EyeWire Studios, January 1999

Not many catalogs could put a hot-pink hand grenade on the cover and get applause for the effort. But EyeWire Studios, a supplier of computer image and typography software, grabs readers with this somewhat disconcerting image and, as a result, gets them to open the book. “The tag line, `We supply the image…,’ combined with the grenade photo pulls you inside,” a judge notes. “You have to find out what this is all about.”

On the inside front cover, the rest of the tag line – “…you decide how to use it” – is shown, along with a picture of a young man in front of a wall covered in alternating images of green hand grenades and what look like either suns or icons representing explosions. But does all this violent imagery disturb our judges? Nah. They compliment EyeWire’s adjoining table of contents and the accompanying informational editorial that explains how users can “pull the pin on boring design.” “The copy is full of fanciful snippets,” one judge says.

Indeed, copy is imaginative, benefit-oriented, and well targeted to an audience of computer designers and Webheads. In the section selling food images, EyeWire shows a close-up of sushi and advises, “Never spear your sushi with your chopsticks – `sashi-bashi’ is considered bad manners!”

Merchandising scores relatively well among the panelists, particularly when it comes to combining catalog and Internet promotions, and bundling products for savings. But one judge, while complimenting the consistent product focus, adds, “I’d like to see even more depth and breadth of product.” Another agrees, saying that “the level of merchandising is kind of thin.”

The layout and the photography receive raves from all, however. “The design and production are beautiful and consistent with the type and overall layout,” one judge says. “Photos are crisp, and the color is fresh throughout,” comments another.

On the service side, EyeWire Studios knows the drill: Make it easy, clear, and friendly. Judges like the order form in particular. “It’s very clean and simple to fill out,” one says. Another simply calls the form “excellent.”

With its strong use of imagery, lively copywriting, and attention to service, EyeWire blows the judges away with its marketing excellence – and brings home the Silver Award.

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