Gold Award, Consumer Specialty: Patagonia, Winter 2002

One look at the breathtaking cover photo of Patagonia’s Winter 2002 edition, and you know you’re in for an adventure. The aerial shot of a lone skier blazing a trail through fresh powder that sparkles like diamonds provides “dramatic beauty and intrigue,” said one judge. Another panelist pointed out that the eye flow “takes you down the ski pole to the Patagonia logo, framed by the pole’s shadow.”

Not surprisingly, the spectacular cover sets the stage for high creative standards. “This is a gorgeous catalog to look at in many ways, with compelling, appropriate, and exciting world-action photographs,” enthused a judge. But the catalog is not just about pretty pictures. “It smartly breaks out how similar merchandise is different,” observed one panelist. For example, a page selling fleece jackets details the difference between the R4, which provides wind protection with stretch fabric, and the R3, which offers maxiumum warmth for extreme cold. Another Patagonia strong point, said a judge: “I like that when multiple colors are available, there is a photo of each one.”

And then there’s the product line itself. Patagonia has done “just a terrific job with the merchandising,” marveled a judge. From down vests and wool ski hats to stretch tights and polo shirts, “every item looks like it belongs, and it adds up to a great package of outdoor apparel.” Another panelist agreed: The pagination is “well paced, logical, and never boring — even though there’s a great duplication of product.”

You might think that with such superb merchandising and stellar creative, Patagonia products could sell themselves. But they don’t need to, since the copy is also outstanding. Neither too flowery nor too lengthy, the copy inspires trust in the products and the company, said one judge: “The technical information is neatly laid out, as are color and size options. I would buy from this catalog with great confidence.” Another panelist pointed out that the “contemporary copy manages to be both succinct and friendly; it sounds like good advice from your best friend.”

Patagonia keeps up the momentum of excellence with its ordering and customer service policies. “There’s a strong statement of guarantee at the very beginning of the catalog, on the order form, and on every spread,” said one judge. Better still, the judge added, Patagonia “actually lists a customer service number and promotes it!”

One panelist described this edition of Patagonia as a “user-friendly catalog with a distinctive personality that has been refreshed but not diffused.” And that’s not all: The same judge concluded that Patagonia is “a role model for how to establish and handle direct marketing concerns.” Well said!

259 W. Santa Clara St.
Ventura, CA 93001

Company founded: 1973
Marketing director: Morlee Griswold
Designer: Annette Scheid
Production directors: C.J. Oliverson, Angela Weidmann
Merchandiser: Kevin Churchill
Copywriter: Michele Bianchi
Photographer: Jim Arneson
Printer: Arandell
Prepress provider/color separator: Quad/Graphics
Cover paper: 70 lb.
Text paper: 45 lb.
Trim size: 10-7/8″ × 8-1/2″
Number of pages: 88

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