Gold Award, Travel: Mountain Travel Sobek, 2003

“One of the finest presentations I’ve seen in a long time,” said one judge of Mountain Travel Sobek’s 2003 catalog. From front cover to back, each page flaunts exotic, colorful, and culturally rich images. The design of the book combines the company’s passion for travel with gorgeous landscape and portrait shots as well as maps that outline each trip’s itinerary. True, image isn’t everything — but it certainly goes a long way when you are selling romantic worldwide destinations and adventure.

But beyond being gorgeous, this catalog is fabulously merchandised. With destinations ranging from Benin to Bhutan, Mountain Travel shows that adventure knows no boundaries. “These are not trips for the average traveler, which is indeed why Mountain Travel lives up to its rugged name,” said one judge. And with the tagline “The Adventure Company” appearing on its striking desert-orange cover, customers know exactly what’s in store for them.

The catalog includes a wealth of information, with the copy working hard alongside the photography to sell the trips — in part by describing how the vacations will enhance customers’ lives. After all, Mountain Travel is selling more than a week or two abroad; it’s selling enriching experiences and lifelong memories.

Judges described the detailed descriptions as “reassuring, complete, and helpful,” as well as “clear and well organized.” The myriad details include comprehensive profiles of the knowledgeable and experienced tour guides. These bios assure readers that they’ll be in good hands, plus they make the vacations seem more real and accessible. Another way Mountain Travel makes the vacations seem within reach is by including pictures of real people on their high-octane travels.

Booking a trip is more complex than, say, ordering a shirt. With that in mind, Mountain Travel dedicates two pages to outlining its customer service and pricing policies and to explaining how to order. A concise spread titled “What you need to know” addresses payment schedules, cancellations, insurance, medical information, and liability issues. Plus, Mountain Travel outlines up front the three methods of booking a trip: over the phone, online, or via a travel agent at no additional cost).

All told, this catalog is both beauty and, in the form of marketing muscle, brawn. From the name of the company and the front cover photo to the in-depth copy and helpful outlines of information and policies, this catalog works to persuade prospective travelers that booking through Mountain Travel is the way to go.

Mountain Travel Sobek
6420 Fairmont Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Company founded: 1969
Director/designer/production director: Chris Bettencourt
Copywriter: Dena Bartolome
Marketing director: Robyn Gorman
Prepress provider/color separator: Que-Net Media (Quebecor World)
Printer: Overseas Printing
Cover paper: 250 gsm
Text paper: 100 gsm
Trim size: 8-3/4″ × 11-1/2″
Number of pages: 116