19 ANNUAL Catalog Awards


There’s always excitement in the air during an Olympic year, but at Catalog Age we have an Olympics of sorts every year: the Annual Catalog Awards. And just as the athletes in Athens have been training for years in hopes of taking home a gold medal, our catalog winners have spent many long months preparing for marketing excellence. The result is the best of the best.

The Gold Award winners we have profiled on the following pages met — and often exceeded — merchandising, marketing, service, production, and creative criteria and standards, to create effective, profitable sales tools. Balancing measurable results with intangibles such as pagination and lighting allows companies that sell less-than-photogenic products such as industrial supplies to be judged on the same terms as those that sell more visually appealing merchandise such as rose bushes and ski jackets. This year’s Gold Winners range from a provider of computer networking products and services to a travel agency specializing in trips to exotic locales — a delightfully disparate bunch.

Creating a Gold Award-winning catalog takes a certain amount of expertise, experience, and sometimes, courage. Savvy marketers also know that you can always learn from your peers. Just as many of this year’s Olympians were doubtless inspired by watching the feats of past winners, I’m sure reading about the winning ways of this year’s Gold Award recipients will inspire some of next year’s honorees.

Congratulations, one and all, and thanks for sharing your successes with the rest of us.


Geoff Batrouney
Executive vice president, Estee Marketing Group

Monique Berger
Production director, The Territory Ahead

John Borta
Vice president of marketing operations, Newark InOne

Chris Carrington
President, Catalogs by Lorel

Joe Cassidy
Vice president/director of marketing, The Orvis Co.

Peter Cobb
Cofounder/vice president of marketing and merchandising, eBags

Rhonda Cohen
Chief creative officer, AGA Catalog Marketing and Design

Sandra Cooper
Vice president, creative/account services, Marke Communications

Bill Eyre
Director of advertising, The Orvis Co.

Steve Fuller
Vice president of corporate marketing, L.L. Bean

Peter Howard
Vice president of marketing, Staples Catalog

George Ittner
President The Territory Ahead

Estin B. Kiger
Senior vice president, Bear Creek Corp.

Mary Ann Kleinfelter
Owner, Marketing Solutions Today

Tracy Lamb
Director of marketing, Levenger

Teresa McCarthy,
Director of marketing, DM Guidance Channel

Fred Neil
Vice president of decision support and strategic marketing, CDW

Jeff Parnell
Vice president of e-commerce, Blair Corp.

Jim Ray
President, McFeely’s

Jack Rosenfeld
Chairman of the board, Potpourri Collection

Jack Schmid
Founder, J. Schmid & Associates

Al Schmidt
President, Schmidt Group International

Linda Spellman
Director of direct marketing, Restoration Hardware

Craig Winer
Vice president, Garrett Wade

Maria Youth
Vice president of interactive marketing and catalog, Lenox Collections


Gordon Ellis-Brown
Managing director, Sundance Ltd.

Klaus Goz
Director of business development, Accenture GmbH

Phillip Randles
Catalogue Development Centre

Thorston van der Velton
Vice president of marketing and e-commerce, Spiegel Catalog

If you would like to be a judge for next year’s Awards, please call Heather Retzlaff at 203-358-4233 or e-mail her at hretzlaff@primediabusiness.com.



Black Box Corp., Network Services, 2003-2004

Making consumer networking products seem captivating is no simple task. But Black Box Corp. is an old hand at meeting this challenge — so much so that the company’s Network Services catalog not only took the Gold Award in the Computer Equipment and Software category but also won the 2004 Catalog of the Year.

Right from the cover, it’s obvious that this is not the run-of-the-mill tech catalog. Black Box uses a crisp closeup photo of a port for data, voice, and video cables with a bright green background that makes the photo “refreshing and eye-catching,” said one judge. The cover “communicates the technical aspect of the catalog at a glance” while simultaneously holding the reader’s interest.

Inside, Black Box successfully communicates technological information in a manner that’s easy to read and even enjoyable. That’s right, enjoyable. One panelist praised the copy as a “great combination of technical information blended with inviting, conversational tone. Hard to believe that technical copy could be pleasant to read!”

