Your Annual Report: Final Entries

Great show. We received as many entries here as in the first contest in spite of a significantly steeper learning curve. You people have heart.

Two things:

  1. Enjoy the entries. Please direct specific feedback to the linked blogs and general observations here. The judges will get back at you Wednesday, January 16, with their thoughts.
  2. Submit your candidate for People’s Choice Award. E-mail dan [at] mrmeyer [dot] com. Set your subject to “People’s Choice.”

    The judges have ponied up a second prize (same subscription, same great magazine) for the candidate the crowd finds most deserving. The polls are open for 24-ish hours, until 23h59, Monday, January 14, Pacific Standard Time. One vote per person.

For your consideration:

Jackie B.

I look forward to constructive feedback. I’m still not too sure about the colors.

Nancy Bosch

Do you think the judges will notice that I have five slides in a four slide contest?

Iain M. Campbell

Sarah Cannon

I’ve had sketches for a week and the deadline’s in two hours. Sneaking it in before getting the last grades in and getting some sleep.

Diane Cordell

My four slides represent the connectedness I’ve found through my blog; some of our home electronics; a quick snapshot of my school district; and, always at the center of it all, my family.

Eric Doss

I liked this contest because it made me think about the year in a way that I hadn’t before. I think that is what we are always trying to do as teachers anyway.

Jason Dyer

I considered not posting my entry here because it takes a, shall we say, whimsical interpretation of the subject.

Arthus Erea

In an act of sleep-defiance unwise before an exam week I stayed up to make my annual report for Dan’s contest.

Friedrich Knauss

here is a more post 9-11 color scheme for the same graphics

Alice Mercer

I may not be the best entrant, but I’m guessing I’ll be the only to have actually done work on an annual report for a Fortune 500 company.

Jennifer Orr

I will say that the more I do, the better I start to see ways to improve presenting what I want to say.

Nick Pernisco

I choose to create an annual report about my media consumption.

Jeffrey Pierce

The idea came together when I was miles above the earth somewhere over Siberia.

Andy Schmitz

Todd Seal

Initially, I was going to compare my running and watching habits. “Maybe there’ll be a pattern,” I thought. “Surely my running and watching are inversely proportional.” A few graphs later, that didn’t pan out.

Sameer Shah

Dave Stacey

It’s the result of a few days pondering, and more hours with photoshop than I would care to mention – or can really afford at the moment …

Jose Vilson

It was also inspired by A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario”.

Graham Wegner

Anyway, it really made me think – some parts I think turned out OK and other parts I know are as dodgy as can be.

Tom Woodward

I was amazed by how little I track what I do and, often, how little access I could get to my own data (which I know the companies are tracking).

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Wow! I’m officially totally intimidated…. but what a goldmine for those of us who tried and want to get better at this whole design game for the betterment of ourselves and our students.

  2. These are pretty slick. I really need to up my game for next time (hint).

    I’m impressed by the turnout and the quality of Dan’s thumbnails.

  3. Well, y’know, I was just raised like that. (What?)

    If I can be totally candid, and without speaking for the other judges, I was surprised by how many submissions we received and positively shocked by the quality of some submissions.

    No one should construe that as a backhanded compliment or even as low expectations. I knew that my own offering took 20 hours (a fact which I intentionally didn’t publicize) and who has time like that to carry a cross which is not her own?

    Apparently the answer is “y’all.”

  4. I love the creativity involved, each person came to the same outcome through completely different eyes. Some of the slides are esthetically beautiful. Kudos to all.

  5. Wow! The competition is fierce. You can really see the stories behind some of these reports. (Mine, not so much).

    Are the best story tellers necessarily the best designers?

  6. No, definitely not. And your point back at Student 2.0 was well taken. (Though since you called me “Dean,” I didn’t reply. Just petty like that.)

    Taken at their extremes, a storyteller who can’t design will produce very interesting, very clever work which looks aesthetically incoherent (fifteen fonts, no layout control) whereas a designer who can’t tell a story will produce a work that is slickly stylized but boring.

    It isn’t hard to identify members from each set among the submissions, my own included.

  7. Before I slip on my official judges hat — something in construction-paper colored felt with a pointy top, or so I’m imagining since I’m still waiting for “Dean” to send it my way — later tonight, I have to say that I’m already mightily invested thanks to just the descriptive snippets Dan included in association with each of the above thumbnails.

    There is a ‘story’ already unfolding for each of the ‘designers’. Well done.

    Without fawning too greatly over the contest’s supreme creator, his emphasis that a balance of storytelling and design is vital seems to ring true in the “sneak peak” moment he offers on this very post.

    And now — with a full day of teaching and coaching ahead –I begin to daydream about being able to completely dive into the competition waters after dinner this evening.

    Congrats to all who took on this challenge. Likewise to the maestro who threw out a bone.

  8. Dang, that blurb makes me look like a schmuck. Paid me back for talking about de-contextualized numbers, did you?

    Seriously, working on a “real” annual report is about crunching numbers. This, I think is the best of numbers, and stories, AND design, but in a nice digestible form (unlike the 70+ reports I took part in). So nice not having to worry about satisfying any legal requirements beyond avoiding libel.

  9. Can I share how much I HATE the charting (esp. line graphs) in PowerPoint? Damn those stupid gridlines. I liked Graham splitting the AUS$, and how some folks did lines of their own rather than using the graphing tool. I had a line graph in an early version where I just slapped up some smileys in a curve and crossed two lines to make the chart outline. Frankly, looks better than the cruddy options given by MS.