Business Specialty, Silver Award: Galls, Summer 2000

Just as safety never takes a vacation, public-safety equipment and apparel cataloger Galls is tireless in its mission to provide law-enforcement products, fire-rescue items, and medical supplies to its professional audience. The company’s Summer 2000 edition takes the Silver Award this year for its sterling efforts in catalog marketing, merchandising, creative, and customer service.

Starting with its cover, Galls makes a good choice highlighting a new product: its exclusive line of StreetThunder sirens. On top of introducing some important graphic elements and transitioning to the opening spread, the cover uses large-font price points “to strongly reinforce the value statement of the catalog,” said one judge. Another judge disagreed about the cover, however, dismissing the photo and copy as “dull for what could be a potentially exciting product.”

Once inside the catalog, the straightforward photos and design make Galls easy to shop from. Where they are used, “grids are effective due to high density and copy heaviness,” noted one panelist, while consistent use of icons alerts readers to value prices and new products. Galls also makes good use of real law-enforcement professionals as models, another panelist pointed out, which adds to the company’s credibility.

Galls carries a huge merchandise assortment at a wide range of price points — with the Galls-branded items highlighted, a judge noted. Subtle color-coded sections help keep the vast selection well organized. Despite the emphasis on price points, “there’s a strong impression of value and sense of authority in this field,” the judge said.

The catalog’s judicious use of editorial copy continues to build authority, said a judge: “Product heads are simple and easy to navigate; the straightforward style makes comparing prices simple.” Lines such as “Your first choice in body armor could be your last line of defense” stop readers, said another judge, “with lots of simple ‘call to action’ items that support the product.” And the “In the Line of Duty” insert featuring true-life experiences from customers “may be the best thing about the catalog,” added a third panelist.

The panelists agreed that the president’s letter effectively conveys why a customer would want to shop with Galls. (The word “free” printed twice in all caps in red ink also gives readers a reason to take a look at the president’s letter!) But one judge felt that stronger or more frequent use of editorial would support the authoritative voice of the catalog to an even greater degree.

Galls shines in the customer service/ordering department, with such services as open accounts, COD payment options, and special orders. “The six-page order form makes light work of ordering complicated items,” a judge said. And that’s a plus, considering that many of Galls’s customers are putting their lives on the line daily.

2680 Palumbo Dr.
Lexington, KY 40509
Company founded: 1967
Catalog launched: 1985
Director: Tim O’Malley
Photographer/color separator: American Color
Printer: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.
List broker/manager: Direct Media
Cover paper: 100 lb.
Text paper: 26 lb.
Number of pages: 396
Trim size: 7-3/4″ × 10-1/4″

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