The catalog offers comprehensive “Black Box Explains” sidebars throughout, with such titles as “The Psychology Network of (In)Security” and “Time Division Multiplexing over Internet Protocol.” Black Box, noted one panelist, “inspires confidence in the computer equipment they sell…You can tell that management really cares.” Black Box explains the necessary considerations when determining what to purchase and makes it clear that it provides technical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The company’s offerings of computer networking products such as modems, routers, switches, and cables are thoughtfully displayed via a grid format. The design is “clean, well organized, and refined,” said a panelist. “It’s easy for one to find the technical details to make decisions easier,” said another judge, who also praised the catalog for its “terrific breadth of product. They seem to be very customer and quality focused!”

By offering its customers “flexible ordering options to fit tailored needs” and “solid guarantees,” agreed the judges, customer service is certainly a corporate priority. The catalog clearly presents all of the necessary ordering information and shipping options, putting the customer’s convenience first.

From front to back, this catalog edition boasts a well-targeted merchandise selection, a pleasing design, and exemplary customer service. Black Box Corp., raved one judge, is truly the “one source for start-to-finish network services.”
Alyson Papalia


1000 Park Dr.
Lawrence, PA 15055


Company founded: 1976

Director: Julia Leigh

Designer: Inhouse team

Printer: Perry Judd’s

Cover paper: 124 lb.

Text paper: 32 lb.

Trim size: 8-3/8″ × 10-7/8″

Number of pages: 800


Wilderness Travel, Journeys for the Year 2004

There’s no question that Wilderness Travel sets the gold standard. After all, the adventure travel marketer’s Journeys for the Year 2004 catalog edition took the Gold Award in the Consumer Specialty, Travel, and Wholesale/Dealer categories; it also won a Silver Award in the Retail category.

What makes this catalog so stellar? From front to back, the Wilderness Travel catalog proves to be just as beautiful, exciting, and unique as the vacation packages it offers. For starters, it features spectacular photography. The cover, depicting a fiery sunset on the rugged peaks of a mountain range set against a deep cobalt sky, sets the stage for the plethora of incredible photos that are to come. As one panelist put it, “Wilderness Travel is selling dreams, and every photo presents a new one.”

With images showcasing exotic locales from the sands of the Sahara to the Costa Rican rain-forest, the catalog is worthy of display on the toniest coffee table. But Wilderness Travel does not rely on pictures alone to sell these vacations. “Each trip has delectable copy that tells the unique features of each destination,” said one judge. “The headlines are inviting; the subtext is informative and alluring.”

For example, the lead-in copy for a trip to Africa’s Timbuktu and Dogon country begins: “For even the most seasoned traveler, Mali is a cultural and scenic bolt from the blue. It’s one of the most photogenic places in Africa, where the mighty Niger River courses gloriously through savanna and desert…”

The judges also pointed out the effort that the cataloger makes to assure prospects that a Wilderness Travel journey will be a trip of a lifetime. Customer testimonials throughout the book “reinforce value and experience,” said one panelist. And Wilderness Travel’s detailed rating system ranks each trip on a scale of one to seven (seven being the most “expeditionary in style”), assessing the degree of activity and fitness required for each.

“Right on target for upscale adventure travel,” lauded a judge. “Wilderness Travel is a book I would hold onto and read on a cold, snowy day.” In short, the catalog successfully entices and invites, with captivating headlines and photography, maps on every page, and copy that, said a panelist, “made every trip I read about seem like the perfect one for me.”

The book’s tagline is “Catalog of Adventures,” and as one judge concluded, “that says it all.” Just leafing through the catalog is an engaging adventure; it encourages prospective customers to do more than merely imagine what participating in one of the trips would be like.


1102 Ninth St.
Berkeley, CA 94710


Company founded: 1978

Director/production director/marketing director: Barbara Banks

Designer: Krystie Bonzelet

Merchandiser: Bonzelet Graphic Design

Copywriter: Pam Shandrick

Illustrator: Julie Mammano

Prepress provider/color separator/printer: Overseas Printing

List manager: Ray Rodney

Cover paper: 250 GSM

Text paper: 120 GSM

Trim size: 10″ × 12″

Number of pages: 128


Jackson & Perkins, Roses for 2004

For some people, a rose is a rose is a rose, but for Jackson & Perkins, each rose has its own personality, not to mention its blooming capabilities, fragrance, and resistance against disease. In its Roses for 2004 wholesale edition, the company demonstrates its ability to balance the practical and the romantic.

