Classics become classics for a reason: They unerringly meet the needs at hand with an almost imperceptible elegance. That description certainly applies to the apparel featured in The Territory Ahead’s spring 2002 edition — and to the catalog itself.
The Territory Ahead shows a “strong consistency in merchandising choices,” said a judge. Items ranging from silk polo shirts to leather blazers share an emphasis on timeless styling and top quality.
The copy plays up those traits, “giving a thorough description of the clothes,” noted a judge, “emphasizing features and benefits while allowing the customer to make well-informed choices.” The description of the Hot Ombre Shirt epitomizes the catalog’s copy style: “The fabric’s a signature, yarn-dyed ombre plaid against a desert ground, in summer-weight cotton, with a subtle interplay of thick and thin stripes. Horn-style buttons, spread collar, one pocket, long sleeves and a shirttail bottom.”
The panelists also praised The Territory Ahead’s layout and design. The catalog was shot on location in New Mexico so as to soak up a southwestern sensibility. The result: a “great use of color, as product photos and fill shots blend well together and evoke the spirit of the theme,” said one judge.
The judges applauded the catalog’s method of showing the merchandise without the use of models. “Displaying products with models is a challenge and can sometimes create spreads of merchandise that look alike,” one judge pointed out. Featuring the apparel hanging or lying down takes advantage of weather-beaten fences, tiled walls, and other evocative backdrops that help The Territory Ahead distinguish itself from myriad other catalogs selling similar clothing.
The judges also appreciated the cataloger’s guarantee: “If you’re not satisfied — whatever the reason — return the item to us for an exchange or refund.” One judge called attention to the company’s “solid policies,” such as its commitment to speedy delivery of merchandise, and the matter-of-fact manner in which it explains its policies; for instance, “We ship all in-stock U.S. orders within one business day of receipt. You should receive your order in 3-5 business days.”
With its sun-drenched southwestern visuals, distinctive product photography, succinctly colorful copy, and emphatic customer service, The Territory Ahead broadens the definition of a “classic” catalog. Indeed, this catalog proves how stimulating the classics can be.
The Territory Ahead
419 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Company founded: 1988
Director: Helen Bartley
Designer: Kros Andrade
Production director: Monique Berger
Merchandiser: Matt Cooper
Copywriter: Trevor Pitchford
Photographers: Glenn Cormier, Jeff Lancaster
Marketing director: Mark Gallo
Printer: RR Donnelley
Prepress provider/color separator: Artisan Colour
List manager/list broker: Millard Group
Cover paper: 70 lb. #3 (International Paper)
Text paper: 40 lb. (International Paper)
Trim size: 8-3/4″ × 10″
Number of pages: 72