Wholesale/Dealer, Gold Award: Backroads, 2001-2002

With its collage of “drop-dead-gorgeous photography,” as one judge described it, featuring travelers biking, hiking, and kayaking against majestic backdrops, the Backroads 2001-2002 cover immediately entices readers to expand their horizons. “The cover captures Backroads’ wide array of trips. I knew immediately what it was selling,” said one judge. Indeed, with such a persuasive selling tool, the travel agents who use this catalog won’t have to work hard to close the sale.

The clever inside front cover spread, featuring the company president opening a set of gates, invites the reader to take a worldwide journey. Captivating images — travelers raising their glasses to a toast over a festive meal in Provence, river-rafters braving the rapids in Canada, hikers enjoying a tranquil walk through Switzerland — grace the proceeding pages. These photos are juxtaposed with informative maps of each journey and shots of luxurious and charming accommodations.

The catalog offers a broad range of activity options: walking, golfing, kayaking, biking.… Even couch potatoes will be tempted to try an active trip. But just in case they’re not, the cataloger recently added another vacation activity — cooking — in response to customer demand.

Clean presentation and solid organization — with trips presented first by geographic region, then activity — make this breadth of choices easy to navigate. “This is a great reference book for the traveler, with a wonderful array of travel options,” said one judge. Convenient color-coded tabs, an introductory table of contents in each section, and a detailed chart featuring terrain ratings, mileage, and itinerary information are simple to use. “This catalog provides appropriate detail of information and proves that lots of material doesn’t have to be overwhelming if organized well — it really answers all your questions,” said another panelist.

The catalog’s superior photography and organization are reinforced by romantic, alluring copy. “It’s like reading a travelogue — a great read!” said one judge. The description of a trip to Provence begins, “Join Backroads to walk through a landscape immortalized by Cézanne, Picasso, and Van Gogh. Magical light bathes the live orchards and vineyards in a warm glow, and fields of lavender scent the air.…” Moreover, customer testimonials throughout the catalog bring the information to life.

All in all, said a panelist, “the focus and mission of the catalog are well emphasized. The target customer — upscale, up-for-almost-anything travelers — is clearly identified.” As another judge concluded, “The catalog knows its customers well and presents a very compelling, attractive offer!”

801 Cedar St.
Berkeley, CA 94710

Company founded: 1979
Catalog launched: 1980
Director: Lee Micheaux
Designer/production manager:
Caldera Design
Copywriters: Lee Micheaux,
Julie Snyder, Valerie Gilbert
Photographer: Matthew Cook
Marketing manager: Julie Snyder
Printer/color separator: Overseas
Printing Corp.
Cover paper: 250 GSM
Text paper: 100 GSM
Number of pages: 194
Trim size: 9″ × 12″

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