Dotted with just a few drops of mist, a perfect Sundance rose, its golden hue accentuated by an orange-pink rim, adorns the front cover. “The simple, single-product focus creates impact,” noted a judge. Another panelist added that the cataloger made a terrific transition from the front cover to the opening spread, which also focuses on the award-winning Sundance rose.

Nongardeners may be surprised — if not stunned — by the number of breeds available. Said one judge, “The wide range of products within key categories promote the brand as expert.” The catalog lists more than 50 patented hybrid teas and gradifloras, two dozen patented floribundas, and more than a dozen climbing roses — and that doesn’t include the groundcover, tree, hedge, and antique roses.

Jackson & Perkins carries its high-caliber creative throughout the catalog. “Terrific use of photography,” enthused a judge. The “drama of dominant photos helps visually sustain interest,” said another, referring to the catalog’s judicious use of “hero” products.

The copy highlights the lushness of the product. The description of Social Climber, a deep-pink classic rose, begins: “Incredibly vivacious, this prolific, new beauty clambers up garden structures and along fences.” But the copy also provides essential information such as height, bud form, bloom size, petal count, stem length, and fragrance while touting each variety’s distinct benefits. The copy for Social Climber, for instance, assures customers that it makes a “lovely addition to fresh-cut bouquets.” Such attention to detail makes it easier for the dealers who are the catalog’s customers to sell the products to their customers.

By spelling out its policies and benefits, Jackson & Perkins “comes across as very customer focused,” said a judge. Prospects and customers in need of more information, either basic or advanced, are encouraged to call the company or log on to its Website to speak with the well-informed sales representatives.

Jackson & Perkins’s emphasis on knowledge and customer service is an ideal complement to its skill at capturing its product at its prime on film and pairing the images with eloquent copy. It may be a cliché, but in this case it’s true: For Jackson & Perkins — and for its customers — everything’s coming up roses indeed.
Heather Retzlaff


2500 S. Pacific Hwy.
Medford, OR 97501


Company founded: 1834

Director: Estin B. Kiger

Designer: Charlie Anderson

Production director: Neal Schuler

Merchandiser: Denise Tedaldi

Copywriter: Rita Grauer

Photographers: Ron Anderson, David Bjurstrom

Marketing director: Sara Barthel

Printer: CDS Publications

Color separator: AGT

Cover paper: 80 lb., Pacesetter gloss

Text paper: 70 lb., Pacesetter gloss

Trim size: 8-1/2″ × 11″

Number of pages: 64


Harry and David, Easy Entertaining 2003

The adjective “mouth-watering” tends to come up over and over when discussing the merits of any Harry and David catalog. But the food cataloger’s Easy Entertaining 2003 edition is particularly delectable — tasty enough, in fact, to earn a Gold Award in the Gifts Under $75 category.

The front cover, featuring a charming Christmas tree-shape chocolate cheesecake, is sure to whet the reader’s appetite. And if you’re searching for holiday gifts, Harry and David makes it clear that it has them: A callout points out that inside are “50 new gifts under $50!”

Inside the book, “one can tell that their merchandising efforts have been honed over the last 70 years,” said one judge. “The layouts, the pacing of book, and the space given to specific merchandise are outstanding.”

Products for entertaining include a collection of Heirloom Plaid holiday ceramicware, pumpkin-shape placecard truffle boxes, and holiday petits fours. Gift items range from chocolates and cherries to pears and plum puddings, plus several floral gifts.

The text sets a festive mood while also providing informative descriptions of the merchandise. For example, the copy for the Gourmet Extravaganza basket begins: “Beautiful basketry… enticing banquetry. They’ll get fruit, food, furniture — and fun. This gourmet tour de force arrives in a basket that’s crafted like fine furniture. Featuring our famous fresh fruits and feasts…”

To put the minds of gift givers at ease, Harry and David provides just about every service you’d expect or want, from gift packaging and overnight shipping to extras such as reservation gift services (order ahead of time and specify when the package should be shipped) and personal gift cards. A judge spoke for the entire panel when summing up these advantages in one word: “Excellent!”

Getting back to mouth-watering, did we mention that the photography throughout the book is outstanding? “It shows how much time and effort were spent on shooting each photograph,” said one impressed judge. “From the dew sprayed on all the fruit to the exceptional lighting and detail — and the reproduction on this catalog is definitely A-plus.”

In fact, Harry and David received the equivalent of straight As in every aspect, which given its award-winning past should not come as a surprise. Yet the panelists felt that the company went above and beyond with this edition, and just about everyone who received it should have been motivated to place an order.

