Syndicated/Co-op, Silver Award: The FedEx Collection, 2000-2001

Federal Express is renowned as a leading expedited courier; The FedEx Collection intends to win renown as a catalog of gifts for FedEx employees and customers. In the meantime, it has won a Silver Award in the syndicated co-op category.

Taking a page from the Beatles’ famed “white” album, the cover features only the name of the catalog in the courier’s signature deep royal blue type, with the tagline and the edition date printed in gray along the bottom. While one judge lauded the cover as a clean, elegant reinforcement of the brand, another panelist thought it could be more exciting: “For a fast-technology company, I would expect something a little flashier, more contemporary.” Another judge criticized the completely blank back cover as a waste of space.

Inside the merchandise is geared to “encourage businesses to invest in getting the brand out — not only to their employees but to the end user as well,” said one judge. Products are consistent, simple, and suggestive of good quality at a variety of price points, noted another panelist. The promotional and branded items, such as hats, apparel, and luggage, “benefit by having few restrictions other than the presence of the logo,” added a third judge.

The catalog’s spare design won praise from the panel. “It’s just about perfect — the branding is brilliant!” enthused a judge. And considering that the color use is limited by the corporate palette, “it’s pretty well done within that constraint,” another judge said. As for the production, given the type of merchandise for sale — promotional products to be embossed with the FedEx corporate logos, “it’s overkill on the paper grade and weight,” said a third panelist, referring to the catalog’s 100-lb. cover stock and 80-lb. inside pages. For certain, another judge agreed, “the company could probably have done this a lot cheaper.”

As a syndicated catalog going primarily to employees, the FedEx Collection does not need to waste a lot of space convincing prospects to order or promoting guarantees. But the order form is very clean, with policies presented in a straightforward manner. The catalog’s clear, comprehensive index also drew praise from the panel.

In addition to selling FedEx-branded products, the catalog serves to communicate the creation of seven unique operating companies, such as FedEx Ground and FedEx Logistics, to employees. “Educating employees and business units about new and different corporate initiatives can be done in different formats,” a judge commented. “This catalog is far more effective than a written memo or a corporate meeting.”

Overall, the catalog’s marketing concept — and stellar execution — drew high marks from the judging panel. The FedEx Collection is “an outstanding unification of message, target, concept, and merchandise,” raved one judge. “Clearly these people had a plan, and they stuck to it. Bravo!”

The FedEx Collection
Mount Hope Avenue
Lewiston, ME 04240
Catalog launched: 1985
Catalog director/designer:
Gordon Marshall
Production manager/copywriter:
Louise Michaud
Photographer/color separator:
Howell Ltd.
Printer: Universal/Nimrod
Cover paper: 100 lb.
Text paper: 80 lb.
Number of pages: 58
Trim size: 7″ × 10″

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