After viewing the cover shot of a school of penguins streaking under the deep blue sea, “I couldn’t wait to open the catalog,” said a judge about Wilderness Travel’s 2001 edition. True, using a conceptual cover can be a risk — but in this case, the judges agreed, the risk pays off handsomely. The cover “speaks to the catalog name and its positioning as a wilderness adventure marketer,” said a judge.
The cover represents the beauty and professionalism found inside this well-organized and well-paced catalog. Trips are grouped by continent and indexed by color-coded labels on the side of each page. One panelist pointed to the book as an example of how diverse products — even those as complicated as adventure trips — can be made easy to find. “Obviously a great deal of planning went into making the book engaging and accessible for any travel agent looking to give customers specific vacation offerings,” a judge said.
And agents and their customers can certainly benefit from the comprehensive copy, which goes beyond the basic who, what, where, and when of each trip. Note this enticing description of a sea kayacking trip in Baja: “We awake to the beauty of a desert sunrise each day, and in the evening we sip cold margaritas on the beach, watch the sky turn vermilion, and learn that there’s nothing quite like a balmy desert night under a sky ablaze with stars…” One judge who was wowed by the copy declared, “What’s not to like? I can’t make up my mind — I want to go on every trip!”
As far as the catalog’s design, “a lot of the information is provided, but pages do not feel crowded, due to the nice pacing of type size, color boxes, and photography to break up information,” said a panelist. Another judge deemed the introductory pages, which carefully establish the Wilderness Travel brand and its credibility, “outstanding. And I especially like the summary detail chart that covers every trip.” Perhaps most impressive is the book’s exceptional photography, which captures everything from the delicate opaque mist coming in over the mountaintops in Ecuador to the blue waters off Costa Rica to the vibrant red wildflowers in the fields of Tuscany. The designers apparently chose photos that not only showcase the destinations but also the entire color spectrum.
In an amazing achievement for a dealer catalog — or any catalog, for that matter — Wilderness Travel gives readers the sense that it is selling the world rather than mere trips. As further testament to the book’s power of persuasion, one judge said that the catalog had been sitting on her coffee table and that friends are already starting to buzz about taking one of the Wilderness Travel trips. Bon voyage!
1102 Ninth St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Company/catalog founded: 1978
Directors: Bill Abbott, Barbara Banks-Altekruse
Designers: Emily Ahlvin, Krystie Bonzelet
Copywriter: Pamela Shandrick
Marketing manager: Barbara Banks-Altekruse
Printer/color separator: C & C Offset Printing Co. Ltd.
Cover paper: 250 GSM
Text paper: 115 GSM
Number of pages: 128
Trim size: 12″ × 10″