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Annie’s Publishing

How we helped shape and grow the digital presence of a powerhouse publisher.

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The Challenge

Annie’s owns dozens of subscription clubs. Annie’s produces kit and book clubs, videos, digital content, patterns and supplies—for a variety of interests including woodworking for kids, crafting, quilting, crochet, knitting, sewing, and home decor.

Although Annie’s remained a powerhouse publisher, they were heavily reliant on outdated media channels, like direct mail. Digital was something they had only dipped their toes in. Even then, they had no real in-house knowledge or strategic approach to digital marketing.

Annie’s challenge to us was to rebuild one test site—Young Woodworkers Club and involve them in the process along the way.

Our Solution

We started things off looking at the overall landscape from a high level. Annie’s came to us wanting a refresh, but what we found is that need more than that. They needed a replicable approach to building sites for their products. They needed training on how to properly shoot product. How to write for the web. How to build with a mobile-friendly and assistive-needs audience in mind from the start.

Branding

The Young Woodworkers Kit Club was the pilot product to see how this new approach would play out. The current design and branding was super outdated and was in desperate need of a refresh. We used mood boards to explore different colors, typography, and photography variations. We also played around with different variations of their logo that was more flexible and easy to work with.

After some back and forth the team landed on a clean modern wordmark to go with a fun and playful color palette and illustration style.

Art Direction

Young Woodworkers Kit Club’s photography was pretty outdated as well and they need some help. We put together some examples of the type of imagery we were looking for as well as things to consider; like not having the models look directly at the camera and having a range of ages, genders, and races represented.

We gave them a photography art direction could apply to all of their other kits and club.

Web Design

Diving into wireframing we knew we needed to craft a template to keep the user experience consistent throughout all the different kits and clubs that Annie’s provides, but still allow them to be flexible enough to each be branded differently.

Looking at all the different kits we noticed that we could simplify the navigation and trim down pages that weren’t as relevant and didn’t add much value to the overall site.

The Results

Once Young Woodworkers Kit Club was built and tested we now had a flexible template that could apply to the other subscriptions Annie’s had to offer. The new site is fully responsive and accessible. The copy has a consistent readability score throughout, and is geared toward its audience.

We ended up building a few more sites for Annie’s, all the while training them, showing them modern techniques and audience research, and helping them complete their digital transformation.

This training gave them the in-house knowledge they needed to continue building. As of this writing, they were able to successfully refresh and launch six additional sites on their own.

Scope of Work

Brand Strategy

Art Direction

Design & Illustration

Information Architecture (IA)

Web Design

WordPress Development

Training

Process Improvement

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