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Direct Line Group

Evolving from IPO to FTSE100

The Background and Challenge

Direct Line Group (DLG) is one of Britain’s leading personal, motor and home insurers. Operating across the UK through a number of channels, DLG owns several of the country’s best-known brands, each with its own clearly defined identity and customer value proposition. DLG’s mission is to make insurance much easier and better value for customers.

In 2017, the fifth year since DLG’s IPO, Black Sun worked closely with their communications and financial reporting teams to more clearly articulate their corporate story, enhancing the confidence of their reporting through new investor-focused features and bolder messaging.

Our Approach

We approached the 2017 Report as a milestone and an opportunity to substantially develop how DLG communicates their strategy and its execution across the business every day. An engaging and energetic look and feel that made use of all brand palettes was key, emphasising the diversity of DLG’s offering. Additional highlighted objectives included:

  • To celebrate the Group’s achievements in the five years since their IP
  • To highlight the contribution of DLG’s employees
  • To introduce a clear investment case
  • To expand the business model to incorporate DLG’s core strengths and value created

Our Solution

Following a full strategic assessment of 2016’s report, we developed a clear plan for the innovations in content, structure and reporting. We wanted to create a more modern creative treatment that was still in keeping with the diverse, brand-focused look and feel of previous years. In order to achieve this we used the bright brand palettes in combination to bring more colour into all areas of the report, focusing on sharp lines and juxtaposing it with white space to keep it clean.

In anticipation of the greater level of structural and creative change this year, DLG and Black Sun overhauled the approach to the editing process. In previous years we had been restricted by a necessity of working in MS Word due to stringent information security requirements. In order to meet these specifications Black Sun created a bespoke instance of our collaborative editing tool, PrintConnect, allowing DLG to work simultaneously with us, making the creative change much more straightforward.

The Outcome

In a landmark year that boasted strong performance, Direct Line Group’s 2017 Annual Report made significant steps forward in communicating the core strengths and achievements of their business, including innovations to the presentation of the investment case, business model, strategy, and introduction of a governance case study on the board’s regard for wider stakeholders. The DLG Board appreciated the refreshed look and feel, and analysts and investors responded well to the bolder messaging and innovations to make key content more accessible.

The increased focus on employees and wider stakeholders has allowed DLG to think more holistically about they communicate their business, and drive conversations about how the Group’s identity has evolved over the past five years.