The only question: Would they have ordered a gift for someone else, a gourmet item for entertaining, or a tasty treat for themselves? Perhaps all three!


2500 S. Pacific Hwy.
Medford, OR 97501


Company founded: 1934

Director: Estin B. Kiger

Designers: Michelle Jovanovic, Kelly Barton

Production director: Lisa Chang

Merchandiser: Denise Tedaldi

Copywriter: Marcus G. Smith

Photographers: Ron Anderson, Jim Bowie, Eric Groetzinger

Marketing director: Mike Zodrow

Printer: RR Donnelley

Color separator: AGT

List manager/broker: American List Counsel
Cover paper: 60 lb.

Text paper: 40 lb.

Trim size: 7-5/8″ × 10-1/2″

Number of pages: 52


New Pig, The Big Pigalog, 2004 Buying Guide

You would hardly expect a cataloger of industrial supplies to evoke a children’s book, but then New Pig is not your average business-to-business catalog. Commenting on the cover of New Pig’s 2004 Buying Guide, one judge admitted, “I’m attracted to the pig as a child would be to Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web.”

The front cover depicts a real piglet in the cataloger’s Burpless Drum Funnel, an industrial funnel with lid that offers a splash-free way to pour and store liquids. The picture’s caption, “While we guarantee that the Funnel is ‘burpless,’ we can’t make the same claim about the pig,” sets the tone for the catalog. New Pig “makes outstanding use of the pig to carry the message of the catalog with humor and practicality,” said a judge. The cover also displays clear ordering information and touts more than 500 new products.

Another judge said that the Pigalog is “as fun as a catalog of industrial cleaning products can be.” New Pig’s mascot, a cartoon pig named Sparky, adds to the levity. Making his first appearance on the inside front cover, Sparky urges customers to get online training at New Pig University, where they can choose from more than 60 courses to build industrial workplace skills. By promoting free education New Pig is, of course, also promoting its wealth of industry knowledge and its credibility.

When it comes to merchandising, “New Pig knows their customers,” a panelist noted. Products extend beyond the company’s signature Pig Sock (which absorbs industrial spills) and Rags in a Bag shop towels to include industrial-strength earplugs and reflective parking signs — just about everything a manufacturing plant, a warehouse, or any other industrial facility might need.

The benefit-oriented copy displays a good sense of the customers’ needs as well. “The copy is rich with information for comparison shopping or to make an informed purchase decision,” said a judge. Sidebars with how-to information adds to the shelf life of the catalog. “Its beauty is in its functionality,” said another panelist.

Throughout the catalog, Sparky works hard to point out noteworthy product information via dialogue balloons. Just as important, according to at least one judge, Sparky adds “zip and zing to humdrum products.”

Knowing what a hit Sparky is with customers, New Pig cleverly offers a Sparky nesting doll set with catalog orders of $350 or more. Now who wouldn’t enjoy New Pig’s “Goodwill ‘hambassador’ Sparky” sitting on an office shelf alongside its Buying Guide?


One Pork Ave.
Tipton, PA 16684


Company founded: 1985

Creative directors: Leroy Eckenrod, Ames Parsons

Marketing director: Mark DeYulis

Merchandisers: Mark Woytowich, John Fraundorfer

Project managers: Stacie Fronk, Krista Rehm

Designers: Ames Parsons, Brenda Kerr, Laura Shoup

Copywriter: Keith Eldred

Prepress services: Quad/Graphics, Julie White, Jennifer Harker, Gina Baker

Photographers: McManus Studios, Gina Baker
Print buyer: Donna O’Brien

Illustrator: Bruce Van Patter

Printer: Quad/Graphics

List manager/broker: Edith Roman Associates

Cover paper: 100 lb., grade 3 Somerset gloss

Text paper: 40 lb., grade 4 Mission Web gloss

Trim size: 8″ × 10-1/2″

Number of pages: 434


Office Depot, The Big Book, July-December 2003

Can catalog shopping for office supplies be quick, easy, and enjoyable? Yes — provided the catalog is Office Depot, which won the Gold Award for the July-December 2003 edition of its Big Book.

