Catalyst, 1998 Cycling Guide

The cover image of a suited-up cyclist pedaling through a sunny meadow “does a good job creating interest in the catalog’s products,” says one Annual Catalog Awards judge. And once inside Catalyst’s 1998 Cycling Guide, which tied for the Silver Award in the syndicated/co-op category, the merchandise “runs the full gamut of products for a bicycle shop,” a judge says, from bikes and accessories to helmets and clothing.

Moreover, the products leap off the page. The “clean, well-styled photos are well placed throughout the layout,” says another judge. Catalyst clearly knows how to present its products to best showcase their design and function.

In fact, the book’s design and production draw rave reviews. Each page features “great organization of products” and action photos, a judge says, and the eye flow from page to page is “superior.” And nearly every spread features a short story about the history of a product. “It’s designed to communicate the excitement of the sport, and it succeeds,” says one judge.

The panelists love the placement of clever captions throughout the catalog, such as the one for bike helmets that reads “Put your brain in here.” The judges also agree that the catalog makes good use of information boxes and safety tips, which add interest and value and show that the cataloger is aware of the challenges of cycling.

As for the product copy, some panelists think that it’s somewhat spare and might be a bit too “insidery” for novice cyclists. But the judges agree that the descriptions do emphasize the function of the products, as with this copy for the GT Dyno BMX Series Bikes: “Pro components, oversized tubing and a reputation for dependability make this the ruler other bikes are measured by.” Notes a judge, “The potential buyer is given the opportunity to make an informed decision.”

While judges are disappointed that the catalog doesn’t offer a guarantee, they are otherwise pleased with the customer service. Payment methods, layaway plan, and credit policies are listed on the back cover.

>From cover to cover, Catalyst’s 1998 Cycling Guide establishes itself as >an authority on cycling gear. One judge sums things up by declaring, >”Every spread speaks to its market, with safety, tech, and health tips, >and a wealth of product.”

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