Internet-Designed Annual Report
A new look for the Group's 1999 accounts
Milan, 08 May 2000
The Internet has revolutionised the traditional way of considering the media, both in form
and substance of use. Even so, many of the Net's means of expression can trace their
antecedents back to the printed paper.
In fact, sites and portals adopted the techniques of the printing industry and then
adapted them to their own needs: more lively page make-up designed for interactive use,
short phrases, pictures and graphics often reduced to the bare essentials. In this way, a
series of new devices and characteristics have superimposed themselves on those which have
been known since before the times of Gutenberg and they have, in turn, rapidly stamped
themselves on the collective imagination as elements identifying the "Internet
So, from the press to the Internet: a natural evolution which has renewed formats and
languages. But the Pirelli's 1999 annual report, which is now being printed, has
experimented with an inverted path: from the Internet to paper, bringing to the pages of
one of the Group's most traditional publications the graphics of hypertext.
A decision which, together with many others that characterises e-Pirelli, reflects the
company's intention of interpreting the Internet universe globally, adapting it to its
business reality. And that has given birth to the decision to create the e-annual report,
not just its simple transposition to the Net - a procedure which Pirelli, like many other
companies, has been carrying out for some time- but the invention of a "real"
volume, paper: leaf through it and it gives the impression to having entered the Net by a
completely new and different road, one strewn with graphic stratagems.
There is a horizontal pull-down menu at the top of the page, which enables the reader to
see which chapter he is perusing - the one in question being indicated in yellow - and
which ones precede and follow it. The bar of the vertical menu at the side of the page
lists the details of the "open" chapter's sections: here, too, the section being
read at the time is shown in yellow. The structure of the page is completed by a second
horizontal bar at the bottom of the page showing Pirelli's web and e-mail addresses. To
give the lay-out a sense of continuity with the previous make-up, the colour of the bars
is still in the traditional green and that same colour - with a variation in tone - is to
be found in the text structure.
While, for obvious legibility reasons, the tables of the second part of the publication -
the consolidated balance - maintained the style of previous years, the first part of the
publication lends itself well to breaking up the text into single theme fragments which
easy to consult.
The basic rule of the Internet is, in fact, that the text must be fast and easy to
individualise, with few words in evidence to ensure an even more immediate understanding.
These are rules which also marry well with the world of the printed word: as with the Net,
here it is more agreeable to work with a clear text, which "guides" the reader
with thematic indications and images. When tested for its practicability, the annual
report revealed itself to be a text well suitable to "internetisation": all of
the chapters could be broken up into mini-sections, with a result dynamic and efficient at
the same time. Sub-headings in the form of "selectionable" switches brilliantly
perform the task of linking the contents which they summarise. Equally quick to visualise,
the images are strictly linked to the text which they accompany.
More modern, but without losing any clarity and legibility: that is how the first
"clickable" paper balance sheet made its debut in the world of business
publications. Signed e-Pirelli.
by Riccarda Zezza, Pirelli, Milan