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.
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.)
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.
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.)