And big it is, weighing in at more than 1,000 pages. But surprisingly, the catalog never feels overwhelming. Office Depot uses color-coded tabs on the sides of the pages to identify product categories such as Paper, Envelopes & Pens, Desktop Essentials & Imprints, and Printer, Copier & Machine Supplies; it also provides a “quick find” index. And sticky “flags” are included for customers to peel off and place on pages as bookmarks.

In keeping with its tagline, “What you need. What you need to know,” Office Depot doesn’t skimp on information. Said one judge: “There is lots of helpful copy about the products, the company, its customer service and guarantee.” Details regarding custom imprinting, warranties and disclaimers, ordering options, and special online features are presented throughout.

The judging panel was especially impressed by the “What you need to know” sidebars that appear throughout the pages. These boxes assist the customer by providing tips and ideas about specific products, making it much easier to determine which of the myriad choices are best for any given need or purpose.

For instance, on a page selling printers, the “What you need to know” box begins: “Dot Matrix — A best friend to business printing. Dot matrix printers are ideal for invoices, spreadsheets, contracts, work tickets — virtually any heavy-duty form that today’s businesses use. Most come with multiple loading options to accomodate forms of any size, are energy-efficient, and are compatible with standard software programs…”

The front cover promises a “low price guarantee every day.” The catalog’s other services include free next-business-day deliver on orders of $50 or more, and same-day store pickup.

Offering an exhaustive array of office supplies — many of them seemingly alike — and furnishings in an understandable, interesting way is a daunting prospect. But Office Depot has obviously mastered the task. One judge praised the catalog by stating, “A lot of products and technical information are presented in this catalog, and it is still not confusing.” Another panelist summed up the catalog as “highly promotional and easy to search, navigate, and shop.”

Office Depot obviously worked hard to achieve this accomplishment. And thanks to the catalog’s large variety of merchandise and ease, plenty of office employees can spend less time searching for products and more time working hard too.


2300 Old Germantown Rd.
Delray Beach, FL 33445


Company founded: 1986

Creative director: Walter Porras

Designer: Gretel Vinas

Production director: Suzy Campbell

Merchandiser: Fred Abt

Copywriter: Lori Dolan

Printer: Quebecor World

List manager: Walter Karl

List broker: American List Counsel

Consultant: AGA Catalog Marketing and Design

Cover paper: 14 pt., Carolina gloss

Text paper: 35 lb.

Trim size: 8″ × 10-1/2″

Number of pages: 1,056


L.L. Bean, Christmas 2003

Christmas tree, snow, horse-drawn sleigh, a red barn, families, outdoor sports, Saturday Evening Post-style artwork — “it all adds up to a traditional L.L. Bean cover!” And so begins a judge’s glowing review of the cover of L.L. Bean’s Christmas 2003 edition — the Gold winner in the Retail category.

The festive look and feel of the catalog invites the reader to bring L.L. Bean home for the holidays. Beyond the warm fuzzy feeling, Bean creates an enjoyable, easy-to-read gift guide that provides consumers with a variety of products and a sense of trust in the company.

This trust is developed through many means, beginning with the L.L. Bean guarantee promising “100% satisfaction.” As one panelist declared, “It’s the epitome of customer service!” Helping to generate warmth is the lifestyle photography used abundantly throughout the book, which “gives the catalog the human touch and makes the merchandise more desirable — and believable,” said a judge. Informative descriptions complement the high-quality, well-propped photos. Call-outs shaped like gift tags throughout the catalog let the reader know when a product is new or specially priced. L.L. Bean also uses callout boxes to direct readers to the company’s Website to find more information and products.

The breadth of merchandise stretches from apparel for men, women, and children to stuffed animals, home decor, and items for pets. In addition to spanning product categories, the merchandise selection also covers a wide array of price points. From parkas to peanut brittle, from hats to hammocks, the L.L. Bean catalog no doubt has a holiday gift for you and yours.

But customer service is really where Bean shines. The company effectively uses testimonials from satisfied shoppers to, again, build a sense of trust. A typical testimonial is this one, from a customer in Quakerstown, PA: “Thank you for always having a friendly, knowledgable person answer the phone! I always appreciate the quick, efficient way I can place an order.” With a ringing endorsement like that, prospective shoppers should have no qualms about picking up the phone to order.

And with customer service extras such as free gift boxing on select items and e-mail gift certificates, shopping was never so simple. To quote one of the impressed panelists, “The catalog is consistently aimed toward fulfilling the reader’s need to find gifts for friends and family in a simple, stress-free manner and at value prices.”


