Jane’s, 2000 Edition

According to its mission statement, Jane’s aims “to be the leading global information and intelligence provider for defense, security, transport and law enforcement agencies.” With its impressive, Silver Award-winning 2000 catalog edition, the organization is off to a good start toward achieving this goal.

Considering that the Jane’s catalog sells online, CD-ROM, and bound printed information services and solutions on topics such as industry, geopolitics, law enforcement and transport, “this book could be so boring – but it’s fascinating and compelling,” a judge commented. “The creative is really well done for selling these types of product,” added another judge.

Strong visuals and headlines, good use of photos, and an attractive, readable type style earned Jane’s considerable praise. Raved a judge: “The design is the strongest part of the book.” With one exception, however: the cover. The gray, marbleized background with the giant “2000” running up the side was “nothing special,” according to one judge.

What is special is the catalog’s benefit-laden copy. One copy block begins, “Aim for mission success with Jane’s Infantry Weapons, your expert and impartial guide to every infantry weapon in service throughout the globe.” Headlines include “Evaluate amphibious warfare capabilities around the globe” and “The most accurate information on air-launched weapons available.” Though the line length on copy blocks has the potential to get unwieldy in many places, it doesn’t. And in the instances where it’s used, the reverse type is actually readable. “What a mess this book could have been; instead, it’s very well done,” a judge noted.

On the downside, some prices are rather ambiguous. “I couldn’t tell what the prices meant in many cases,” said one judge, who questioned whether any given price included a one-time reference guide, a full-year subscription, and/or product updates. At least prices are in a clean and easy-to-read format, he conceded.

Organization is another strong suit for Jane’s. Everything a customer needs to know is organized by market segment, with a general table of contents, an index, and an alphabetical listing in the back of the book. “And the catalog gives a lot of space to reader service,” said a judge. Not only does Jane’s include a postage-paid business reply envelope, but it also provides two order forms. As one judge pointed out, “If this book is going to sit around for a long time, here’s a good way to get two orders from it.”

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