Alpharetta, GA - The New Year is a time for letting go of the old and bringing in the new. Neenah Paper has done just that by designing its blog in a way that takes it to the next level. "Against the Grain" is now formatted to further engage the design and print communities as well as be a spontaneous and resourceful source of information. The new format, which launches today, can be found at www.neenahpaperblog.com.
"Against the Grain is about creating conversation and building a sense of community. We had a lot of great information, but felt it was getting lost within our other communication channels. We sought to create a space where designers could go for information, ideas and inspiration. Like everything we do at Neenah, we want our users to have a great experience, and I think we achieved that with the enhanced blog," explains Tom Wright, director of design for Neenah Paper.
Justin Ahrens, creative director for Rule29, which created the blog's new look and functionality, says, "We want the site to feel more like an online magazine than a typical blog. It's not about being sales-oriented; rather, it's about being a valuable resource that designers and printers can always turn to for inspiration and information surrounding the world that Neenah lives in."
The blog brings everything Neenah together in one place. Clear navigation buttons let readers see what others are saying via Twitter while making it easy to subscribe to Neenah's additional social networking channels including Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube. Users can also upload their own comments to a blog post or continue the dialogue with other readers through threads. With information more concisely communicated, they have all of the content in one place, making it easy to find old posts.
"Neenah is heavily involved on the Web and in social media, so we wanted to connect readers to the conversations happening on Twitter, Facebook, and now on this site," Ahrens adds.
Some other key features include: an added table of contents that has archived material, a section with the most talked-about topics including call-outs with special sites and links, and the ability to jump into a specific subject without a lot of searching.
In addition to the added features and direction, the color palette was updated. Inspired by the blog name, Against the Grain, it uses earthy browns, tans and grays to reflect Neenah's clean, simple design aesthetic and the tones found in wood grains. The addition of accent colors, type fonts and image treatments all add up to an unexpected blend yet is cleanly organized. It speaks volumes about Neenah's sense of design and involvement in color and technology.
Ahrens sums up, "Overall, designers today are devouring blogs for technology tips, ideas and inspiration. As a design firm, we wanted to make sure Against the Grain was modern, interesting, well-structured and something we'd like using."