Sarah Fletcher

One of the best takeaways for me from the recent Annual Conference for Catalog & Multichannel Merchants (ACCM) in New Orleans was the need to be open to “smart change,” a term I “borrowed” from Sarah Fletcher, creative director of Catalog Design Studios, a catalog creative consulting firm. She said, “The big take-home for me from this year's conference was No. 1, don't panic, and No. 2, be open to smart changes.” 

As a presenter at the Direct Marketing Association's Catalog on the Road Conference held in Cambridge, Mass., earlier this month, I provided the audience with eight creative tips to help grow sales during this most difficult selling environment. Here's a look at my “eight quick fixes”:   

Tired of reading about what a tough year it’s been for so many businesses across the board? Frustrated with your own results? Scared about the economy? Whether or not you’re struggling as much as others, here’s a little tonic: our annual best-of feature, in which we’ve pulled what we believe to be the 50 best and most implementable tips of the year from Catalog Success magazine as well as our weekly e-newsletter, Tactics & Tips. There’s nothing fancy here. Each paragraph is taken from a particular story that’s referenced, so you can turn or click back to reread the full story or act on

LETTERS: Dear Editor, RE: The creative feature “10 Steps to a Successful Redesign,” (May 2008 issue, pg. 42). I am alarmed that Sarah Fletcher wrote such a distressing column for Catalog Success magazine. Maybe your article should have the caveat that it comes as your opinion or viewpoint, but it certainly does not represent good design principles. There is logic to some of what you say, but in your examples, you take spreads with individual personality and brand integrity and turn them into oatmeal. I looked at the headline that you suggest for your swimwear spread and have to laugh. Do you truthfully

They’re full of crap. I’m talking about all these radical-acting environmental groups that are out to destroy the catalog industry as we know it. The theme of this issue — which we changed on the fly only a couple of months ago in light of the growing environmental adversity the catalog/multichannel industry is facing — is very much modeled after the famous Peter Finch line from the 1976 film classic, “Network”: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” I believe in doing whatever it takes to save the environment for my child, any kids he may have some

A catalog redesign has a lot in common with a midlife crisis makeover. There comes a time in every catalog’s life — if it’s lucky to survive long enough — when it looks around at the competition and feels ugly, frumpy and over the hill. And though there’s no single redesign shape up solution that fits everyone, we all travel the same path. So here are 10 steps to a “new you.” 1. Do you really need a whole new you, or just a haircut? Before you start looking at new fonts and cover treatments, determine the purpose of your redesign. • Is it

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