Dig Deep, Do Good (DigDeep.org 2021)

DigDeep.org is a public charity that works to defend the human right to safe drinking water. They operate primarily in America although they began their community lead projects in Cameroon and Sudan. Two of their major projects –the Navajo Water Project and the Appalachia Water Project— form the basis of DigDeep’s 2021 annual report.

The report is a great example of making use of archival field photographs, colour, and testimonials.

Most charities can’t afford to regularly hire professional photographers. This means that many charities, though they do good work, struggle to show it using imagery. DigDeep gets around this problem by elegantly deploying colour to create impact. Most of the images in the report are overlaid with bright colour blocks and it has much the same effect as using black and white images – the viewer focuses on the emotion in the picture, the forms and shapes and moods. It works beautifully here and creates a sense of bright optimism. When the report does use what look like professional landscape images and environmental portraits, these pictures tend to be larger than the rest and provide balance to the report.

Most modern annual reports deploy testimonials or interviews in order to beef up a report, but here, the stories form the foundation of the report (presented mainly as short videos). In addition, here the stories really matter – they educate the reader and expand on the charity’s work.

Given that 46 million people in America live in water insecurity, DigDeep has its work cut out for it, but their determination, commitment to community, and proven track record will see them in good stead.

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