Informational Services, Silver Award: Super Duper Publications, 2001

The Super Duper Publications 2001 catalog has boundless energy, “which clearly comes across,” said one admiring judge. This catalog has a genuine passion for its product — “fun speech and language materials,” to quote the tagline — and for its audience of teachers, parents, and children who need help honing their language skills.

The front cover is promotion central. Below the title and tagline, a blue banner proclaims that Super Duper is the “home of free shipping” in the U.S. and Canada. Then, under a photo of five grinning children framed by balloons, a banner promotes the company’s toll-free phone and fax lines, its Website, and its e-mail address for customer service. To the right of the phone numbers, a bright-yellow box contains 10 Post-it flags to “mark your fun favorites!” While one judge said that the numerous features create a sense of excitement, another panelist felt they didn’t work: “The cover has too many design elements and colors jumping out at the reader.”

Super Duper solidifies its position as an authoritative source for speech and language materials with its merchandising, which one panelist dubbed “the strongest element of the catalog.” Products include diagnostic guides for speech pathologists; therapeutic software, puzzles, flash cards, and games; and resources for parents of autistic or aphasic children. Super Duper tags select items as “best sellers,” which one judge said “keeps customers from becoming overwhelmed by their vast array of products.”

The copy in this information-packed catalog is also a winner. The “homey” copy provides “a great deal of charm,” said a judge. For instance, the description of a Story Starters Fun Deck begins: “What is the yuckiest thing you’ve ever eaten? I think ‘liver’ is high on my list. This set of 56 story starters cards is sure to get all of your students talking…” But the judges were surprised by the rather weak letter from the husband-and-wife team who are the company’s president and CEO — especially since the president is a speech language pathologist. “Given the hospitable mood that the catalog achieves, I am surprised that the letter isn’t longer,” said one panelist.

The spreads can be a bit busy at times, but the catalog wisely uses color tabs to index each category type, helping customers navigate more quickly through the book. Generous use of bright colors and photos of “real” kids using the products add to the book’s sense of fun.

And to show how highly it values the opinions of its readers, the catalog solicits customers to conduct or participate in professional product reviews. Super Duper will send sample products for review to groups of at least 10 language professionals — and even picks up the cost of shipping both ways.

For certain, Super Duper appeals to both language professionals and the kids who need their services. By supporting that appeal with solid service and product knowledge, the catalog is a worthy recipient of the Silver Award.

Super Duper Publications
6000-A Pelham Rd.
Greenville, SC 29615
Company/catalog founded: 1986
Director/designer/production manager: Sharon G. Webber
Marketing managers: Thomas Webber, Molly DeShong
Printer: The Press of Ohio
Cover paper: 100 lb.
Text paper: 60 lb.
Number of pages: 208
Trim size: 8-3/8″ × 10-7/8″

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