17 Jul Spotlight On: StylePLUS Connecting with customers through cover to cover marketing
Ninety million Americans make purchases directly from catalogs each year, and if they’re involved in the world of marching bands, color guard, or dance, there’s a good chance they’re purchasing from StylePLUS.
A leading distributor of footwear, flags, gloves, outerwear, uniforms, formal attire and accessories, StylePLUS has made its annual catalog the cornerstone of its marketing campaign, and for 40 years, Illustrated Designs, Inc. has been designing and producing that catalog. It’s a partnership that’s grown with StylePLUS as the company has expanded its line of game changing products that revolutionize performance, and with Illustrated Designs as they’ve taken the art of catalog production to new levels of innovation and customer engagement.
From Pages to Purchases
StylePLUS’ annual catalog comes out in March, but the process of designing and producing a fresh and dynamic edition begins in the fall with an initial meeting to discuss new products and design concepts. Photoshoots take place in the winter, and the catalog goes to print in late February or early March.
Working closely with StylePLUS, the Illustrated Designs team creates the layout and design of the 200+ page catalog, helping with photoshoots, image selection, copywriting, new product names, pagination, and overall project management.
It’s a collaboration that enlists the talent and vision of StylePLUS second generation owner Tim Mangee, executive assistant Liz Maucher, and photoshoot choreographer and costume/flag designer Peter Trimble, as well as Rick DeLello, a photographer from Digital One Imaging. Illustrated Designs’ senior graphic designer Jay Scheuerle and president Tracey Piechocki complete the team that meets regularly to keep the project on track and on time.
The end result—a catalog that showcases StylePLUS’ new and existing products in a clean, easy to read, and engaging format—has proven quite successful.
“Our catalog is our primary marketing tool, and for over 30 years, we’ve partnered with Illustrated Designs to help us create a catalog that draws on our company’s heritage while at the same time appealing to our customers with a message that’s fresh and relevant every year,” says Maucher.
“Illustrated Designs oversees the entire process of producing our 240-page catalog, from photo shoots to page design and layout. They take care of the smallest details without losing sight of the big picture.”
Forward-Thinking Products Meet Innovative Design
StylePLUS is known in the industry for designing trusted products that incorporate the latest technology to take the performance of dancers, color guard, and marching band members to the next level of comfort, quality, and functionality. Utilizing InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator, Illustrated Designs, Inc. matches that dynamic creativity in the layout and content of each page in the catalog.
This year’s catalog features StylePLUS’ expanded line of digitally printed color guard uniforms, an innovation they introduced to the market in 2017. The uniforms, flags, and footwear were brought to life in an authentic was by the models, all of whom are Drum Corp experienced, with some even having participated in the prestigious Fusion World Winter Guard.
The catalog’s production was not without its challenges, particularly in the form of weather. Despite being hit with a nor’easter that gridlocked most of the roads, however, the models never missed a shoot, and the team even managed to add a day dedicated to cover and action shots.
And it’s paid off. The response to StylePLUS’ 2018 catalog has been overwhelmingly positive, due in large part, according to Illustrated Designs, Inc. president Tracey Piechocki, to the long-standing relationship between the two companies, and their shared passion for innovation.
“I’ve personally worked with Tim and the entire StylePLUS team for over 20 years,” says Piechocki. “Every year, I’m excited to see what new and groundbreaking products they are introducing. The styles and fabrics have changed so much since I was in marching band—it’s an exciting time for the industry, I’m honored to work with such a forward-thinking company.”
Illustrated Designs, Inc. has been at the forefront of the marketing industry for 30+ years. From design to execution, their innovative design team develops catalogs, event décor, printed materials, 3-D displays, and more.