Gold Award, Children’s Products: Museum Tour, 2001/2002 Annual Catalog

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, the 10 images on the cover of the Museum Tour catalog say quite a mouthful. As for the words themselves — in particular the tagline, “Come with us and find gifts of inspiration and exploration for the whole family” — the judges agreed that they sum up the mission of the catalog while inviting readers in. Indeed, the cover is a nice blend of “art and copy maintaining eye flow,” a panelist noted.

The Museum Tour catalog sells toys and games that put a fun spin on geography, natural history, and other educational topics. This catalog casts a wide net by offering products that appeal to multiple age groups with multiple interests. “The pagination is presented so that while shopping the catalog, the reader takes part in an adventure, always anticipating what is next,” said one judge. That sense of excitement as you flip through the dense offering is sure to appeal to children and their parents alike.

The copy further enhances the adventure. Each spread has a two-word category heading followed by an anecdotal subhead. For example, the subhead for the Sports Museum section: “‘Hopscotch has been around longer than you think,’ said Josh. ‘Roman foot soldiers used to play hopscotch dressed in full, heavy armor. It improved their footwork.’” These subheads, like the products themselves, educate the reader in a lighthearted manner, said a judge.

Bold colors make the products pop off of the white background. The smattering of lifestyle shots bolster the family-fun feeling of the catalog. The design effectively ties together the copy and the merchandising, without letting either one dominate, the judges agreed. “The hairline rule that frames the page maintains a design consistency and helps pull together the headline, the 800-number tag, and the URL,” said one panelist.

Like the other elements of Museum Tour, the president’s letter is lively and fresh. “The letter taps into all the correct things — hitting the customer intellectually, logically, and emotionally,” said a judge. “After reading this letter, you want to buy from this catalog,” added another.

Museum Tour decided not to interrupt the pacing of the appealing storylike spreads with customer service details, instead putting that information on the inside back cover. A risky move, but one that paid off in spades, according to the judges. “The catalog has all of the customer service bases covered, so putting it in a different spot works,” explained one. “I like that it is all in one place and easy to flip through when you are ready to order,” said another. The catalog puts the same spin on service as it does on the rest of the book: It is fun but also informed and accessible.

Museum Tour
2525 SE Stubb St.
Milwaukie, OR 97222

Company founded: 1995
Director/production director: Marcia Mantz
Designer: Rob Cannon
Merchandiser: Marilynne Eichinger
Copywriter: Leanne Grabel
Photographers: Tim Holmes, Michael Shay
Marketing director: Barbara Lund
Printer: Arandell
Color separator: DHX Advertising
Prepress provider: Paramount Graphics
List broker: Fasano and Associates
Cover paper: 60 lb.
Text paper: 45 lb.
Number of pages: 76
Trim size: 10-7/8″ × 8-3/8″

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