[ Also won — Gold: Print Channel | APPAREL, SALES OVER $20 MILLION ]
L.L. Bean, Fall 2009
L L. Bean‘s Fall 2009 edition is 200 pages of sheer perfection. The design and production values are gorgeous, the book is packed with unique, quality merchandise, it sells like no one’s business and it effectively promotes the 98-year-old merchant’s legendary customer service. What more could you ask for in a catalog?
WHY IT WON CATALOG OF THE YEAR: “These are covers that truly rock,” exclaimed one judge. “Wow.”
The back cover sells Bean’s moccasins, with the heading “So soft and warm, we call them ‘wicked good.’” The front cover shows a fleece pullover against a white background sprinkled with leaf illustrations. A die-cut circle frames a fabric swatch that invites the recipient to “feel the softness.” Brilliant concept, according to the judges. “What a great idea to combine unique printing techniques to get the reader inside,” said one panelist.
Inside, the layouts are strategically designed, with excellent use of hero products, up-close photos and choice of options. “There is not a single boring page or jarring image,” marveled one judge. ”Even a seemingly mundane lineup of slippers is beautifully styled and photographed.”
L.L. Bean does a good job of organizing product information while helping the customer through the various options. Even type on a background is easy to read,” said one judge. “The designers seem to understand that the catalog is the salesperson.”
IDEA TO STEAL: In addition to its topnotch design, merchandising, marketing and service, this edition shows how to take advantage of the concept of “value” in challenging economic times. “One really nice technique was the use of a colored grid to feature lower price items — a great way to break up a larger catalog,” noted one panelist.