15 Casco St.
Freeport, ME 04033


Company founded: 1912

Director: Don Oakes

Designer: Jennifer Lawson

Merchandisers: Tom Sidar, Fran Philip

Copywriter: Leslie Gomes

Marketing director: Steve Fuller

Printer/color separator/prepress: Quebecor World

List manager/broker: Millard Group

Cover paper: 80 lb., freesheet

Text paper: 38 lb., #5 groundwood

Trim size: 7-7/8″ × 8-8/15″

Number of pages: 296


L.L. Bean, Fly Fishing 2003

The dramatic cover of L.L. Bean’s Fly Fishing 2003 catalog shows a sportsman hauling up his net with, noted a judge, a “satisfied smile” on his face. The fly-fishing enthusiasts who read this catalog also no doubt wore a satisfied smile, since L.L. Bean has outdone itself with this specialty title.

The judges described the front cover as “well designed,” “attractive,” and “strong,” adjectives that they used in discussing the rest of the book as well.

The opening spread, which tells the Bean story in a welcoming manner, makes the reader feel connected to the company, its products, and its expertise, according to one panelist. The rest of the catalog copy is equally engaging while simultaneously providing lots of necessary information, managing to be “believable and to the point,” a judge noted. The benefits and quality of the products shine through, as does Bean’s passion for the sport. As one judge phrased it, this catalog “lives and breathes fly fishing.”

Here’s the beginning of a copy block for Bean’s nine-piece travel series fly rods: “After years of pushing the limits of technology in multiple ferrule rods, we’ve developed a nine-piece rod that meets our high standards for casting performance. It packs to a mere 13 inches — nearly small enough to fit in a pocket — and throws a fly with smooth power and tight loops…”

You don’t have to be a fly-fisher to be drawn in by the copy — but if you are, watch out. One panelist was so convinced by the description that he was ready to plunk down $245 for the fly rods — a sure sign of success!

What’s more, the book boasts a “beautiful display of product,” raved a panelist. From Tropicwear fishing clothing to Gore-Tex waders to fly rods and reels and more than six pages of flies, Bean has merchandised this book to a T. “A consistent theme throughout all ties together and creates a fly fishing-esque mood,” said a judge. Added another impressed panelist: “The fact that Bean effectively blends hard goods and soft goods is the show stopper!”

In keeping with the L.L. Bean tradition, this catalog provides outstanding customer service. It not only furnishes customers with a special fly-fishing hotline but it also offers round-the-clock help. In addition, Bean promotes its fly-fishing schools in Freeport, MA, and in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, which give the company even more credibility as a leader in the field.

Bean reeled in plenty of praise with this edition. The inclusion of photos showing the products in use, plenty of product details, and enthusiastic testimonials gives the customers what they want: in the words of one panelist, “a very reader-friendly catalog.”


15 Casco St.
Freeport, ME 04033


Company founded: 1912

Director/designer: Jim Sulham

Merchandiser: Tom Armstrong

Copywriters: Jenna Klein Jonsson, David Sherwood

Photographer: Rob Bossi

Marketing director: Steve Fuller

Printer/color separator/prepress: Quebecor World

List manager/broker: Millard Group

Cover paper: 55 lb., #5 groundwood

Text paper: 38 lb., #5 groundwood

Trim size: 8″ × 10″

Number of pages: 76


Orvis, Fly Fishing, Spring 2003

Orvis knows fly fishing, concluded one judge after reviewing the company’s spring 2003 Fly Fishing book. After poring over the book’s impressive variety of fly-fishing essentials, all concisely explained and pictured, it’s impossible to argue otherwise.

The striking front cover depicts the back of a single fisherman, no doubt decked out in Orvis gear, standing in anticipation in crystalline cascading waters. “If you are a fly-fisherman,” a panelist said, “you want to be standing in that cover. Great photography that captures the moment — searching the flats for tailing fish. How could you not open the catalog?”

Even if you’re not a fly-fishing enthusiast, the cover will likely pique your curiosity and motivate you to open the book. And once you do you’ll be rewarded with photography that is consistently impressive, as well as with an astounding array of fly-fishing merchandise. Noted one panelist, “Orvis has the gear to get you on the water whether you are a novice or an experienced fisherman.” From reels to bait and vests to boots, Orvis seems to offer everything a fly-fisherman could need.

