Modest :: the Michael Morris Portfolio

Viking RIver Cruises catalog

Role: Art Director

Viking River Cruises sends out hundreds of mailings each year enticing aging boomers to book a cruise through Europe, Russia or China. Viking approached our team to redesign one of these mailings, a 56-page Valentine’s Day promotional catalog. In reviewing Viking’s existing catalogs, we highlighted a number of areas in need of improvement.

Our first area of concern was the lack of differentiation between one cruise and the next. Part of this blandness was due to the fact that the photographs which opened each itinerary — gorgeous travel shots which I’m sure cost the client a fortune — took up only a quarter of the page at the most. How is someone supposed to visualize themselves on one of these cruises if the photography isn't gripping? So we selected the most jaw-dropping destination photos we could find, increased their size by a spread-spanning 75%, and employed unique color schemes to give each itinerary its own personality (image 1 of 3).

Our second area of concern was in the flow of information. Old itineraries were a hodgepodge of schedules, photos, testimonials, and rate charts. In revising the page layout, our aim was to lead the reader through the copy: grab their attention with the opening photo, give them an overview of the itinerary with a map and descriptive paragraph, and then go through the day-by-day schedule of events they could look forward to on their cruise. This schedule was accompanied by a bullet-point list of amenities included with each cruise, and then completed by a chart of dates and prices (image 2 of 3).

We even updated the flow of these charts to make them easier to understand (image 3 of 3). For departure dates and prices, we combined three separate charts from the old catalog (cabin costs, itinerary directions, and vessel selection) into one simpler chart. This was followed by a color-coded map of the US to help prospects determine their airfare. The charts ended with options for extended-stay packages.

The response numbers proved our success, with our redesigned Valentine’s Day catalog beating their previous catalog by over 30%.