Creative Cut: PFI = Perfect for Insiders
Products For Industry (PFI) is a wholesaler, and the PFI catalog is offered to authorized distributors who can customize the front cover with their company names. This gives the distributors access to 750 manufacturers, in-stock products and a professionally designed catalog to build their individual businesses. It’s a nice way for distributors to have a professional-looking catalog without all the startup costs needed to create and produce a 292-page book like this one.
Immediately communicating who you are and what you sell is a primary role of the front cover. PFI quickly does this with a front cover masthead and visual representations of its product categories. The background color probably isn’t a choice Bob Vila would make for his house, but it’s an excellent contrast to support the product images.
The black logo strongly positioned in the white space of the masthead is easy to read and includes the phone, fax and Web site information. What I thought was the tagline — “Material Handling & Storage Equipment Master Distributor,” found under the name of the catalog — actually isn’t. After purposeful scrutiny, the tagline, or perhaps more of a marketing message, is found above the product images: “Products For Industry — Your One-Stop Source for Quality Industrial Products.” This marketing message is in the smallest typeface. From a page composition standpoint, this line of text on the left-hand side of the page balances the similarly tiny date range/issue information on the right side. But if there’s an opportunity to call out the marketing message more prominently, PFI could use the positioning to its advantage.
One opportunity for improvement is to include page references with the product category names. Customers and prospects could immediately turn to the section, instead of having to go through a two- or three-step process to locate an item.