Varsity Spirit catalog
Roles: Designer, Production Assistant
Let’s play Six Degrees of Separation from Vanessa Manillo:
- Nick Lachey is married to her. (one degree of separation)
- Halle Berry starred in the movie X2 alongside Kelly Hu, who was Miss Teen USA in 1985. The 1998 Miss Teen USA was none other than Vanessa Manillo. (three degrees of separation)
- I, Michael Morris, was a member of the team that produced the 2001 Varsity Spirit catalog. Some of my layouts featured aspiring model Vanessa Manillo. (two degrees of separation — eat your heart out, Halle)
The Varsity catalogs have been, without a doubt, the most complex undertakings in which I’ve played a role: nearly 200 pages, over 50% new photography, a 7-month timeline, and helmed by an agency of 6. I was blessed to play a role in this massive circus for 4 years.
Granted, most of my layouts showed up towards the back of the book: pom-poms, skirts, accessories, undergear, bags, lettering/monogramming, and (drum roll, please) the order form. However, these catalogs were great learning grounds for me in all facets of catalog production: directing photo shoots, sizing transparencies with a proportion scale, adjusting spreads for pushout, and most importantly immersing myself in a client’s full product line.
The result was award-winning catalogs that set the pace for other catalogs within the cheer and dance industries.