The comprehensive product line and stellar creative get a boost from the copywriting, which informs as well as sells. Action shots are accompanied by commentary from experts. And the Orvis copywriter is apparently an expert too, judging by the detail and enthusiasm evident in the product descriptions.

Take the copy for the catalog’s stretch-and-release fishing nets: “These beautiful hardwood nets have unique shallow stretchy bags that make landing and releasing fish easier. Soft net material stretches slightly so a fish cannot slip out…” In the words of one judge, this is “well-executed copy that is very descriptive and benefit rich.”

The book also includes editorial that its target customer would be interested in, such as details about an effort to protect the Deschutes River Fishery in Oregon. And Orvis devotes several pages to its own fishing trips, so that customers can plan and book fly-fishing vacations through the Orvis-Endorsed Lodge, Outfitter, Expedition, Guide Service, and Guide program.

Orvis does a superlative job identifying the benefits of using its products and showing the reader why they are superior. “The cataloger also subtly creates a desire to participate through user testimony, great photography, and knowledgable copy,” summed up one judge. The catalog is sure to have fly-fishers hooked…and given its overall persuasiveness and appreciation of the sport, it may well hook non-fishing types as well.


Historic Route 7A
Manchester, VT 05254


Company founded: 1856

Merchandise directors: Jim Lepage, Jim Rowinski

Art director: Tim Achor-Hoch

Production manager: Greg Nesbit

Copywriter: Tom Murray

Photography coordinator: Tory Myler

Marketing director: Eric Johnson

Production director: Meg Cassin

Creative/advertising director: Bill Eyre

Photographers: HO Photography, George Benington, Macomber, Mark Lewis

Prepress/color separator: Quadrichrome SAS**** Printer: Spencer Press

List manager: Millard Group

List brokers: Millard Group, 21st Century Marketing

Cover paper: 100 lb., #3

Text paper: 34 lb., #5

Trim size: 7-15/16″ × 10-1/2″

Number of pages: 148




Men’s Clothing, Fall 2003

The selection of weekend and casual wear in the Orvis catalog is certain to appeal to its target of upscale, active men. And the attention to detail, which includes closeup shots of fabric swatches, fits shoppers to a T. Winners

Business Clothing


Outerwear Buyer’s Guide, 2003

Functionality is the name of the game when selling work apparel, so Aramark uses benefit copy and action-packed visuals to communicate the product features.

Children’s Products


Holiday 2003

Lively photographs and engaging copy tell readers the story of Hanna Andersson‘s exclusive high-end children’s apparel.


Christmas 2003

Going beyond the fruit gifts for which Harry and David is best known, this edition includes related items such as banquet trays and floral window boxes.


Summer 2003

The Patagonia catalog includes a wealth of technical specification in its copy and features awe-inspiring photos of athletes in extreme locales putting the company’s product to the test.

Business Specialty


Law Enforcement Buyers Guide, 2003

This Galls catalog is chock full of footwear, duty gear, communications equipment, and other products to aid and abet law enforcement professionals.

Consumer Specialty


Winter 2003

The compelling lifestyle photos not only draw readers in but also reinforce Patagonia‘s credibility among outdoor-sports enthusiasts.



New Roses 2004

In this consumer catalog, Jackson & Perkins pairs stunning photography with copy that helps gardeners distinguish among the many varieties offered.


The Perfect Gift, Christmas 2003

Distinctive backgrounds and propping set the scene for The Territory Ahead‘s high-quality casual clothing and storylike copy.


Rescue Equipment Catalog #123

These products require a great deal of technical description, but CMC Rescue shows that such merchandise can be presented in a creatively pleasing way.



Summer Savings 2003

The superb photography and design of the Harry and David catalogs is readily apparent. Less obvious — but no less important — is the excellent merchandising.

Gifts over $75


Holiday Gift Catalog 2003

The pacing, layouts, photography, and copy of The Sharper Image catalog work together to create a sense of energy and to establish it as “the” source for high-tech gifts and gadgets.


Mail Order Catalog for Food Lovers 2004

Zingerman’s stands apart from the competition, thanks to its distinctive illustrations, diverse assortment of hard-to-find gourmet items, and downright quirky copy.


Holiday Gifts 2003

From decorated Christmas trees to candles, from nutcrackers, and the delightfully packaged flowering plants it’s best known for, Jackson & Perkins has something for everyone.

