Photos in survey reports other than on the cover

More commonly than not, survey reports issue without any photographs in them. We have discussed the use of photographs on covers so we shift now to consider the rest of the report. It turns out that patterns and consistencies of usage elude us, but the sample of five reports is small.

Berwin Leighton ArbDelay 2011 has in its 25 non-cover pages two full-page photos, one of a clock nearing midnight (suggesting urgency and awareness of time passing) and one of the legs of two men climbing stairs (suggesting obstacles and hard work).

White Case Arbitration 2010 inserted three full-page photos in its 48 non-cover pages, all of them abstract and serving as topic dividers, such as before the Appendices.

Allen Matkins CommlRE 2018 chose a different pattern for its photos. The 15 non-cover pages of the report include three full-page photos, extending over approximately 60\% of one page, approximately 40\% of another page, and 25\% of a third page. One of the full-page photos shows a person holding the questionnaire! All the other shots concern either buildings or people who are quoted, and they have buildings or rooms in the background. In total the 4.25 page-equivalents of photographs occupy 28\% of the report proper. By contrast, many reports have not one picture.

In HoganLovells Brexometer 2017 are two full-page photos, one half-pager, one that covers the bottom 40\% of the right page and extends to 20\% of the left page, and one of 20\%. Thus, of the 15 non-cover pages, 2.8 (18 percent) are filled with a photograph. All of the pictures, as well as the partial-page picture on the cover, show scenes of ocean beaches. The image that follows is of the two-page photo [pgs. 9-10] and includes a bit of text from the left page.

One of the oddest pictures, both in appearance and location, surprises the reader of Allen Overy Models 2014 [pg. 9]. The strange feather or winglike object lurks in the lower right corner of the page, taking up perhaps a tenth of the area, but not connect in any immediately obvious way to the text of the page. Perhaps it is an image, not a photo, or perhaps even a drawing.

Covers: photos or images and decorative elements

Our third foray into report covers and their patterns of information, layout and design takes up the use of photos and decorative elements. We return to the eleven reports discussed earlier  as well as the second visit where we pored over eleven surveys by U.S. law firms in 2017. 1 Our methodology assigned photos and decorative elements on covers to a primary location on a nine-cell grid.

All but one of the reports sport a photo or image on the cover (Baker McKenzie being the sole exception). Five of the photos or images tie closely to the topic of the survey (Foley Lardner shows a car’s dashboard, Haynes Boone an oil field pumpjack, Ropes Gray a stylized map of the world, Seyfarth Shaw a cityscape, and White Case a striking shot of a giant mining truck). Four others selected something not evidently related to the survey’s topic: Carlton Fields’ skyscraper, KL Gates’ metallic bars, Littler Mendelson’s colorful swirls, and Proskauer Rose’s radiating blue star.

The snippet hereafter clipped part of Morrison Foerster’s cover. Is it an image or a decorative element or both?

In the reports of White Case, Littler Mendelson, and KL Gates, the entire background consists of a photo. The other reports filled various portions of the cover.

The next snippet gives an example of decorative elements from Baker McKenzie. Along with the bit of circuit board there are four colored rectangles. This decorative array appears in the top-middle of the cover and to the left of the title and date.

Other decorative elements from this set of covers include a row of six small rectangles over five small rectangles in Carlton Fields, a diagonal slash of color in Haynes Boone, and a heavy black line under the title in Ropes Gray. Finally, Littler Mendelson and Seyfarth Shaw partition their covers into two rectangles.


  1. The reports are Baker McKenzie Cloud 2017, Carlton Fields CA 2017, Foley Lardner Cars 2017, Haynes Boone Borrowing 2017, KL Gates GCDisruption 2017, Morrison Foerster GCsup 2017, Littler Mendelson Employer 2017, Proskauer Rose Empl 2017, Ropes Gray Risk 2017, Seyfarth Shaw RE 2017, and White Case Mining 2017.