The Lifeline (California Water Service Group (CWSG), 2022)

While a relatively new firm founded in 1997, the California Water Service Group (CWSG) is a public utilities company that acts as a holding company for the older California Water Service, founded in 1926. CWSG provides drinking water and wastewater services for over 2 million Americans and Hawaiians.

As discussed in our coverage of other reports from the pandemic years, companies adopted various strategies to cope with the difficulty of arranging photoshoots. CWSG discards photography altogether and opts for a fully illustrated report, choosing a warm colour palette with sunset blues. Coupled with copywriting that suggests a hard-working optimism, and the use of a softened sans serif for titles, this provides the reader with a friendly, visually positive report.

Sadly, the illustrator is uncredited, but their work does a lot of the heavy lifting in setting the tone for this report. The line work is steady and bold and the figures illustrated have weight to them – painted in a naturalistic mode, they feel like real people. Portraits of the board of directors and corporate officers are turned out in simple monotone lines, their smiling faces reinforcing the tone of the report.

The copywriting, which won an ARC Award (gold), is brief and punchy, while retaining a sense of optimism during the pandemic. It is presented in bite-sized chunks on each page, making the report an easy document to digest.

See our reviews of California Water Service Group reports here:

The Waters of California
A Lesson in Simplicity

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