual reports 2003, 2004 and 2005 of the Kröller-Müller Museum were nominated for the Best Made Annual Reports 2005 (NL) and chosen among the 34 best annual reports worldwide in 2005 by Graphis (USA).