High-Tech Products


Fall 2003

With comparison charts, instructional copy, and free customer service lines — not to mention free lifetime tech support — Crutchfield removes any sense of risk a consumer might have about buying electronics by mail.

International Consumer


Women’s Clothing, Early Autumn 2003

This book boasts a merchandise selection that appeals to the classic British fashion sense without straying from Orvis‘s New England roots.

Gifts Under $75


It’s Not Too Late, Christmas 2003

Harry and David performs an invaluable service for procrastinators: It offers a varied selection of last-minute gifts for just about everyone on the list, in a concise, easy-to-shop-from book.


Holiday Gifts 2003

L.L. Bean‘s holiday catalog distinguishes itself in part by including a swatch sample of the cover product so that customers can feel the softness of the chamois cloth for themselves.

Informational Services


2004 Sourcebook

Offering fun and clever computer programs and games, Don Johnston‘s well-organized catalog is clear and easy to understand, with useful callouts and motivating headlines.

New Business Catalog


Galls Brand Catalog Products 03W, 2003

If you’re in law enforcement, emergency medicine, or a related field, Galls is sure to have a branded product to suit your needs.


Spring-Summer 2003

Harry and David‘s Spring-Summer catalog sells a diverse selection of food gifts, complemented by the marketer’s delectable photos and luscious copy.




The in-depth copy and layouts dedicated to differentiating similar products make McFeeley‘s a vital and vibrant reference tool for tradesmen.

International B-to-B


The German Pigalog

This catalog of industrial safety and cleanup products takes New Pig‘s distinctive brand positioning into the German market with quality products and comprehensive copy

Office Supplies, Furniture, and Stationery


The Furniture Collection 2003

The detailed copy in Boise Office Solutions’ Furniture Collection packs a punch and effectively promotes the quality of the high-end business furniture offered.



2003 Outstanding Performances

ITA Group features more than 650 award ideas to reward performance improvement yet makes the decision process a snap.

Sporting Goods


The Sporting Tradition, Fall 2003

Orvis brings across the quality of the product with consistent imagery and appealing copy that speaks to hunting enthusiasts.



Summer 2003

With imagery as easy and breezy as New England in July, L.L. Bean inspires families to enjoy the great outdoors — and to buy apparel and gear from its catalogs or stores.




Mountain Travel Sobek‘s stellar photography and thorough itineraries help shoppers turn fantasy into reality.


Fall 2003

Stunning action shots capture outdoor enthusiasts making the most of Patagonia‘s exclusive line of rugged apparel.




While enticing, Backroads‘ copy also provides plenty of details for travel agents passing the book to their clients.


Journeys for the Year 2004

With its eclectic destinations and exhaustive explanation of specifications and services, Wilderness Travel inspires travelers to book their trip through the catalog or a travel agent that works with it.



The Hero Arts catalog uses photography and illustrations to show innovative ways to use the product — which helps boost sales for its retailer clients.

Award Finalists

Rochester Big & Tall, Holiday 2003

Business Clothing
Aramark, Fall Buyer’s Guide 2003
Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit Fashions 2003

Business Specialty
Streicher’s, 2004 Buyer’s Guide

Consumer Specialty
Team Cheer, 2003

Harry and David, Harvest Festival 2003
The Honey Baked Ham Co., Honey Baked Holiday 2003
Stonewall Kitchen, Winter 2003

Gifts over $75
Orvis, The Dog Book, Holiday 2003

Gifts Under $75
The Yankee Candle Co., Holiday 2003

Garrett Wade, Tool Catalog 2003

Informational Services
Super Duper Publications, 2004

New Consumer Catalog
Cutter & Buck, Fall 2003
Eastbay, The Extra Mile 2003

Kellogg, Kellogg’s Keebler Gift Catalog 2003

Paddy Pallin, Pallin Handbook 2003
Vivre, Fall 2003

Backroads, 2004-2005
Travcoa, Escorted Journeys 2004

To enter next year’s Awards, contact Heather Retzlaff at 203-358-4233 or hretzlaff@primediabusiness.com

Company information for each profile has been provided by the Award entrants. Profiles written by Alyson Papalia and Heather Retzlaff. For complete profiles of all the Silver Award winners, visit www.CatalogAgemag.com. For information about entering next year’s Awards, contact Heather Retzlaff at 203-358-4233 or hretzlaff@primediabusiness.com.

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