Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Clio Awards...

Awards for advertising

Not many average people know there are Academy Awards for advertisers - they are known as the Clio Awards. They are great - especially if you work in marketing or visual merchandising. They pick the best of the best. Yes - I watch commercials and really look at ads - there is a lot of art to be had in them, and many are entertaining. Often times, television ads can be better than the programming they sponsor.
Anyway - I got my Leaflet Missal Book catalog in the mail today. I thought I'd do a little review on it, since I was never that honest about it when I worked on it in the past. Now since it is a public thing, I can critique it - and I guarantee you, it won't win any awards. Except maybe for merit - I know how hard everyone works on the catalog, and despite the fact they do not want to spend money on photography, styling, and decent paper, they do a pretty good job for what it is. The thing makes money.

The Cover
What did Tracy Nelson's character used to say in "Square Pegs"? Oh yeah - "Gag me with a spoon!"
It is pretty bad. I had always said it would be neat to have a hologram cover, where the objects moved, or a Harry Potter cover that would be animated. They missed. The product is multiplied across the page and it looks like a run of stamps. The shadows and fade outs are so not - what? Art? Not at all. And of course, the cover is so loaded with unrelated product it just looks schlocky. It is a poor adaptation of Andy Warhol's art - another concept I had - but not like this! (Oh, and lest I forget, the resolution of photography is atrocious - although it is no better on the website.)
The Books
It is the standard Ignatius catalog format, can't miss. Except categories. They don't know how to categorize product. Subjects and titles are typically all over the place - which always comes off as if they threw it together. They don't know how to paginate for customer interest or by authors and topics. And adjacency of product? They never understood what that meant.
The Book
Confusing at best. Pages display little or no categorization, devoid of any point of focus. Bracelets, medals, statues, and anything else, looks like it has been dropped - no crammed, onto the page. It is like a garage sale in book form. Sadly, the new catalog resembles their so-called "Gift Catalogs" and therefore there is nothing special about those "special" gift catalogs. When they keep repeating the format - they all end up looking pretty much like sale catalogs.
What they need:
Professional help, and maybe an editor/art director - and throw in a decent book buyer too. But, like I said, it makes them money, so why bother with image? Customer Grams and Gramps won't notice.
(Disclaimer, I was not paid by Leaflet Missal nor any other entity to do this review.)


  1. A hologram would be nice, but their bottom line would go south fast.

  2. Terry: Re: your disclaimer. Good thing I was sitting down for that. Here I was under the impression, obviously mistaken, that you must be earning money for being opinionated.

    I got my catalog too. Looks like it always does-you can take that as you like.

  3. Cathy, I suppose it would be nice to get paid for doing reviews.

    This post was meant as constructive criticism however, not an opinionated attack from someone who doesn't know the business. (I also worked in marketing at Dayton's in the photo studio where we produced the old "Today" book for the Sunday newspaper. When I worked LMC I was always asked what I thought of the final catalog - which we worked on together. I usually just told them what they wanted to hear.

  4. I think Leaflet is on par with many of the Catholic catalogs (The Neumann Press, Emmaus Road, etc.). They are just small apostolates providing literature and items you can't get at the big guys. Like you said, I didn't quite understand the postage stamp cover, but even the crisp, glossy catalogs I get still end up in the recycle bin eventually.

  5. I know you did not mean it as an attack. I'm just angry that your constructive opinion was unacknowledged. Of course, most artists are unappreciated in their lifetimes. Don't despair. 50 years after your death, they will come around.

  6. Well Cath, I'm pretty sure "they" are going to call me any minute offering me my old job back. :)

  7. They should, but I hope you put lots of conditions on it like: no backstabbing and we must have laughter and smiling at the cash registers.


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