Amazingly, that is one of the many retentive guidelines the SEC published regarding the production of your proxy document in 2017. Although, judging by the work we produce for our clients, holding to the intent and spirit of the font guideline is acceptable… aka: yes, you can use Arial and Helvetica now, too.
That’s just one of the details companies must work through annually. Our SEC Reporting Rules Guidebooks has 325 pages JUST on proxy materials. Request your free books HERE. (These are hardcopy books that we ship to you)
Layout guidelines, Rule 14a-5, include:
(a) The information included in the proxy statement shall be clearly presented and the statements made shall be divided into groups according to subject matter and the various groups of statements shall be preceded by appropriate headings. The order of items and sub-items in the schedule need not be followed. Where practicable and appropriate, the information shall be presented in tabular form. All amounts shall be stated in figures. Information required by more than one applicable item need not be repeated. No statement need be made in response to any item or sub-item which is inapplicable. (d)(1) All printed proxy statements shall be in roman type at least as large and as legible as 10-point modern type, except that to the extent necessary for convenient presentation financial statements and other tabular data, but not the notes thereto, may be in roman type at least as large and as legible as 8-point modern type. All such type shall be leaded at least 2 points. (2) Where a proxy statement is delivered through an electronic medium, issuers may satisfy legibility requirements applicable to printed documents, such as type size and font, by presenting all required information in a format readily communicated to investors.
Beyond font considerations, companies are creating proxy documents that boldly cross over from mere SEC compliance into true shareholder communications. In fact, in EY’s most recent survey on corporate disclosures, 41% of issuers reported they were reducing flat text narrative in favor of graphs, charts and infographics.
All of the discussions and recommendation we are now having within the planning stage with our clients have started with our 2017 Proxy Design Templates guide.
As you’ll learn, we’ve streamlined many of visual decisions companies need to address – allowing investor relations teams, corporate secretaries and counsel to focus on the financial tables’ content and not the table’s header color.
Corporate brand and shareholder engagement, once the mantle of the annual report, now reside in the proxy.