Harry & David’s winning ways

What Makes an Award Winning Catalog? Neal Schuler, senior vice president for Harry & David, took attendees inside the food gifts mailer’s bag of tricks during his May 4 ACCM presentation. The company focuses on scarcity, difference, establishing high value, and storytelling.

Here are Harry & David’s basic rules of design:

  • Make it easy to shop. Copy connects to product.
  • Make the copy easy to read.
  • Place key messaging prominently.
  • Position contact information consistently.
  • Pop product off the page.
  • Design with eye-flow in mind. Leverage “hot spots” on the spread.
  • Provide a visual resting place.
  • Pace the spread designs to create interest.
  • Hygiene: Build style sheets for consistency.
  • Use an agreeable color palette.
  • Build templates and grids for consistent spacing.

Harry & David’s cover strategy involves brand-right imagery; visual interest; whimsy; “yum factor”; timing relevancy; no more than two marketing messages; and identifying product.

People do not work so well on Harry & David’s covers: A test conducted in 2005 showed that when the catalog featured a person on the cover holding a tower of boxed food, results diminished. “Apparently, our customers don’t want to see themselves with a tower over their head,” Schuler said.

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